Steam launch Early Access for playable games in development
Posted: 21.03.2013 13:08 by Simon Priest Comments: 8
Valve has noticed people rather like paying for early access to games that are still in development and so decided to make it a thing. Early Access is now a category under Games - just beneath Free to Play.

Kicking this new category to life are the likes of Arma 3, Drunken Robot Pornography, Gnomoria, Kinetic Void, Prison Architect and others. It's almost like Steam is taking note of what we want or something.

There are official bug reporting discussions supported, which makes tons of sense considering these are betas or even alphas. Steam has dedicated a whole section to this.

"Get immediate access to games that are being developed with the community's involvement. These are games that evolve as you play them, as you give feedback, and as the developers update and add content," blurbs Valve.

"We like to think of games and game development as services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community. There have been a number of prominent titles that have embraced this model of development recently and found a lot of value in the process. We like to support and encourage developers who want to ship early, involve customers, and build lasting relationships that help everyone make better games."

They also explain that this is not like pre-purchasing a title on Steam because through Early Access you get immediate access to playable builds of the game. Valve wants more studios to get interested in their Early Access program like those who have been Greenlit. Currently 12 titles are in the list:

1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)
Arma 3
Drunken Robot Pornography
Gear Up
Kerbal Space Program
Kinetic Void
Prison Architect
Under the Ocean

For more information check out the Early Access section on Steam.

Source: Steam
Related games: Prison Architect (PC)


By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2013
Makes sense to me, needs it's own category.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2013
Drunken Robot Pornography?!?!? O_o
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2013
Do you have a problem with artificial lifeforms? Racist...
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Mar 21, 2013
Perfectly cool.
It would be even better if they had the ability to force some games into this category when they tried to launch a half product, WarZ for example, but that would require them to actually test some of the games themselves.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 21, 2013
My only problem, and this goes for the bulk of Steam Greenlight games, is the price. It is way too high in most instances.
By Hammerjinx (SI Core) on Mar 21, 2013
I concur, Hero. I had a moderate interest in Prison Architect, saw the asking price, and immediately recanted all plans of checking it out any further.

Gnomoria is at an ok price, but when you consider how long it's been in development for I have little faith that it will be finished any time soon.

Some of these indie developers need to pull their heads out of their arse. idc how innovative and unique and fun their title is, I'm not dropping $30+ on something I've never heard of, and frankly I have an above average tendency to check out new things. I've even heard of Drunken Robot Pornography.

Some of them might think of themselves as a niche title, and feel that they need to squeeze every cent they can out of the small number of people who will buy their game no matter what, but I think the vast majority would sell a lot more copies at a third of their asking price and make more money overall.

Selling a first game cheap also helps to get it out there, and makes a name for the company. I really liked Terraria, for example. I wouldn't have bought it if it was $30, but I've easily had that value of fun with it. As a result, I'd be more inclined to pay more than I'd normally be comfortable with on their next game. Additionally, they sold a freak-tonne of copies. I have personally cajoled, prodded, and nagged 6 friends, family members, and co-workers into buying it on Steam sales and I seldom encourage purchase of anything. $2.50 on sale is just too good value for me to let people pass that up.

The other thing I think they need on Early Access is an ETA completion date. The whole thing is too open to abuse. I could knock up a playable game with placeholder graphics and buggy code, sell it on Easy Access for $5, and then stop development and let the money roll in. There has to be some accountability, and I'm just not seeing that there.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 22, 2013
Good points Hammer, and am in complete agreement. Unfortunately this is the deal, that Valve has created with Indie Developers and I'd say much of the blame lies at their end.
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Mar 22, 2013
I must subscribe to what hammer says as well,there are a few titles in the Early Access that i am interested in but the prices are high and i have no idea when they will be ready so i`m not taking any more chances.