Early Access is great, please don’t ruin it
Some thoughts on Early Access and how we’d like to use it in the future.
The Early Access model is awesome for game developers, in particular way for those working with small budgets.
- Funds to finish the game development.
- Testing and feedbacks on a large scale.
- Early coverage of the game and word of mouth across gamers.
Therefore it’s in the best interests of the game developers to keep this model popular.
Recently there have been some cases where the early access model completely failed and that damaged its reputation across gamers.
The people willing to pay for a game missing lots of features and doing that months before its planned release date are the most important customer you can have, they are actively supporting you and your project with their own resources.
For this reason I think that we, game developers, should be thankful and respectful to them.
- Not too early: the game should be in a playable state with the most important features/content already available
- Discount: an unfinished product should cost less than a finished one. I’d use at least a -20% discount
- Release date: should be months away not years
- Good management: if you’re not sure you can complete (most of) the game don’t use early access.Remember that you are selling a product.
- Community: listen to the requests of your customers, keep them informed, explain your decisions and release updates frequently.
Early Access is not the same thing as Crowdfunding: they share some aspects but they are two different things.
With Early Access you are buying a product in advance(supporting the project) while with crowdfunding you are funding a project.
Shorty: Early Access -> customer ; Crowdfunding -> funder
We have created a group and curator page on Steam check it out