Valve confirms some Early Access games may never be finished

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#1 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

Valve has updated its FAQ on Steam's Early Access games program to explicitly state that games may never be completed by their developers.

The response to the question "When will these games release?" now reads:

"Its [sic] up to the developer to determine when they are ready to 'release'. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses. You should be aware that some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state."

Source.

FAQ.

Well, this is terrible. Valve actually confirmed Early Access is a potential scam for the customer, and they won't do anything about it. I can't believe there isn't some kind of obligation from the developer towards the customer/Steam to actually finish the goddamned game.

Funny thing is, the FAQ also says: "This is the way games should be made."

What do you think?

#2 Posted by freedomfreak (38250 posts) -

I like the idea of it, but I will never contribute to it.

I'm more than fine to pay for a game when it's on the shelves, so to speak.

#3 Posted by Heil68 (42687 posts) -

That's why I dont pay for betas, alphas or whatever they call them to get my money. Free or GTFO.

#4 Edited by DEadliNE-Zero0 (685 posts) -

Personally, while i like to support devs, this "continuos development stage payment" stuff annoys me as a pc gamer.

I've seen with lots of games where people pay for alpha and it never even reaches beta. It's just that it's annoying seeing them never reach a more complete stage. Like i said in another thread, i don't expect them to be fully polished and ready. Minecraft was never officially complete as far as i know. And Skyrim was more of a beta considering the shape of the game even on consoles.

But some of those are the expection (i guess ARMA aswell), and most indies don't do this. But it's also why i won't buy The Forest or The Stomping Land until i see how good the actual game ends up getting, no matter how cool the concept looks. Or if they end up in "alpha limbo".

Indie games that may ot be 100% done, but still feel polished and are mostly cool, so some bugs and issues are forgiveable? Cool. Interesting concept game that charges for alpha, but never ends up leaving that phase? Not for me.

Those who are ok with paying, no problem. I don't think it's a scam, sicne nobody is forcing people. But i just don't like it. Sorry for the rant.

#5 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

and this is why i try to be very careful with which EA i buy

#6 Posted by Jebus213 (8703 posts) -

Early access is nothing more then a excuse for devs to release unfinished games.

#7 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

Indie games that may ot be 100% done, but still feel polished and are mostly cool, so some bugs and issues are forgiveable? Cool. Interesting concept game that charges for alpha, but never ends up leaving that phase? Not for me.

Those who are ok with paying, no problem. I don't think it's a scam, sicne nobody is forcing people. But i just don't like it. Sorry for the rant.

Yeah, you made some good points. I bought Starbound on Early Access, and that's basically the first, and probably the last Early Access game I'll ever buy.

#8 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

@deadline-zero0 said:

Indie games that may ot be 100% done, but still feel polished and are mostly cool, so some bugs and issues are forgiveable? Cool. Interesting concept game that charges for alpha, but never ends up leaving that phase? Not for me.

Those who are ok with paying, no problem. I don't think it's a scam, sicne nobody is forcing people. But i just don't like it. Sorry for the rant.

Yeah, you made some good points. I bought Starbound on Early Access, and that's basically the first, and probably the last Early Access game I'll ever buy.

what exactly happened with starbound? i keep seeing people bringing this game up as a negative for EA and i always thought it was successful.

#9 Posted by darkangel115 (1407 posts) -

early access is just basically kick starter with no guarantee. Its a scam.

#10 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

@lawlessx said:

@IgGy621985 said:

@deadline-zero0 said:

Indie games that may ot be 100% done, but still feel polished and are mostly cool, so some bugs and issues are forgiveable? Cool. Interesting concept game that charges for alpha, but never ends up leaving that phase? Not for me.

Those who are ok with paying, no problem. I don't think it's a scam, sicne nobody is forcing people. But i just don't like it. Sorry for the rant.

Yeah, you made some good points. I bought Starbound on Early Access, and that's basically the first, and probably the last Early Access game I'll ever buy.

what exactly happened with starbound? i keep seeing people bringing this game up as a negative for EA and i always thought it was successful.

I uninstalled it a couple months ago because it was pretty much bug-ridden. But as far as I see, they update the game with bigger updates which, then again actually don't change much. People say the game is stuck in the development because the dev team is too small, and they refuse to expand apparently.

#11 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (12835 posts) -

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

#12 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

Greenlight is shutting down soon.

#13 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

Greenlight is shutting down soon.

really?

#14 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (12835 posts) -

@lawlessx said:

@IgGy621985 said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

Greenlight is shutting down soon.

really?

Damn, that's news to me.

#15 Posted by JangoWuzHere (15930 posts) -

Early access is a risk on the consumers part. You shouldn't buy into anything unless you are confident that there will be a final product.

#16 Edited by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

@lawlessx: Yeah, Gaben confirmed it this January.

As far as I heard from some guys who have their games on Steam, developers will apparently have more freedom with showing-off their games on Steam Store, they will have more powerful tools to run pages for their games, etc.

#17 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (12835 posts) -
@IgGy621985 said:

@lawlessx: Yeah, Gaben confirmed it this January.

As far as I heard from some guys who have their games on Steam, developers will apparently have more freedom with showing-off their games on Steam Store, they will have more powerful tools to run pages for their games, etc.

That's good I never liked greenlight, it became about glorifying a popularity contest instead of displaying true quality.

#18 Posted by DEadliNE-Zero0 (685 posts) -

@lawlessx said:

@IgGy621985 said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

Greenlight is shutting down soon.

really?

Damn, that's news to me.

There where discussion from Valve to discountinue it but i never end up checking how it went.

I think the more Valve improves Steam's quality control, the better. This has already even been discussed by TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterlign from Jimquisition.

#19 Posted by hiphops_savior (7680 posts) -

I think it's funny how it used to be that publishers have to pay people to playtest. Now it's the other way around.

#20 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

I think it's funny how it used to be that publishers have to pay people to playtest. Now it's the other way around.

indie games don't have publishers.

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

@lawlessx said:

@IgGy621985 said:

@ReadingRainbow4 said:

Massive loophole there. Expect even more garbage to flood in from green light now.

Greenlight is shutting down soon.

really?

Damn, that's news to me.

There where discussion from Valve to discountinue it but i never end up checking how it went.

I think the more Valve improves Steam's quality control, the better. This has already even been discussed by TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterlign from Jimquisition.

wow i really had no idea about this and im usually up to date on these kinds of stories.

#21 Edited by KHAndAnime (13164 posts) -

@IgGy621985 said:

What do you think?

Obviously there is an obligation for them to finish their games, but not all projects are managed successfully. That's life.

I completely agree that this is the way games should be made. The publisher-developer paradigm that people have been supporting are the SOLE reason why gaming has become so stale and nothing more than rehashes of popular titles. The only games breaking this mold are EARLY ACCESS titles. Go figure?

All the information is there for customers to make a well-rationed decision. If they are incapable of doing so, I don't see why people who actually have half a brain should be penalized. Please don't dumb Steam down for morons who throw their money every which way. I couldn't care less about those people.

#22 Edited by Gammit10 (2236 posts) -

That's fine by me, as long as they spell it out in writing. I would hope it is common knowledge that paying for an alpha or beta build of a game does not guarantee the game will ever release. If not, I have a ton of Java apps that could use some funding. :)

#23 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (12835 posts) -

I think they should go one step further and discourage "developers," who come in creating a game with the intention of robbing fans by making it so that they actually have to prove they can no longer continue the project, whether because of financial reasons or loss of core development team members.

Sorry but your glorified 1 stage flash game that you have no intention of completing isn't going to net you 30k or more and honestly it shouldn't.

There's a newgrounds for that, and honestly some of those free games there are ten times more impressive than the crap that lands on steam from time to time.

#24 Edited by KHAndAnime (13164 posts) -
@hiphops_savior said:

I think it's funny how it used to be that publishers have to pay people to playtest. Now it's the other way around.

I think it's funny that people are ignorant enough to actually think this. But hey - it's the epitome of an example of the typical early-access hater.

Videogame testing is still a real job. It's absolutely nothing like playing a game for fun, which is what you get to do with early access titles. I don't know how people who post in videogame forums can be so ignorant about the process of videogame development. If you guys are going to pretend like you know something about videogames, at least pick something you actually know.

#25 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -

I think they should go one step further and discourage "developers," who come in creating a game with the intention of robbing fans by making it so that they actually have to prove they can no longer continue the project, whether because of financial reasons or loss of core development team members.

Sorry but your glorified 1 stage flash game that you have no intention of completing isn't going to net you 30k or more and honestly it shouldn't.

There's a newgrounds for that, and honestly some of those free games there are ten times more impressive than the crap that lands on steam from time to time.

Yeah, that's one way to gauge should you purchase an early access title.

I think that the perfect "customer protection" system should be in the manner of 100% transparent development. Everything the developer does should be shown to the early access customer. Including finances.

#26 Posted by airshocker (28308 posts) -

If some customers aren't smart enough to realize there are risks in game development, I don't know what to say.

I know what I'm getting into when I buy into some early access titles. It's not Steam's job to be my nanny.

#27 Edited by LadyBlue (3712 posts) -

Project Zomboid isn't finished yet, still got more fun out of it than some of the so called finished games.

#28 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

@ladyblue said:

Project Zomboid isn't finished yet, still got more fun out of it than some of the so called finished games.

some would say its a scam simply because its been in alpha for so long. nevermind the fact that its being updated.

#29 Posted by seanmcloughlin (38167 posts) -

Well that's the risk you take paying for these. Shit can go down the drain real fast for a studio in the meantime

#30 Edited by ShadowDeathX (10526 posts) -

If some customers aren't smart enough to realize there are risks in game development, I don't know what to say.

I know what I'm getting into when I buy into some early access titles. It's not Steam's job to be my nanny.

^This....

I really like the Early Access program. It allows a lot of games to be created from different developers with a business strategy that wasn't quite available before.

#31 Posted by uninspiredcup (6934 posts) -

Early access is bullshit. Getting abused like fuck by opportunist pricks making shitty Dayz and Minecraft clones along with assholes who already have the money through kickstarter using it as a gimmick to overcharge people because they ethically don't want to "betray" backers.

Load of pish.

#32 Posted by aroxx_ab (9143 posts) -

It is not a scam if you know what you buying, but yeah PC gaming sux

#33 Posted by faizan_faizan (7703 posts) -

I think of "Early Access" as nothing more than a tag. When you look at games such as Terraria, which is amazing, you see that it will probably never stop being updated. The game was released in 2011 and the latest 1.2.4.1 just arrived. Not to say that these updates are bad, but they're more than just updates, they're constantly evolving the game even after you've bought it. Early Access games are just like this. But with this "Early Access" tag, they tend to get less criticism.

#34 Posted by IgGy621985 (4561 posts) -
#35 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (3672 posts) -

People leaning on the whole "its a alpha" defence... Have you guys ever played alpha's outside of Early Access?

Worst case scenario in a Alpha... Bad performance with a glitch or two and the games are only in Alpha for 2-3 months, BF4 and ESO was the last Alphas I played outside of Early Access "Alphas".

Alpha
Day Z
  • Zombie AI is non existant
  • Zombies go through walls
  • Zombies can't climb stairs
  • Poor item detection
  • Inventory can bug out and not let you add or remove items
  • Heavy performance issues
  • Rubber banding
The Forest
  • Too many to list
Battlefield 4
  • Slight performance issues and only 1 map
Elder Scroll's Online
  • Slight performance issues and some features locked due to it being Alpha

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

#36 Posted by uninspiredcup (6934 posts) -

In my day (the 90's which are superior) a alpha and beta was the developer using you to help them create a better finished product.

It was you, giving them a service. As it should be. Rather than a way to sell a game early, for a higher price, using the alpha as an early demo and avoiding any criticism that would quite obviously impact sales.

#37 Posted by Couth_ (9919 posts) -

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

Heh people don't realize alpha is a testing stage.. It's for testing and bug fixes. Not for completely rewriting and redesigning broken games.. By the time it's in alpha it should be, for the most part, good to go. Beta is just another testing stage - another set of eyes on it, but there shouldn't be drastic improvements during them.

#38 Posted by seanmcloughlin (38167 posts) -

Early access is bullshit. Getting abused like fuck by opportunist pricks making shitty Dayz and Minecraft clones along with assholes who already have the money through kickstarter using it as a gimmick to overcharge people because they ethically don't want to "betray" backers.

Load of pish.

Steady on there captain hyperbole

#39 Posted by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

People leaning on the whole "its a alpha" defence... Have you guys ever played alpha's outside of Early Access?

Worst case scenario in a Alpha... Bad performance with a glitch or two and the games are only in Alpha for 2-3 months, BF4 and ESO was the last Alphas I played outside of Early Access "Alphas".

Alpha
Day Z
  • Zombie AI is non existant
  • Zombies go through walls
  • Zombies can't climb stairs
  • Poor item detection
  • Inventory can bug out and not let you add or remove items
  • Heavy performance issues
  • Rubber banding
The Forest
  • Too many to list
Battlefield 4
  • Slight performance issues and only 1 map
Elder Scroll's Online
  • Slight performance issues and some features locked due to it being Alpha

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

BF4 has slight performance issues that is STILL being fixed months after release?

and there is nothing that states that a game should be in alpha for "x" amount of months. How many Alphas have you been in that weren't just a marketing tool or stress test ?

#40 Edited by cdragon_88 (1124 posts) -

LOL. This is a surprise? Well, obviously its not completed and you are "paying" for a beta. That's the deal, so I don't know why anyone will be upset about it. Don't ever recall it ever saying that if you buy it you are paying for a full retail game that is guaranteed for release. Whatever the case, this is why I don't buy these early access games or whatever including that MGS:GZ demo/beta.

#41 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (3672 posts) -

@Couth_ said:

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

Heh people don't realize alpha is a testing stage.. It's for testing and bug fixes. Not for completely rewriting and redesigning broken games.. By the time it's in alpha it should be, for the most part, good to go. Beta is just another testing stage - another set of eyes on it, but there shouldn't be drastic improvements during them.

Oh I know... and the biggest joke of it all is just how long they are in this so called "Alpha" stage.

Day Z is coming along to 6 months. That's crazy in 6 months games go from being Alpha closed tests to Beta open tests to finished products.

#42 Posted by aroxx_ab (9143 posts) -
#43 Edited by uninspiredcup (6934 posts) -
#44 Edited by lawlessx (46264 posts) -

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

@Couth_ said:

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

Heh people don't realize alpha is a testing stage.. It's for testing and bug fixes. Not for completely rewriting and redesigning broken games.. By the time it's in alpha it should be, for the most part, good to go. Beta is just another testing stage - another set of eyes on it, but there shouldn't be drastic improvements during them.

Oh I know... and the biggest joke of it all is just how long they are in this so called "Alpha" stage.

Day Z is coming along to 6 months. That's crazy in 6 months games go from being Alpha closed tests to Beta open tests to finished products.

Again..where are you getting this idea that this is the standard in game development? EA alpha-beta tests? You think ESO alpha actually started when they opened it to the public? games are in alpha stage for years unless you have a ton of resources. Personally i think the length of time a game is in alpha-beta stage isn't important..what is important is if the devs are updating the game and their fans.

#45 Posted by lostrib (31724 posts) -

@aroxx_ab said:

Yeah the PC disease spread to consoles to, it is sad how consoles become more and more like PC every gen:(

My freind, everything that is good in gaming can be specifically traced to the pc.

All that is bad or a irruption of pc, consoles.

So where did Early access come from?

#46 Edited by Grey_Eyed_Elf (3672 posts) -

@lawlessx said:
@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

People leaning on the whole "its a alpha" defence... Have you guys ever played alpha's outside of Early Access?

Worst case scenario in a Alpha... Bad performance with a glitch or two and the games are only in Alpha for 2-3 months, BF4 and ESO was the last Alphas I played outside of Early Access "Alphas".

Alpha
Day Z
  • Zombie AI is non existant
  • Zombies go through walls
  • Zombies can't climb stairs
  • Poor item detection
  • Inventory can bug out and not let you add or remove items
  • Heavy performance issues
  • Rubber banding
The Forest
  • Too many to list
Battlefield 4
  • Slight performance issues and only 1 map
Elder Scroll's Online
  • Slight performance issues and some features locked due to it being Alpha

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

BF4 has slight performance issues that is STILL being fixed months after release?

and there is nothing that states that a game should be in alpha for "x" amount of months. How many Alphas have you been in that weren't just a marketing tool or stress test ?

WOW....

  • Alpha "testing stage"
  • Beta "public testing stage"

These "early access" games are labelled Alpha but they aren't being tested they are still being developed.

Do you not know what a alpha is?

#47 Edited by Grey_Eyed_Elf (3672 posts) -

@lawlessx said:

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

@Couth_ said:

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:

People need to stop using them being ALPHA as a excuse... They aren't alpha's they are BROKEN games!

Heh people don't realize alpha is a testing stage.. It's for testing and bug fixes. Not for completely rewriting and redesigning broken games.. By the time it's in alpha it should be, for the most part, good to go. Beta is just another testing stage - another set of eyes on it, but there shouldn't be drastic improvements during them.

Oh I know... and the biggest joke of it all is just how long they are in this so called "Alpha" stage.

Day Z is coming along to 6 months. That's crazy in 6 months games go from being Alpha closed tests to Beta open tests to finished products.

Again..where are you getting this idea that this is the standard in game development? EA alpha-beta tests? You think ESO alpha actually started when they opened it to the public? games are in alpha stage for years unless you have a ton of resources. Personally i think the length of time a game is in alpha-beta stage isn't important..what is important is if the devs are updating the game and their fans.

Before ESO was Alpha it was in development... Still being made.

Alpha is a name given to the primary testing stage of the FINISHED product... Its not a development stage.

#48 Edited by uninspiredcup (6934 posts) -

@lostrib said:

So where did Early access come from?

EA.

Being a child of the 90's and former professional Quake 3 athlete, I played a many hours in the Quake 3 alpha, cost free. Such was the case in the 90's, a wonderful time period.

Then, when consoles became connected to the internet and expansion packs had been corrupted into DLC. It was inevitable. Alphas and Betas, became, preorder demo's. With stats carrying over to the release date. A price hike. A gimmick.

Thus ends the free alpha/beta and so begins the age of consoles. A dark age, full of shit.

#49 Posted by Couth_ (9919 posts) -

@lawlessx said:

Again..where are you getting this idea that this is the standard in game development? EA alpha-beta tests? You think ESO alpha actually started when they opened it to the public? games are in alpha stage for years unless you have a ton of resources. Personally i think the length of time a game is in alpha-beta stage isn't important..what is important is if the devs are updating the game and their fans.

Lol the only standard is that Alpha is a testing phase. Beta is an external (third party, different set of hands/eyes) testing phase. 2 year in alpha and you did something incredible wrong.

#50 Edited by lostrib (31724 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@lostrib said:

So where did Early access come from?

EA.

Being a child of the 90's and former professional Quake 3 athlete, I played a many hours in the Quake 3 alpha, cost free. Such was the case in the 90's, a wonderful time period.

Then, when consoles became connected to the internet and expansion packs had been corrupted into DLC. It was inevitable. Alphas and Betas, became, preorder demo's. With stats carrying over to the release date. A price hike. A gimmick.

Thus ends the free alpha/beta and so begins the age of consoles. A dark age, full of shit.

And yet you're a console gamer?

Also, how were you a child of the 90's?