Steam introduces Early Access

New system allows users to purchase select unfinished games and immediately begin playing while still in development.

Valve today announced a new Early Access system that allows users to purchase select unfinished games and immediately begin playing while development continues.

According to Valve, the goal of this new system is to give players a chance to interact with developers and provide feedback to assist in the game's development.

"This is the way games should be made," Valve said.

There are 12 supported titles at present, including Arma III and StarForge, though Valve said the library will be expanded "over time." The full list of Early Access games is below.

· 1… 2… 3… KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)
· Arma III
· Drunken Robot Pornography
· Gear Up
· Gnomoria
· Kenshi
· Kerbal Space Program
· Kinetic Void
· Patterns
· Prison Architect
· StarForge
· Under the Ocean

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Discussion

203 comments
xandramas
xandramas

all this does is promote half ass games to be released to the public that may or may not get finished. I hope steam gets sued over this when a dev says fuck it and stops developing.

sknight175216
sknight175216

This is awesome---IF the developers legitimately use the feedback from players.

javalino
javalino

early access = you pay to be a tester .  Companies will fire all the testers and earn money on behalf of people thinking they are getting the game beforehand .

no thank you!! i will pass

KeviNOlighT
KeviNOlighT

Good for developers, good for Early Access users, good for later release users. Why is this bad again?

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

Early aceess is sick ! I would love to play some hot games straight from the press but if I would have to pay full retail for them I would opt myself out. You just know that $59.99 dollar game will cost 10.99 during STEAM sale.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Oh, I would love to go into a retail store and ask for Drunken Robot Pornography or reciting the whole name of 1… 2… 3… KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby).

Hekteur
Hekteur

Did I just saw a game called "Drunken Robot Pornography"????

Triton
Triton

The way most games are released now these days I thought we were already doing this...

Seifer24
Seifer24

whats the point to pay for an unfinished product.

It's like buying a car without wheels wtf 

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

How different is  this from Beta and Alpha?

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

This is at least a much better approach than Greenlight where everybody voted "yes" on most of the crap that was put on there, only to not buy it in the end anyways.
Besides, the Greenlight was more of a voting for ideas of games (which are years off from release), whereas with Early Access you already have a playable version at hand and can give feedback for future development.

I bought ARMA 3 before the "Early Access" phase as soon as it showed up on Steam and am already vastly enjoying it.
I've had hundreds of hours of enjoyment with Kerbal Space Program, since version 0.14 if I remember correctly and to support them I bought it again on Steam yesterday, even though the key from their store would carry over. (Their store didn't quite allow "gifting" to friends, but Steam of course does, so this was a good decision by them, besides the added exposure to all the gamers on Steam)
Gnomoria is slowly but steadily improving and I think I'll be getting it soon and Prison Architect I've backed from their preorders site half a year ago which I've also put countless hours into.

There are no game breaking bugs in ARMA 3, Kerbal Space Program or Prison Architect and even in their current state if something tragic would happen to the development team or the project would be abandoned, they'd still offer years and years of enjoyment (in my opinion), besides the only "DRM" is SteamWorks which is absolutely acceptable.
Don't like that, then you can still buy it from the developers directly, completely DRM free (except ARMA 3 of course, which is a Steam exclusive).
Don't approve with the current price of the game, then wait for it to show up in a sale, Steam has a very good reputation when it comes to that.

Long story short, it was all money well spent and I'd rather buy these "indie" developer games again and again before even considering wasting it on overpriced, casualized, 4 hour playthrough, DRM infested "AAA" titles that require separate account registrations and have no replay value.

Valve, this is truly the better way and I salute you for making this decision to offer this "Early Access" step for developers.

topender
topender

Sounds much like EAs strategy with Simcity

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

And what happens if the game never  gets a full release?  Do you get your money back?

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

interesting....but people are paying for beta now?

nurnberg
nurnberg

That system already exists...  Today games are released in beta states.

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Wow...so much hating. 


People should decide for themselves what they wanna do...Steam isnt forcing anyone. 

I decided I wanted to support Star Forge...so I did. And whatever others think of it...thats their own problem.

Wolfandstein
Wolfandstein

"Drunken Robot Pornography"

What the fuck???

GamerzUltd
GamerzUltd

This should be a dream come true for all those aspiring developers out there. Don't expect anything great if your looking for a full blown game tho.

www.gamerzultd.com

facebook.com/gamerzultd

Twitter @gamerzultd

spammehardo
spammehardo

Please realize you are buying into a alpha/beta. This is NOT a preorder so don't expect a refund if the game isn't working for you. Expect crashes and poor performance. I know this all sounds obvious but some people are this stupid.

hobotech64
hobotech64

Will we get early access to Episode 3?

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Having a say in the process is the future. Steam is always on the cutting edge of stuff. It's completely optional, but for developer wannabes it's a dream.

jessie82
jessie82

still have to buy em tho so its not like a closed beta invite or a demo...

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Nice , seem to be from all the developers who like to work with the communities.

PC developers tend to usually give a shit and care about feedback.This will work excellently.Ill be taking part for sure.

I already do for Starforge.

blackace
blackace

People are suppose to pay to test their games? Isn't that what game tester get paid to do? What a joke. Why would anyone pay for an unfinished game. This is NOT how games are suppose to be made. Valve is smoking that wacky weed again. Don't fall for this stupid crap.

Hekteur
Hekteur

@Triton No. You'Re gonna have acces to game before release. These games are gonna be REALLY broken. You know? REAL big problem. Crash 5 minutes into gameplay, progression break just before that boss you absolutely wanted to see, unable to use that specific character you like, graphic corruptions everywhere...

patiotom
patiotom

@Seifer24 Cause you get early access for a discounted price, join the community and help the developers make a quality solid product. And then when it is full spec and released you DONT PAY AGAIN! Take Arma 3 £20 gets you in now at alpha or you could wait till release and pay £35, 6 months early access on a discounted product sounds good to me. already got Arma and Prison Architect !!

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@rantingraj Company of Heroes 2 is ready . They are just polishing it's rough edges , it was originally planned for March release but due to THQ's death , the game is delayed to June :-(

Smosh150
Smosh150

@rantingraj I wish, but I think it is way too late for COH 2 to be released through this system, not to mention they want to have fans see the final product for the first time they play it.

spookyghosts
spookyghosts

@Gamer_4_Fun Alpha is usually the software developement stage to dedicated team testing, they never usually release Alpha to the public, more inhouse testing. Beta is the next stage of the software testing bugs, crashes etc - -this version is more likey to be released to public for early access or to a limited public groups or die hard fans to test

Stoner-Pimp
Stoner-Pimp

@Landsharkk No, according to the FAQ and Steam support (someone tried a refund on Arma 3 and posted the log on the Arma 3 section), your simply buying the game as is.

So if I the game never gets completed your stuck because you paid for what you got at the point of sale.

Stevefin
Stevefin

@Landsharkk 

Not sure. though Steam is probably the only company that gives out refunds from their own pocket if the owner flatout refuses. see War Z

Smosh150
Smosh150

@jsmoke03 Some games people think are good enough, I bought ARMA 3 the day the Alpha came out and I have no regrets, love the game even if it is a limited state compared to the full version. Plus everyone wants to contribute as said.

Smosh150
Smosh150

@spammehardo Unless ofc it is ARMA 3 in which you are buy Alpha, Beta, and the Full game.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@blackace  And hell if you were going to buy the game anyway, why not make sure it really turns out amazing?

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@blackace  Houston we have a fool.

This is basically paying for alpha/beta at a discounted price.

For example, you get a game for 30 dollars instead of 60, get to directly interact with the development of the game, and help make sure it is a fully fleshed out, ironed out , and mostly bug free game.

For PC gamers this is great.And if it is a franchise you care about, even better.

I take it you aren't a PC gamer.


J-007
J-007

@Hekteur @Triton That I agree with. It would be best to fill us in on game development so they wouldn't have to go through as much trouble as us crashing midway through the game not even half complete or they can share video uploads like the ps4 will bring in

xandramas
xandramas

@patiotom @Seifer24 and then 2 years later when its done you've either forgot about it or dont give a shit about the game anymore and if there was any multiplayer functionality for the game you wasted your money on, you'll get lucky if you find like 2 games online.

Hicks233
Hicks233

@patiotom @Seifer24 Or you could wait til after release, then buy it at a reduced price, fully developed and patched.


You're not forced to buy a title for full price at release...

spookyghosts
spookyghosts

@Smosh150@jsmoke03Again its all about tacted...it has been the only game I bought still in alpha. But I've been a Arma fan for as long as I can remember and I knew the company was going to rock this game! The only other alpha i would be happy to hand money over for would be to CD Projekt RED :)

Zloth2
Zloth2

@WolfGrey @blackace Depends on the game.  If it's a game with a heavy story, you're going to be seeing the story in broken form - it's the worst form of spoilers ever.  You also might find that you've gotten tired of the game by the time it comes out, which can be trouble for co-op games.

On the other hand, you get to actually watch the game come together.  You see game systems come in, see them fail horribly, and get to see WHY they failed.  Or see some system that is failing then, with a little tweak, suddenly becomes a real joy.  It's really interesting stuff.  Plus you do get to feel like you're a part of making the game happen.

Hekteur
Hekteur

@Gamer_4_Fun @spookyghosts The difference is quite simple... It means games even MORE incomplete. With even more REAL problems. You must not be familiar with game developpment, right?

spookyghosts
spookyghosts

@Gamer_4_Fun @spookyghosts wow I'm glad cos how could anyone be that stupid coming here...well I never said I was a mind reader....I guess betas and alphas were never released on Steam before, as far as I know..could be totally wrong