Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha

Steam News announces that Planetary Annihilation is now available as an early access title. This is causing quite a stir thanks to the $89.99 price it carries, which is steep for a finished game, much less a pre-beta. They include a note somewhat addressing this, explaining that this is the price they told their Kickstarter backers that early access would command:
Our pricing for this stage of early access was determined by our Kickstarter. The stages of our early access for ALL users, which was determined during our Kickstarter, is:

June through August: $90 for early alpha access, during the time where we're still locking down features and making tweaks to the flow of the game. This access is permanent access - you will be able to play through alpha, beta and on through retail. (Galactic Edition Equivalent with all addons)
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Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha
Jun 15, 2013, 06:04
48.
Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 06:04
Jun 15, 2013, 06:04
 
These guys are doing it exactly right. More right than anyone else releasing in Steam's early access program, in fact.

When you release an unfinished product, people will inevitably judge the project as a whole by whatever they see right then, and will not look at it ever again if their opinion is negative. Which it will be, because it's not finished.

If you are crowdfunding your development, you need to restrict access to the part of your audience that is very committed to the idea of the product as they and you hope it will be when it is finished. If you don't, you get far more bad press than you ever would by asking a high price, because now a large portion of the people who would've bought your game at final release already have it and are complaining everywhere like a bunch of complete morons that they paid full normal price for a quarter-finished game.

tl; dr: A dev releasing an alpha does not want you to buy it unless you are so excited about the concept they're working on that you would definitely buy it when it's finished even if you knew it could be better. You have to want it that much, or else they are taking a stupid risk by selling it to you.
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