GOG Considers Adding Early Access Program

GOG Considers Adding Early Access Program

GOG logo

GOG may add Early Access games, but it would approach Early Access through its own curated model.

GOG, the DRM-free marketplace that specializes in classic games, could have an Early Access model on the way, CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski told Eurogamer. Iwinski, whose company owns and operates GOG, said changes would have to be made to make Early Access work with GOG.

"We're obviously looking at it," Iwinski said. "As you know our concept is different; first of all it's DRM-free, and second, it's curated. I'm often lost in a lot of stores - apps being my example today. Or even Steam. I don't know what's happening; there's hundreds of releases a month, and I really believe - and our community's clearly showing that - there is a place for a platform which is choosing the stuff."

Were GOG to add Early Access games, it would be done under the spirit of GOG. Early Access titles would be have to be selected and examined before being available for sale on GOG. Iwinski also said that GOG would be "responsible in front of the gamer for what they're buying on GOG."

Recently Valve refunded customers who had purchased Early Access title Earth: Year 2066 on the grounds of the developers using dishonest marketing. Customers are at a risk when they buy unfinished games, and GOG plans to offer protection.

"If you're unhappy and [the developer is] constantly updating it, that's fine," Iwinski said, "but if you're unhappy and they just took your money and ran away like typical hit and run... There is somebody who has to be on the hook for it, and I really think this should be the case. Definitely not every game should be permitted, and consumers should have an option to opt out if they're really unhappy."

Source: Eurogamer

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Oh great, more early access nonsense. I understand there are some games that end up being good in-spite of being early access, but I just really hate the abuse this system makes possible. Allowing the devs to make money before the game is offically done can make it tempting for them to just call it a day before the game is actually done. Early access it bad for the games industry.

No, just no. NO! Steam showed us the price was not worth the benefits, almost as much as Greenlight. I hope to Gog they don't do this, it's a terrible idea which has shown to not work on a large scale in the industry due to the inability of most devs to understand why it worked for Minecraft.

Geee and Gog moves further and further away from it's core audience... in it's quest to be like steam.

Nothing wrong with Early Access I mean some good games are in early access and have come out of it but the fact that GoG is jumping on the bandwagon before it's even been tuned basically shows that they are essentially trying to go from niche to broad appeal and that won't work. We already have Steam GoG...if you want to stand out you should be gettting games and such that steam doesn't have,. if you're aidentical ...then guess what we're going to go with the one that has the better sales events and I'm sorry to say but that would be steam. Their sales are not exclusionary nor do they show disrespect to their customes time.

Completely ignoring if it's a good idea or not...'Good Old Games Early Access Program' hurts my brain as a term.

i rike it

id defintively appreciate a higher level of accountability

thatd being said i really hope early access isnt adopted as a business model by the entire gaming industry ive always seen it as a tool for small and medium developers that can help em meansure the demand of their games, fund their development and in general make a better game with more customer feedback than usual, besides the last point, big name devs dont need an early access program, they already have tools to meansure the demand of the customers and they can fund their own developmment costs easily, and seeing the attitude of EA and the devs of batman arkham origins, they might use early access simply as a way to sell unfinished products

BigTuk:
Nothing wrong with Early Access I mean some good games are in early access and have come out of it but the fact that GoG is jumping on the bandwagon before it's even been tuned basically shows that they are essentially trying to go from niche to broad appeal and that won't work. We already have Steam GoG...if you want to stand out you should be gettting games and such that steam doesn't have,. if you're aidentical ...then guess what we're going to go with the one that has the better sales events and I'm sorry to say but that would be steam. Their sales are not exclusionary nor do they show disrespect to their customes time.

First off if GoG waits for Steam or someone else to "tune" an early access program to a good condition then THAT company will be getting the lion's share of the benefit and GoG really would be jumping on the bandwagon when it really is too late.

At this point though Steam's Early Access is a mess with too many rubbish games being accepted in with no accountability on whether the game gets finished or not. If GoG IS able to develop a good system with full accountability that IS better than Steam's then they would have an advantage over Steam. Furthermore Steam is already encroaching on GoG's territory by now selling old classic games which means GoG is losing potential customers who, if not for that, would normally have to turn to GoG for old games. GoG HAS to branch out in other directions to compete.

This also answers your comment about GoG needing to sell games that Steam doesn't sell. They can't. Not only is Steam now selling games that used to be GoG's games but now Steam is getting dozens of new (and old) games every day. Publishers and developers are literally throwing their entire catalog of games up on Steam. How can GoG possibly find games to sell that Steam is not already selling?

And finally, while Steam has better sales, what GoG is doing to stand out from the crowd is selling them DRM free, making sure their games are updated to every new OS so they'll run on newer systems AND offering better customer service. Steam IS DRM. Steam doesn't care if their older games won't run on your system. You buy a game from 1998 on Steam and it won't run on your windows 7? Oh well, sucks to be you. They can't help you. GoG can. You want a refund from Steam on that game that doesn't run? Yeah. Good luck getting that money back without Steam punishing your account in some way. And GoG gives free extra goodies with their games...soundtracks, digital manuals and artbooks, etc.

If GoG can pull off a good Early Access system before Steam can then I say good on them. Steam has been way too lazy lately especially considering how much money they pull in.

Wasn't it Yahtzee who said, "...funny how innovation in today's industry basically means catching up to Valve."

But honestly, early access isn't a bad thing, it's just that Steam doesn't regulate it well enough to the point where early access is now being abused. If GOG does enough quality control and the like, then this might actually be a good thing. Still, I have a policy of not buying games until they're finished and I'll keep it that way.

I love GOG so i hope they dont do this. Steam failed at it. You need people to quality control those games. Ok, they might not be great graphically and may have bugs but the core gameplay has to be solid.

Kuala BangoDango:
And finally, while Steam has better sales, what GoG is doing to stand out from the crowd is selling them DRM free, making sure their games are updated to every new OS so they'll run on newer systems AND offering better customer service. Steam IS DRM. Steam doesn't care if their older games won't run on your system. You buy a game from 1998 on Steam and it won't run on your windows 7? Oh well, sucks to be you. They can't help you. GoG can. You want a refund from Steam on that game that doesn't run? Yeah. Good luck getting that money back without Steam punishing your account in some way. And GoG gives free extra goodies with their games...soundtracks, digital manuals and artbooks, etc.

This happened to me with Dungeon Siege on Steam. Purchased it and it wouldn't run properly at all on my computer, constant screen flickering that I could not for the life of me resolve. A support ticket to Valve basically just said 'sorry, you're SOL'. Unfortunately GoG doesn't sell this game, but I tracked down a physical copy and that worked perfectly... Clearly the digital copy distributed by Valve has its own specific issues. That's an issue I've never experienced with any GoG games, and it's well worth the cost of curated content.

There's great potential in this. A risky and delicate system like Early Access should be a shared responsibility between different parties to ensure that things don't go wrong for one another or for the customer. Regulation or supervision from GOG would also mean better exposure for superior projects, and a superior system from them would encourage Steam to try and step up their game for the better.

There are risks or factors that could make this all go the wrong way, of course. By what standards will GOG judge a game, and consider it worthy of being up for grabs on their site? How would they respond to anti-consumer/competitive choices made by a developer? Could a game on Steam's Early Access also be on Gog's Early Access?

Hopefully it'll work for the best of the consumer. I myself do not use Gog, but will definitely consider it the better choice for indie games if the platform handles it better than Steam currently is.

I'm certainly not pleased by this development but if there is something that GOG does is make shit work which is far more that can be said for Steam.
So really I want to see them enforce some good ground rules for devs and put Steam to shame on quality control yet again.

You guys are right. Steam did fail at this. Do you know why? It's because Valve doesn't seem to give enough of a shit to manage it well enough. It's a damn free-for-all.

GoG won't be doing that, according to what they're saying. They'll at least be making sure the games work to some extent. Plus GoG actually has a proper refund policy which Steam doesn't. Also no DRM. So why not let 'em give it a shot?

No! We do not need more digital distribution systems adopting this nonsense! Do you not see the flood of crap on Steam to serve as an example?

Key word being used here:

Curated

and people wonder why I dislike Steam so much

it's because GOG does it so much better

it's amazing what you can do when you listen to your users, take accountability for your mistakes and operate transparently.

Kuala BangoDango:

BigTuk:
Nothing wrong with Early Access I mean some good games are in early access and have come out of it but the fact that GoG is jumping on the bandwagon before it's even been tuned basically shows that they are essentially trying to go from niche to broad appeal and that won't work. We already have Steam GoG...if you want to stand out you should be gettting games and such that steam doesn't have,. if you're aidentical ...then guess what we're going to go with the one that has the better sales events and I'm sorry to say but that would be steam. Their sales are not exclusionary nor do they show disrespect to their customes time.

First off if GoG waits for Steam or someone else to "tune" an early access program to a good condition then THAT company will be getting the lion's share of the benefit and GoG really would be jumping on the bandwagon when it really is too late.

Point taken

At this point though Steam's Early Access is a mess with too many rubbish games being accepted in with no accountability on whether the game gets finished or not. If GoG IS able to develop a good system with full accountability that IS better than Steam's then they would have an advantage over Steam. Furthermore Steam is already encroaching on GoG's territory by now selling old classic games which means GoG is losing potential customers who, if not for that, would normally have to turn to GoG for old games. GoG HAS to branch out in other directions to compete.

This also answers your comment about GoG needing to sell games that Steam doesn't sell. They can't. Not only is Steam now selling games that used to be GoG's games but now Steam is getting dozens of new (and old) games every day. Publishers and developers are literally throwing their entire catalog of games up on Steam. How can GoG possibly find games to sell that Steam is not already selling?

I dunno.. maybe checking out the very extensive wishlist catalog people have been putting up and voting on.

And finally, while Steam has better sales, what GoG is doing to stand out from the crowd is selling them DRM free, making sure their games are updated to every new OS so they'll run on newer systems AND offering better customer service. Steam IS DRM. Steam doesn't care if their older games won't run on your system.

And hence you know why publishers are more likely or at least prefer steam over GoG.. DRM. As for the whole older games thing... news flash. When it comes to older games Steam and GoG are selling the *exact* same version.

You buy a game from 1998 on Steam and it won't run on your windows 7? Oh well, sucks to be you. They can't help you. GoG can. You want a refund from Steam on that game that doesn't run? Yeah. Good luck getting that money back without Steam punishing your account in some way. And GoG gives free extra goodies with their games...soundtracks, digital manuals and artbooks, etc.

I dunno, I got my money back... I also have had no problem with older steam games. I mean I bought Doom and WOlfenstein 3d on steam and both games work pretty nicely. Also again.. the version on steam and Gog's are usually the exact same version. It was this case for the Fallout, Shadow Warrior, heck their Duke Nukem version actually had a few mods added in that weren't in the original game that updated the engine a little.

I mean sure people talk about old games on steam not working... but I get the feeling most of these folks are simply echoing what someone else said as opposed to you know personal experience... I can say that the version of System Shock 2 I got off Steam runs much more smoothly for some reason than the version ON GoG. and to this day I have yet to get GoG's MDK and Signal Ops to run at all. So there.

Point Is I highly doubt GoG is going to do any better than STeam with Early Access. If the way they handle sales is anything to go by. You're either going to have them restricting access in which case the devs will be more apt to go with steam... The only really problem with Early Access on Steam is simple... many of the younger set have no concept of critical evaluation and conversely aren't used to actually having a wide variety of choices before them... they're used to picking from pre-selected lists. Steam tried to get the gaming community in on it with greenlight but surprise surprise.. the gaming population is faaar too lazy to make the best of it.. Heck the complain about Greenlight was ironically that steam wasn't letting the games they voted for through... now gamers are complaining that Early Access is letting too many games they don't want through... It's like a customer who wants his soup boiling hot and icey cold at the same time.

If GoG can pull off a good Early Access system before Steam can then I say good on them. Steam has been way too lazy lately especially considering how much money they pull in.

If they can, good on them. However Steam is the dominant force for a reason. It's because they have done exceptionally well at keeping both their customers relatively happy. The publishers and the consumers.

 

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