Clive Lawton of Corrupted Cartridge analyses the emerging trend of Early Access software, and asks whether it could spark wider and more sinister consequences for the industry.
I personally love the idea of Early Access. Mostly because, the games I've purchased have devs that actually make great use of it and listen to the feedback. Rust for example, I've played more than just about every other game I own and it's an incomplete game. Gary has been listening and adding the most wanted features, fixing exploits (although hackers can still be a problem) etc. I think Early Access will become a problem when big publishers try to take advantage of it. Right now, you get the games cheaper, and there's warnings all over the product page. I have a feeling if, lets say EA was to use this service. They would release games like Battlfield at full price, just to release the game when they want to and not get bad PR for all their bugs and broken products.
Good read. I think the fear becomes that, like you mentioned, games with models that involved constant patching (anything multiplayer, usually) will become justification for those that shouldn't have that "always expanding" feel. A 16 bit single player platformer should never be in "Early Access," for example.
I think early access games are great but they should be more hidden from the general public. DayZ is on steam's front page and I think a lot of people don't fully realize what early access means
On paper, the concept of Early Access is a great one. People play the game as you develop it and give you constructive criticism. However, like seemingly all good things, it can abused and corrupted. The most prominent example of Early Access abuse is Battlefield 4. Not because it is the first case of such abuse, but because of the following and popularity that the series has. The true test will come when Battlefield 5 is inevitably released. Will we see a repeat of Battlefield 4 or will it be largely bug free?
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