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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Early Access Getting Out of Control

As you may have suspected for a long time, I love Steam. I think it's the greatest thing that ever happened to video gaming. But of course, nothing is perfect. Steam may be the ultimate place to game but there are some things about it that do annoy me. Like how buggy the client gets sometimes and Valve's obsession with the whole "living room" thing goes beyond the unhealthy level. The other part of Steam that I don't particularly care about is the "Early Access" games. I know that I haven't touched on this subject in the past but after seeing this, I just have to address the situation immediately:

Beyond redemption.

In general, I think that selling "Early Access" games is bad. What you are basically doing is that you are paying the developers to pre-alpha/alpha/beta test their games. I understand that a number of these Early Access games do have projected release dates, like the example above, but the most damaging part about this is that paying money for an incomplete game will delay the full release of the game because hey, if the games is already selling like hot cakes at its current incomplete form, why bother finishing it quickly? A good example would be Audiosurf 2, in which I was guilty of enabling (oh how I regretted paying for the game even though it was on sale at the time), a game that has been in Early Access since October of last year. Now what got me going with Warmachine: Tactics is that ridiculous price: $64.99 and it even dares to call itself a Digital Deluxe Edition. What this is telling me is that not only do these developers have the balls to sell horribly incomplete games to us, but they also have enough bushy hair and old sweat on those saggy balls to overprice the access fee. Of course the main problem here is us gamers. As long as there are enough people out there with too much money to spend on these annoying Early Access games, they will keep producing more of them. Valve should have just mandated developers to produce demos for games being released on Steam - it may not be a profitable thing to do but a customer-friendly move in which they would allow their customers shorter wait time for some of these games to get fully released and also ensure that their customers don't have to pay to test out games.

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