Will anyone be buying an Early Access game again?

#1
I will not be buying an Early Access game again. This was my first time buying an early access game and taking a chance on the concept, I certainly won’t be doing that again. Don't get me wrong, this game is fun and all but the updates are so slow. I've had this game for what, like 9 months and in all that time the only new content has been an extra freeplay map and challenge modes for two tier two levels; that’s it. At this rate, I’ll need to leave my login info for my grandchildren who may see the game finally completed.

I see tons of games in the store that I want to buy, but they are early access and clearly, that isn’t worth it. Better to just wait until, or if, the game is ever released. EofU has really soured me to the whole idea of supporting a game before it’s finished and released.
 

MikeSlugDisco

Community Manager
Staff member
Community Manager
#2
It's a tricky one. The early access model allows lots of things to see the light of day that otherwise would never happen - EotU definitely counts, as the guys are people with families to support and without it all 3 of them would be working in jobs directly relating to their degrees. Instead they are here working on a game.

It's not for everyone, that's for sure. The inherent risk (apart from outright failure) is that you get a game that is slower to develop than one from AAA studios (the main issue - people are used to updates coming thick and fast from large teams with all their bases covered) because you're investing in a tiny team of 3 people with ambitious ideas. Because those ideas take much longer to materialise, it's easy to assume the team is somehow less invested or even that they've abandoned the project (we've heard that one several times).

The real question to ask, though, is - can you imagine a studio putting money into a funny little game about ants devised by some Dungeon Keeper fans who are old friends? Would that have ever happened without the early access model?

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Serafine

Soldier
Backer
Beta Tester
#3
This is a 3 man team and they do regular updates (posting new assets and test videos of specific game mechanics) - it's not like there was silence for several months (No Man's Sky release anyone?). The leafcutter update is probably around 95% complete but putting all modules together into a functioning build is always difficult, especially if your team consist basically of one single engine expert (usually the people creating assets and programming the AI aren't exactly engine experts).
I'd prefer playing a good indie game from a small team that gets rare but meaningful updates instead of AAA crap like Anthem that gets weekly updates solely geared towards milking players' wallets as hard as possible (Subnautica also had pretty long waiting periods between it's updates btw).

But yes, if the month-long waiting periods that early access games made by small indie developer teams bring with them it's probably best for you to generally avoid these.


I personally had a lot of fun with early access games and only a very small percentage of them were bad experiences (one failed during development, one turned out just okayish, one (a MOBA) failed two years after release however I had so much fun playing it for 3 years in early access bringing my game time up to 5 years overall - more than worth the price) but the overall good experience from all the other great early access game made more than up for these. Early Access is always a gamble but if you choose your games wisely you can minimize your risk to a very acceptable level.

There are a lot of projects made by small developer teams that are more than worth supporting and many of the recent good games would have never made it to release without early access (Subnautica (+below zero), Hollow Knight (+ Silksong), The Forest, War for the Overworld, Post Scriptum, No Man's Sky which ended up being good despite it's terrible release but we all know Sony is the one to blame for that...).
 
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