Some of you Xbox 360 gamers may have run into a problem in the last week or two. There you are, playing the Gears of War 3 beta, when suddenly you get a message over Xbox Live chiding you for your early access to the September release and probably questioning your parentage and sexuality in the process. You can probably safely delete that friend from your social network, but anyone else you know who wants in on the Gears 3 beta but didn’t pre-order the game is in luck.
Starting May 8, Microsoft and Epic Games will kick off the previously unannounced “Never Fight Alone” phase of the ongoing Gears 3 beta test. Starting today, those who are already in the beta will have a number of opportunities to earn “buddy tokens,” which will allow the beta access to be shared a friend, a press release reveals. Up to five tokens can be earned, most for completing a series of tasks relating to the Gears of War. The promotion appears to be for only those gamers based in the United States.
Your five options for securing a buddy token are: purchase any Gears content from Xbox Live Marketplace (including add-on packs, Games On Demand releases or Avatar items), play 20 or more hours of the Gears 3 beta, add a 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription to your account or play more than 100 hours of any Gears title, lifetime to date.
If you’re good with numbers, you’ll have probably noticed that the list of above tasks amounts to four, even though a maximum of five buddy tokens can be earned. Getting the fifth one is actually incredibly simple. Just be in the beta already. Every beta participant will receive a single buddy token with no strings attached, just for participating. Isn’t that nice?
The buddy token challenge will be open until this Wednesday, May 4. Codes will then be sent out via e-mail next Sunday, May 8. The beta is set to run until May 15, and the game itself will be out later this year, on September 20.