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C/D: Early access/alpha games shouldn't be on Steam.
The way I see it, when you buy an early access game on Steam you're basically pre ordering the game and getting alpha/beta access as a bonus.
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Early access is fine as long as it's clearly marked, although Steam itself needs to perhaps offer some recourse if the developer reneges on their obligations. I don't really think the early access stuff needs to appear outside of it's own well defined section though.
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From: TheC0ndemnedOne | #019
They should be, but with more restrictions to protect the consumers and the quality of the Steam library.
There are big name AAA developers who put out crappy games that cost $60 at launch and steam isn't watching those guys...
I mean, why didn't steam protect us from Aliens: Colonial Marines sucking? What about Ride to Hell: Retribution? I looked up the lowest scored metacritic game on steam and that was the answer (even lower than "Infestation: Survivor Stories". How about Day One: Garry's Incident? I heard that was a crapfest. Steam didn't do any quality checks on ANY of that stuff. Why? Because they're just a digital distribution platform and not the publisher.
I could go back and give examples again of other games that weren't labelled early access yet were still buggy at launch, still got very few if any updates, and were ultimately abandoned by the developers, and this goes back at least as far as 2009. Also since they started Greenlight, the "quality of the steam library" has been in the hands of the users, and I lost any and all faith in the users to pick good stuff when they approved the postal series.
I'd be fine with it if the prices had to be lower than retail as opposed to higher. Typically you would get a discount for buying an alpha version of a game, but now that it's a "thing" it's being billed as "you're getting to shape the game rather than be our testers for free!" and a lot of them charge more. I don't find that very cool.
There also doesn't seem to be anything requiring devs to have a planned release date, opening the possibility for them to slack off and possibly never release a finished product or at least take an overly long time.
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The only time it's messed up is if they don't state it's not a finished product.
There is a big blue box stating that the game is not a finished product that you have to scroll past before you can reach the buy button so there is no problem.
I do feel however that early access games shouldn't be put under new releases when added to steam until they've officially released.
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From: TheC0ndemnedOne | #019They should be, but with more restrictions to protect the consumers and the quality of the Steam library.
Steam actually does protect users from terrible games. Just because Ride to Hell: Retribution got released doesn't mean Steam isn't protecting us. If you want to see the kinds of s*** people will sell to you with a straight face when they aren't protecting you from terrible games, install Desura.
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These days beta is a free pass to get people to pay for a garbage unfinished game. Just look at Minecraft - everyone bought the beta expecting there to be bugs, but a year after its release, it still feels like an unpolished turd.
Here's what I think. Early access games should only strictly advertised under it's on menu setting on the steam store, NOT ON THE FRONT PAGE WITH ALL THE NEW RELEASES and especially not on Humble Bumble sales. Yes you get the warning that it's an early game but many people buy it with the intention of playing the game and actually having fun with it, not alpha or beta testing it. Yes that's the users fault for not knowing this, but it's also on Valve for putting these titles on sale and advertising all over the place for these titles.
I haven't been aware or even thought of abandoned games, but yeah I would be pretty upset if that happened on me. Not from put the 20+ dollars towards the title, but the fact that I got hyped on on a game for months or years on the end only to see it abandoned. I can only imagine now how angry I would've been if Fable 1 was an early access title...
The system is fine. It is clearly labeled on steam so buying it without realizing it's not an early access game means you are borderline brain dead. Without the system quite a few games would never have money to even finish in the first place. This allows small devs to have a revenue stream before the product is finished so they can improve or finish the game in ways that never would have happened without that influx of cash.
Virtually no downside to this system. It's basically a better form of kick starter since you can actually track the progress of your investment first hand from alpha to launch.
Will some of these products fail? Of course but if you don't know that going in then, again, you are borderline brain dead. Unlike kick starter when something falls through you at least got SOMETHING out of an early access game even if it wasn't a finished product. On kick starter you just lost all your money if something never makes it to the light of day.
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I normally would say D. I used to say I liked the Early Access idea, but it's starting to become clear to me that it hinders progression of the game. A lot of developers are dropping their games at Alpha state just because they already got their money.
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