They removed the price and stopped selling the game The Stomping Land from STEAM after no updates and the Devs disappeared.
The game had raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter. There's still over 250 Early Access games for sale on STEAM.
TotalBiscuit put it best, it's working because people keep buying games like this. Really the only people that should be buying them are the diehard fans of the game, not your typical gamer.
Casual gamers really need to do some basic research before investing to a EA project.
I myself find nothing wrong with EA projects, but like most investments there is no guarantee that final product will come to pass. So keeping that in mind, folks should do some basic research and if you are willing to take that leap then take it. But if your hesitant even a little, I would suggest to most people to hold back and watch to see how the EA project develops.
The stories around this are interesting. The Devs originally filed for a $20,000 funding project at Kickstarter. At last count the pledges were over $114,000.
Wanna make Early Access more reliable, stop giving the Devs all the money up front. I mean something like they do in construction for instance. Make it a three draw setup or at least two; one draw to start with, the remainder when the game is finished.
And here's a weird one. I recently posted a message about the Aussies suing Valve for the sales and refund policy at Steam.
I was reading the forums and a gal said she wrote a nice letter to Steam and actually received a refund back to her Wallet for Stomping Land. She lives in Australia.
So somebody else asked if she'd post the letter she wrote so they could use it when they asked for a refund. See where this is going yet? So the gal posted the letter, even posted Steam's reply about her refund. The other gal then used the posted letter and wrote Steam for a refund on The Stomping Land.
So guess what happened? That's right, Steam wrote back that refunds were against their policy, sorry for the problems. She lived in South America. Holy Tricera-Flops, Batman! Some days it just doesn't pay to leave the Batcave.
There is no real difference, except for the obvious part that you get earlier access to the game.
It is very rare for a developer not to finish a title, but the ones that do not are small time and new to the field, so yeah people who put money into a project run by an unknown entity runs the risk of this happening, it is common sense.
So yeah people need to realize it is not a guarantee with small time developers but a gamble.
Now since most people contributed cash via kickstarter then it has to be done through them, but any that managed to pay for it via steam... then yes can claim it back. Valve as per usual is playing the standing firm game thinking people will shrug shoulders and give up. If Valve doesn't pay back (the company isn't called Steam btw) then go to your card provider or your bank who you used to pay and get them to get the money back.
What about the million patches to get there? Ok, lets do this. Lets form our own little group and make a game. Comes with built-in trainers and console commands, gleefully provided and updated by our resident trainer makers who just happen to be the best in the business.
We go to Kickstarter and get setup for pledges and I'm thinkin, what .... probably gonna take at least $500,000 to get this off the ground? We'll hire some out of work game dev to do the game programming and pay him/her ..oh... like $75,000? An out of work programmer will leap to get in. $5K up front, $70K when it's done.
I'm sure PWiz would promote the game here, we already have a client base. Neo, how about you take PR. DAB, you down for operations? Dragoon, how about Security? I'll be Treasurer so I might need some personal protection now and then. I'm also thinking we'll need a further back-end pledge fund at Kickstarter upon completion, probably another $250,000.
That way we're not taking everything up front. We'll offer early access. So early, in fact, we haven't even started yet.
It'll be pay at this window, sorry Valve. Maybe later we'll let GOG sell a few hundred-K copies for us, DRM free of course.
After the $75K for the Dev, we'll split the rest and all live happilly ever after. What could possibly go wrong?
* Updated game trainers and cheats daily
* Get notified when new cheats are added
* Request which games get new trainers
* Priority support with any problem