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Early Access on Steam is gaining popularity. Yay or Nay?
I have mixed feeling about it.
On one hand it lets the games have actual impact on the way the final game will turn out which is great. It's always nice to have a real voice as a consumer.
On the other hand, it let's the developer release an unfinished game and make incremental changes as time goes on. This helps the developers earn profits before there budget runs out, allows them to focus on only the essential complaints. It also ultimately detracts from the users experience since they are exposed to an unpolished game and even though they will eventually get the play the final version, by that time, the may have already grown tired of it.
At the moment, this is an Indie game approach. I'm wondering if it may translate to bigger budget games in the future.
I'm not against it, I'm just interest to see if it will become the norm.
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It's another tool for developers to use, the cynic in me tells me that it is a good way to cut beta costs. Some gamers are impatient for titles, I'd rather wait until the bugs are ironed out, the state that many games are released in these days are arguably no better than those of early access.
I like it. It gives games a much much larger testing audience. A lot of bugs are reported and this can likely mean less bugs at the proper release. I don't like playing beta's too much myself but I'm glad they exist for others to play and test. There is a lot more community involvement with the developers in these cases.
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Yay. It's not like they're forcing people to buy games before final version, so what's it harm?
By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings.
I like it, but I do fear there are far too many stupid people out there who won't understand what they're buying even with the big "Early Access Title" thing splashed on a store page that'll ultimately destroy the idea.
It also ultimately detracts from the users experience since they are exposed to an unpolished game and even though they will eventually get the play the final version, by that time, the may have already grown tired of it.
This happened to me with Don't Starve. It seems like such a silly problem, but it is real.
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Early access is horrible because you're paying for an unfinished product in alpha stage. It's nasty and I prefer finished games.
If other people want to do it, more power to them. I'll stick to finished code for the most part.
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I've only been seriously disappointed with a game marked "Early Access" once so far.... I'd much rather they mark it early access than do what the scumbag "Towns" developers did... which is to go immediately from alpha to "finished product" so they can sell it on steam without telling you that you're basically still getting an alpha. Then the devs immediately went on vacation and did not release any updates to the game for about 6 months. YAY BROKEN GAME!
So yeah...At least with Early Access you are informed about what you're getting into.
I guess it's a decent idea that helps devs create a game that the people enjoy. I mean, it pretty much is the ultimate in consumer feedback. On the other hand, you're buying a half finished game with no word on when it will be finished (could be years). I'm not interested in buying unfinished games (except AC3, right guys? lol), but if people want to, I don't see the problem. If they aren't satisfied, then they won't do it again.
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