The Darkspore Beta Program is a series of Tests that allowed players to experience Darkspore before others. It was first mentions by executive producer Michael Perry at the PAX Expo in 2010. In December of 2010, players were allowed to sign up for the Darkspore Beta Program. In Feburary, the Beta events finally took place.
At first, only a select few were allowed to join, but a few hours after the servers opened, a thread was opened on the Darkspore forums that allowed any person who left a comment on it to receive a Beta key. The Beta testing originally was supposed to end early March, the game itself planning to have been released on March 19. However, on March 17, 2 days away from the game's intended release, Maxis announced that because of the amount of glitches that players helped the Devs find during Beta testing, Darkspore would once again be delayed, this time until April 26. However, they announced that the Darkspore Beta testing would continue.
On April 12, the servers were once again opened, but this time, a beta key was not required, meaning anyone who downloaded the client anywhere around the world was free to play. On April 23, the servers were closed and all the accounts were reset in preparation for the release of the game. A mere 3 days later, the Darkspore servers were re-opened, and the game was finally released.
By the end of the Beta, players were able to play up to Darkspore Threat level 3-4, and were able to unlock 20/25 heroes by going up to Crogenitor level 15.