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I believe they are deliberately setting the threshold for the beta key to be quite high because they don't want too many beta testers. As it stands, there will be around 3000 keys sent out (probably about 5000 by the time the Kickstarter ends) and some fraction of those will play the beta and provide feedback which Obsidian will have to process and act on. They might not have the resources to handle the feedback arising from 20000 keys sent rather than 5000 so the keys are quite pricey.

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A full rpg isn't the optimal type of game for customer-based beta testing, due to the complexity of the game. So they'll probably hire some professional testers to do most of the heavy lifting, but regardless, there's some extra work in creating the proper feedback channels for the beta testers, even if it's just a new forum section, and more so when moderating these channels. I'd expect the kickstarter beta to occur relatively late in the production anyway, and be more-or-less finished game with just a bit more bugs than usual. Anyway, it'd be interesting to participate myself, but sadly the $$$ it requires is outside the limitations of my wallet (Student myself as well :D)... Then again, there's still plenty of kickstarter time left :rolleyes:

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