What a soft launch is and how you get in on one.

I see this question asked repeatedly. I feel it warrants its own thread. A Soft Launch is similar to a closed beta. A software developer, will release versions of their product in a small market quietly. There can be one country or several. One such country I see this for is Australia.

Normally, its a game for IOS and/or Android. The best way to get in early is to read something in the news about a new product. I've gotten in on several games early in this manner. If you choose to do this, there will be things you must be willing to deal with.

These are no access to in app purchases, in app purchases not available in your countries currency, and possibly many bugs. You'll also likely encounter a game or program with many incomplete pieces.

Support for the game by the developers may be bad also and changes are frequent.

Does this sound OK to you? If so, do many Google searches until you find said program outside of the official mobile stores such as Amazon, Google Play, or Apples app store. The program will need to be sideloaded. You must be Android or IOS savy enough to install the program once you have acquired it. Do not expect a warm welcome from developers who hear about you enjoying their pre release program.

This is not your concern. The typical time for soft launch to official launch varies. Typically its within 6 months of a global launch.


  • Timba
    61 posts Member
    edited December 2015
    Having worked in mobile development and incidentally at EA Mobile, I can tell you that soft launches are a developer's way of having the application observed in production, with a limited audience. The application is then refined by studying usage, telemetry or spending habits so it can be globally launched in a short timeframe usually. The same thing occurred with Real Racing 3 for example, which launched in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, only to launch a few weeks later globally with the US and ROW(rest of world) versions.

    Soft launches may mean there are bugs. Not all bugs can be caught by testing ( Hi 5 to the EARO guys :* ), but rest assured, if we can see them, then they are known about.

    So to be concise, it's normal that a soft launch application may be buggy, but in time, they get fixed :)

    This represents my personal opinion on the subject.
    Timba ~ f2p since October ~ on LINE timba_timba ~ [FTB]

  • Thank you Timba for the additional inside information.
  • Umm, no. Most of what you've written only applies if you've illegitimately acquired the game through a pirate site and live in a country that is not part of the soft launch. If you are actually living in one of the countries where the game was soft-launched, it will be available for download and installation directly through Play/iTunes with no restrictions, IAP will be available and in your country's currency, etc.

    Put simply, a "soft launch" is when a developer releases a game in a small selection of countries (Singapore, Australia, and Canada are common soft launch markets) prior to the game's worldwide official release. Occasionally, there are legitimate methods for players in other markets to participate as well (for instance, one of CG's earlier games, Supreme Heroes, was available for download in the US for 24 hours partway through the soft launch), but generally you either need to wait patiently or pirate the game. During the time between soft launch and worldwide release, some portions of the game might be missing or not work as intended, and the developer will make frequent updates with bugfixes and gameplay changes based on feedback received from players in the test markets. In return for suffering through all that, you get a head-start against the players who join when the game is officially released.
  • I take offense at the inclusion of words such as pirate. Many sites hosting soft launch files are not pirate sites. However, I care nothing for how someone came to get the software.
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