Valve has announced a new feature for developers on Steam. Titled "Steam Playtest," this feature will allow developers to easily invite players to beta test their upcoming games without the need for beta-keys.
The new feature will allow those interested in playtesting a game to click on the "playtest" button on a game's listing to request beta access and be added to a queue.
For developers, they have complete control over how many players can playtest their game. They can control when they have access and be able to add players outside of the queue individually.
Existing tools currently available on Steam, such as demos and beta-key-driven betas, will still be available for developers to choose from. The Steam Playtest feature is another tool developers can use instead of, or along with, the other features.
Steam Playtest is currently in beta. However, developers can choose to take advantage of the new feature by requesting access. Since it is now in beta, Steam Playtest is subject to changes.