The news and two new bits of character art were tucked away within the announcement of Chris 'Ulric' Dye as the game's community relations manager.
According to business manager Mario Rizzo, Dye's hiring "signals the start of a new phase for APB where we can interact more fluidly with both gaming sites, and our potential future player base. This is an important milestone for the game now that we are transitioning into Alpha and moving towards the full public beta of APB."
Alpha and beta tests are relatively common for massively mutliplayer online efforts, though they often occur within the confines of an closed, invite-only environment. No timeframe or platform details were provided for the public beta, though the game is expected to launch in 2009.