"We will be starting Alpha testing in December, and will focus on different aspects of the game in turn - the first build is a test of close-to-final combat systems. This process is specifically designed to allow us to get the best results for the good of the game, with the team being able to respond to feedback. We want such great collaboration and flexibility to be an ongoing theme. It is important to be able to tune the game as it comes together - as an example, the hugely popular online game 'Minecraft' had a public beta phase (call this a gamma phase perhaps) where the whole game was available but tweaking was still happening for an extended period. This was followed by a 'retail' release once the developers were happy with the result. We view this as a very sensible and successful template, and it’s the type of model we want to follow with Elite: Dangerous."