Bungie says it's treating the Destiny beta like a full product launch in many ways.
Speaking to GameSpot, Bungie's community manager Eric Osborne said the studio has capitalised on the significant fanbase it cultivated with its Halo games, and has frequently sought feedback from them over the course of Destiny's development.
"We supported some pretty big, enduring gaming communities over the past decade," he said, "but we haven't sat around giving each other high fives these past few years. We went out and recruited some of the most talented and experienced people we could find. We brought in hundreds of fans to play embarrassingly early builds of Destiny in our labs, collecting millions of data points."
Asked how the beta will compare to previous Halo ones, Osborne indicated it will be much greater in scope.
"The Destiny beta, in many ways, is being treated like a full product launch," he said. "We can't just carve out three competitive multiplayer maps this time around. We'd only be gathering data on one facet of the overall experience--one that is arguably the least resource intensive and most well understood by our team. Destiny demands more.
"Our ambition is to build big, rich destinations that players can visit over and over again, to fill them up with great story and moments that they can share with their friends, and to deliver face melting action that leads to treasure, challenge, and discovery. We want to pour all of that secret sauce into the Destiny beta. It's a massive undertaking, but one that we believe will pay huge dividends for us, and for our players."
The Destiny beta will kick off in "early 2014", with access codes provided to customers who pre-order the game at participating retailers worldwide on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Participating retailers in the US include Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Walmart. In UK, the list includes Amazon, Smiths, Tesco and Blockbuster.