Here is my guess to why they do a 'free' 5000 player beta test... it's not so that these 5000 morons can actualy file any bugs with the company (since I'd venture few of them do), so much as it allows the company to test their infrastructure on a semi-large scale so that they can get an idea of how it will hold up when released to the population at-large. Their authentication server, their game browser, etc. These features are difficult to test and judge effectiveness on a small-scale. If these people bother to report bugs, that's just a bonus.
The second thing this does is allow great word-of-mouth advertising. If each beta tester tells 4 people about the game, and those 4 people tell 4 people that they know a guy who is a beta tester for Far Cray, etc. Then some "free" buzz can be built up about the game.
It seems like it's a lose-lose situation with you complainers out there... if the company releases the game without this type of beta test, they may experience unforseen problems that require those series of 3-4 patches within the 1st week (Halo?). -insert complaining- But if they use goobers to test their product (yes, they are using you like a 50 cent whore), then you get complaining about them not paying 5000 people, etc.
I think some type of compensation would be in order here. The company ought to give the 5000 losers a free copy of the game once it comes out anyhow.
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