Early Access on Steam: Paying the Price for Unfinished Games

From "Since it was introduced in March 2013, Steam's Early Access has taken off like a rocket as well as raising many millions of dollars in revenue for a range of titles which vary greatly in quality and playability. Put simply, this is a system which allows companies to sell unfinished games through the Steam storefront. Consumers can pay - often full-price or more - for the ability to play games while they are still in development. The underlying proposal to this is that those gamers then provide customised testing feedback to help the game 'evolve' for the better. Despite the pedestal on which Valve present the service, it has begun to attract scepticism and criticism from some areas of the gaming community and press. Meanwhile, supporters of the system, developers themselves in particular, are very vocal about how it's one of the many things currently helping to take the power away from big publishers and put it in the hands of gamers themselves."

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wallis1534d ago

This is a great article. Well thought out and balanced. I like to think that there can always be losses when buying a game. It could be rubbish, a flat out scam, or broken. Early access definitely augments all of these problems, but I've always heavily vetted the games I buy anyway. Regardless of whether they're early access or not. Jimquisition mentions how one early access dev deletes negative reviews but I remember having complaints removed from the Atari forums for test drive unlimited.

I appreciate that people can always make mistakes though, hell I've got guncraft staring at me from my Steam list. But I'm more eager to see Valve will do with the platform over time, they're certainly aware of the problems.