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Steam Opens Early Access

Steam announces a new Early Access games on Steam program, highlighting games being offered in prerelease form:

March 20, 2013 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the addition of an Early Access section to Steam's library of over 2,000 titles.

Steam Early Access titles allow the community to get involved early and play select titles during their development. The goal of Early Access is to provide gamers with the chance to "go behind the scenes" and experience the development cycle firsthand and, more importantly, have a chance to interact with the developers by providing them feedback while the title is still being created.

To support the interaction between Early Access players and developers, Steam offers easy and automatic updating of games, letting developers iterate quickly to respond directly to bug reports and feedback from customers. And, like all Steam games, Early Access players will be able to interact with other players, making it easy to create and share screenshots, tips, and in-depth guides.

"A lot of games are already operating as ongoing services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community," said Sean Pollman of Badland Studio. "Greenlight helped us raise awareness for Kinetic Void, and now Steam Early Access will let us continue the development of our game while gathering crucial feedback, input and support from the steam Community."

The first titles coming to Steam Early Access are:

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

For more information, and to see all Early Access titles, please visit www.steampowered.com/earlyaccess

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41. Re: Steam Opens Early Access Mar 21, 2013, 19:07 ASeven
 
Closed Betas wrote on Mar 21, 2013, 18:19:
Hell, why not pay for Arma 4 already with that logic

Your logic is flawed in several points.

The games are using the money to fund their team and as such they are marked not as pre-orders but alphas and betas that are still being worked on. The way you present your argument gives the idea you equal this to pre-orders. Not so. Pre-orders are about finished games that do not need the extra money to be completed, these do need the extra money to help completion.

Unlike pre-orders this is just a different business model that has worked in a long time. Minecraft made this model famous, Desura calls it Alpha-funding and many people use it on Desura's service. Whereas a pre-order guarantees a finished game, this guarantees your voice in the feedback loop and helps the developers.

There is no disingenuous aspect of this. Steam, and Desura and the tons of indie devs that adopted and adopt this model, make sure to let everyone know the product you're getting is alpha, unfinished, buggy. You know what you're getting here, unlike pre-orders. It's only a question of wanting to support the development of a game or waiting to buy a full game later on.

And also, you are not buying on a dream with this model, you are buying an existing product even if it's alpha. You get something with your money and you get the chance to shape it, depending on the dev team's approach to user feedback.
 
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