Hey all. We are super excited to announce a few more details about the Firefall beta program. Yesterday, Mark Kern announced that the Firefall beta program will be expanded from just our Friends & Family to include members of our community starting after PAX Prime at the end of August. I wanted to take this opportunity to go over the beta selection process and hopefully answer some of the questions you all have been asking.Getting into the BetaThere are multiple ways to get into the Firefall beta. The first is to sign up on www.firefallthegame.com and wait for an invite from Red 5 Studios directly. This is what many of you have already done. By registering for the beta, you are also already creating your Firefall account, joining the Firefall community, and participating in conversations directly with the development team giving direction and feedback on Firefall.Over the next few months, we will be selecting users from the community to participate in the Firefall beta. To start with, these numbers will be small, but will grow more and more as we seek additional feedback, different computer configurations, and increased load on our game servers.Another way you might receive an invite is by participating in giveaways or contests on the Firefall website or partner websites over the coming months. More specifics and detailed information on these events will be revealed as they come up, but expect to see Firefall on your favorite gaming websites soon.That brings us to the very special reveal from Mark’s announcement…The Firefall Beta Invitation SystemFirefall is a game designed for massive co-operative gameplay. What is more fun than playing with your friends? It’s never fun being the one person in your group of gaming friends that gets an invite to a beta and the rest just have to wait. Since we want people to play with folks they know, we decided to shake up how beta invites are traditionally distributed and to take a note from some of the web-based application betas that have been a big hit in recent years.At various stages throughout the beta, current testers in the beta will receive invites they can distribute to anyone they choose. The invited person will receive an e-mail inviting them to into the beta..We think this is going to be an awesome way to expand our beta test size while building and maintaining an even stronger sense of community in-game. We hope this will lead to you all having even more fun with your friends and being able to give better feedback on your experiences.“Release” DateAnother thing Mark pointed out in the article on The Escapist is that Firefall is a free online service that has already “launched” and has active users. As such, we don’t have an official launch date as you would see with other games or products. In December of this year, we plan to open up the Firefall virtual item store and begin taking micro-transaction payments that will fund the game. This is also the point in time when we would perform our final character wipe to reset all players for the last time.Our beta invitation system and user acquisition will continue to expand through December in order to ensure a stable, consistent, and fun environment for Firefall.The Fun BeginsThere you have it. I hope this answered most of your questions. This is a real exciting time for all of us at Red 5. It has been a long time coming, but we’re finally ready to deliver the game into the hands of gamers. I can’t wait to start reading your feedback after you get your first chance to play Firefall.In the meantime, be sure to join us at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany or PAX Prime in Seattle, WA this month. Get your first taste while you wait for that e-mail to come. Thanks!