This week on Cold Take, Frost examines how early access differs in indie games compared to their AAA counterparts. Check out the rest of the series here.
10 Years Later, Early Access Turned Out Okay – Transcript
Honest question: how long can games be in Early Access? Surely after like 10 years that’s just Access.
If you browse around any virtual gaming storefronts, be it console or PC, you’ll likely run into a game with its bare-bottom showing and a tin mug out asking for loose change. No, I’m not talking about those games–it’s too early in the day for that. I’m talking about the Early Access games. Steam didn’t create the concept of putting unfinished products out for sale, but its Early Access initiative program in 2013 was heavily scrutinized in the baby years as its growing gains and growing pains started to show. A decade later, anybody worth anything has an Early Access program (and ours at the Escapist is the superior one.) And I think Early Access gaming has been a net positive for the developer and consumer side of the space, but I do believe the indie scene wears it better than Johnny Triple-A. On one hand you have smaller developers being drip-fed funding to help flesh out their games over a decade, and on the other end you have this “sell it now, fix it later” culture that’s overtaken the big releases. It’s the exact same concept twisted the wrong way.