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Are Early Access Games Ruining Industry?
 
obscuredeadfred  posted on Oct 27, 2014 7:18:51 AM - Report post

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I stopped going Early Access way to long for most before they are finally released as a finished product.And if I am going to wait for a game might as well wait until after it's been released and drops in price as to buying early and getting it cheaper.And getting it cheaper is the only reason I can see for getting Early Access.
 
agentx250  posted on Oct 28, 2014 8:43:21 PM - Report post

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This whole 'early release' makes me think of games like World of Tanks and War Thunder. You put money in expecting one thing only for it to change and you have no way of getting your money back when it all goes sideways.

That's why I've gone back to playing my older and trusted single player games. I own them and I can usually do what I want with them with mods or modding.

That said I always find a way to test a game before buying it.I sure do miss the days of playable demos though, it was way easier back then.

 
wsk88  posted on Oct 29, 2014 3:14:33 AM - Report post

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I usually try to avoid Early Access titles due to the already very large number of games available for PC, with many offering bigger discounts. The only Early Access title so far I have purchased was Afterfall Reconquest Episode 1 where the developers have offered Episodes 2 and 3 for those who purchased it early access and contributed to the game design. Generally, I have not seen any Early Access title that offers a competitive price to match the hundreds and thousands of games that were released 1 year or longer and are on discount or bundle offer very frequently.
 
0Gungrave0  posted on Oct 31, 2014 5:25:32 PM - Report post

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Honestly if you want to talk about early access look at EA and their buggy rushed unfinished games they release too soon lol

Anyways I've bought my fair share of ea games and I'd say only %25 of them are any good with maybe 10% being quality games worthy of awards with my absolute favorite being Space Engineers. Space Engineers has been one of the highest selling and most frequently updated ea games on steam with 1million copies sold so far which amounts to roughly $20million in profit.

[Edited by 0Gungrave0, 10/31/2014 6:48:39 PM]

 
Hellidol  posted on Nov 01, 2014 1:19:19 PM - Report post

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I dont mind the early access so much, its a way for companies to gauge their profit and also gives momentum for future investments into other games or game updates.
 
yazston  posted on Nov 02, 2014 6:35:11 AM - Report post

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I have provided money to kickstarters for games that I am interested in, but when I have done so, it has always been for developers that I am familiar with and am sure will deliver a decent product. (Obsidian Entertainment, for one) I also think that crowdfunding and getting games out of the sticky fingers of big publishers until THEY can make sure that games they put out are actually finished,(not needing day one patches to fix a broken game) is very useful and important for the future of games.

That being said, I have never, and would never buy an Early Access game, for multiple reasons. I don't mind backing a game ahead of time, but I do not want to pay to be an Alpha/Beta tester, nor do I want to be QA. I want a finished game that the developer wants to make and has provided. In my opinion, Early Access is bad, and is a joke. Closed beta for a small subset of backers, ok...open beta, I guess, but with a beta, the game should be near finished...at that point, they should be focusing on bugs and polish, so the idea is they almost have that finished game for you. Little to no chance for some whiny 40-year-old brat living in their mama's basement to change the developer's mind on some important feature, etc.

 
skitchrick  posted on Nov 12, 2014 1:03:06 PM - Report post

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State of Decay was worth every penny and keeps getting better.
 
ElementGuardian  posted on Nov 15, 2014 5:43:06 PM - Report post

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StarForge is an excellent example of how early access games are ruining the industry. First they ran an Indiegogo raising $135,453 USD, then they ran an early access campaign on Steam.

While the game showed a lot of promise and had great initial reviews, the developers never even came close to delivering on what they promised. The game is broken, absolutely broken. Just take a look at the Steam Reviews Link

This is exactly what's problematic about early access, the ability to cash in on promises without ever having to deliver. While I can understand that developing a game can be challenging and not everything will go as planned, there are definitely developers who abuse the system (either by delivering a vastly different product than advertised or abandoning the project all together).

This isn't terribly difficult to combat; distribution platforms such as Steam can offer some form of investment protection for early access games similar to that of Kickstarter's Link including detailing exactly how funds were used, what work has been done, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned. In more extreme cases of early access problems, developers should offer refunds or explain how remaining funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate yet equivalent form. In severe cases of misrepresentation, fraud, and abandonment, developers should also be liable to legal action by those who paid for early access as well as be subject to repercussions such having their developer status being pulled from distribution platforms.

Again, this isn't saying there's an intrinsic flaw with early access games; in fact, I would argue that very often if not predominately these games do work out to both developers and gamers benefit in the end. There is a true value both in early funding and in user-developer interaction and feedback. That being said, protecting early investors will not only help prevent the plague of bad projects, but will also entice more people to invest in good projects.

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