Essentially, the success of DayZ and many other games besides, and the motives behind “Early Access” gaming, highlights exactly why Early Access has been so happily embraced by the community and developers alike. The community are eager to get involved with Early Access as it allows them to access their games earlier on in their development process, reducing waiting times and letting them get stuck into the action despite the (occasional) game-ending crash.
Developers, on the other hand, have the ability to release an alpha-version shell of a game, make a little bit of income from the initial release, and pump that money back into the further development of the game. In my opinion, “Early Access” gaming is simply one step up from the ‘demo’ model – instead of getting a much shorter, free version of the game, you instead are paying for a longer shell of a game now and for access to the fuller, more completed game later. It really is ingenious on both parts really. In fact, both parts mutually benefit from using the general public as quality-testers, as the community can feel like they are playing an active role in the development of the game, and developers do not need to hire quality control teams, as they can just use the community for free!