Bungie Expects 3 Million Will Play Reach Beta

The beta of Halo: Reach is drawing near, and Bungie expects 3 million people will be playing.

The news comes via an interview with The Seattle Times, in which Bungie’s Community Manager, Brian Jarrard, said, “My expectation is it could be upwards of 3 million people. I think that’s a fairly conservative estimate. Certainly there will never be a console beta of this magnitude.”

The beta will have such a large base to draw from because owners of Halo 3: ODST all receive Beta invites, meaning that Bungie will be able to draw a huge number of conclusions from the beta, which points to their ability to create a superior multiplayer product. A beta of 3 million will expose the game’s multiplayer elements to hundreds of thousands of hours of playtime, and will enable the developers at Bungie to compile data on glitches, exploits and figure out whether there are balance issues with certain weapons or in the matchmaking process.

Halo: Reach is expected to be one of the biggest games of 2010 when it arrives during the Holiday season. It is Bungie’s final Halo project as future Halo titles will be shifted to the control of Microsoft’s 343 Industries. It is using a revamped version of the engine used to create Halo 3 and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The game’s visuals are supposedly stretching the Xbox 360 as far as it will bend in an effort to bring a beautiful new game world to the Halo storyline.

Halo: Reach will take place before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and will tell the story of the fall of reach, an outpost of humanity that was conquered by the Covenant. The Halo: Reach multiplayer beta will be arriving on May 3. To get in, simply purchase a copy of Halo 3: ODST.