NiteNite Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:11pm
Early Access Games
do early access games = pay to alpha/beta test?

i think is a great idea to have the steam community test games before they hit sale. (strong group of gamers here)

but to charge full for unfinished alpha/beta is akin to a alpha/beta tester role reversal

as for to get that wicked looking game early ofcourse:)
but to pay to alpha/beta test not so ofcourse:/

but i been paying to beta test microsoft windows for years so what do i know lol:)

just wondering what other players think on the subject, i am very open to both sides of this.


my bad alittle on this post there are few other posts glad to see i am not the only one on fence on this but the question still stands.
Last edited by NiteNite; Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:25pm
Showing 1-15 of 127 comments
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Spawn of Totoro Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:27pm 
When you choose to buy an early access game, sometimes they are at a discount, some times not, either way you get the full game when it is released.

Atleast they are upfront about what state the game is in and you get the choice.
OstrichGuy Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:28pm 
For some games, I really don't get it. They charge more for the alpha and beta rather than the full release. It feels like they're punishing early buyers(who are funding your game).

Other games like Minecraft or TDL(there are a few more) make the alpha/beta cheaper. But it seems like the above actually works, so I guess thats why people are doing it.
機器人Thomas Sep 10, 2013 @ 6:31pm 
No, early access is pre-ordering the game, and being given Alpha/Beta access as a pre-order incentive. You are not paying for an Alpha/Beta version of a game, you are paying for the full game.

People need to learn to understand this.
NiteNite Sep 10, 2013 @ 6:46pm 
i understand that you get to keep the game.
i also get the fact that alpha/beta testing used to be a free process and the ability to play early no pay was your reward for test is all. (i also agree it was a selective process)
also if you were not gonna alpha/beta test (i.e. play unfinished work ) why buy early access?

not against it like i said for certain games but some come-on lol just saying

p.s. just seeming to me people bootstrapin a game company that is fine but in certain cases may not be so fine you know
Last edited by NiteNite; Sep 10, 2013 @ 6:53pm
Spawn of Totoro Sep 10, 2013 @ 6:46pm 
Originally posted by Mr. Original ッ:
No, early access is pre-ordering the game, and being given Alpha/Beta access as a pre-order incentive. You are not paying for an Alpha/Beta version of a game, you are paying for the full game.

People need to learn to understand this.

It isn't a pre-order. Steam gives refunds for pre-orders, not for early access.

There is no guaranteed that an early access game will even make it to a full release, and there are no refunds for it (atleast not stated in any agreement that I know of).

A pre-order is for a guaranteed product where you get access to the full game early. Some offer inclusion into the beta also, though they tend to offer free beta access to those who sign up too.

Never confuse early access with a pre-order. They are similar in some ways, but not all.

Originally posted by NiteNite:
i understand that you get to keep the game.
i also get the fact that beta testing used to be a free process and the ability to play early no pay was your reward for test is all. (i also agree it was a selective process)
also if you were not gonna beta test (i.e. play unfinished work ) why buy early access?

not against it like i said for certian games but some come-on lol just saying

Big companies will still offer a free beta at times.

The main diffrence is that early access is geared more to indi titles. Those developers lack the funds for a quality controll team that a large company can offer. The early access is two fold for them. They get testers and they get the funds that may be needed to finish the game.
Last edited by Spawn of Totoro; Sep 10, 2013 @ 6:49pm
OS/2 (l33tOMGlolz!11!shift) Oct 1, 2013 @ 8:46am 
I think early access is a way for companies to get the public to test their game insteead of paying people to do it properly. I get what "beta" and field testing is for, I write software for a living.

I think it's a bad practice for games, or if you are going to allow people to do it you should *NOT* charget them for it. You are having them spend their time on an unfinished product to help the company produce a superior game. You can not ask money from them for this service. They (the users) are providing the service here. Then when the game is released they can buy it (or perhaps buy it at a discount as "payment" for helping to test it)
Satoru Oct 1, 2013 @ 8:55am 
Early access is a FUNDING model.

It is not 'pay to be a beta tester'

It's 'be an investor in the game'.

There's a difference

I support Early Access games because I know from experience that if you don't support game syou want, they don't get made. Then you don't have anyone but yourself to blame for "hey why doesn't anyone make "insert game type" anymore?"
Last edited by Satoru; Oct 1, 2013 @ 8:57am
Sierra Oscar Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:00am 
Originally posted by OS/2 (l33tOMGlolz!11!shift):
I think early access is a way for companies to get the public to test their game insteead of paying people to do it properly. I get what "beta" and field testing is for, I write software for a living.
Not necessarily. Game developers who use early access offers still have their own internal testing teams. However when it comes to stress testing, especially for multiplayer games, early access offers can be a good way for a game developer to identify issues that a small team may not come across.

Think of it as a way to stress test a game before it is officially released, especially for a multiplayer game.
Last edited by Sierra Oscar; Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:00am
2point4 Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:06am 
Early Access is "be an investor in the game"? I don't think the word investor means what you think it means.

It may not be "pay to be a beta tester" but it's a hell of a lot closer to that than being an investor in a game.

Originally posted by Early Access FAQ:
As a gamer...
Be the first to play exciting new games
Discuss and give feedback
Help test and report bugs
Play the game as it develops

Actually, it is paying to be a beta tester.
Satoru Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:11am 
Originally posted by 2point4:
Early Access is "be an investor in the game"? I don't think the word investor means what you think it means.

It may not be "pay to be a beta tester" but it's a hell of a lot closer to that than being an investor in a game.

Originally posted by Early Access FAQ:
As a gamer...
Be the first to play exciting new games
Discuss and give feedback
Help test and report bugs
Play the game as it develops

Actually, it is paying to be a beta tester.

Just like Kickstarter, indies are using Early Access as a way to get indepedent funding. From that perspective it is investing in the game. You're not purchasing the product when it's finished, you're helping getting the game to that point.

And as part of that funding you just 'happen' to get beta access and full access to the game when released.

http://penny-arcade.com/report/article/think-indie-development-is-tough-try-it-from-the-other-side-of-the-planet

Funding is a huge problem for niche games. If Early Access is a way fro those devs to get funding to keep their project going then

Is that for everyone? No.

If you want to view Early Access cynically that's your perogative. Just as it is mine to view how I purchase my games and what games I buy on Early access. Neither is wrong, but note I don't call people who don't buy Early Access "fools" or 'idiots". They just don't want to assume the risk. Which is fine. But that doesn't give you the right to then tell me that doing so is 'wrong'.

I want to because good studios have died because of lack of funding. Good games have not been made because no publisher wanted to make some weird niche game anymore. I'm simply taking in active part in ensuring that games that I like, which are generally niche and weird, get made. And for that, I'm willing to take some risks. Because otherwise they'll likely never see the light of day.
Last edited by Satoru; Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:14am
Trade-01 Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:36am 
Early access is many things, but most of all it is a bad business practice, right there on par with pay to win or false advetising games. These practices will continue as long as there are people willing to pay, I remember I got into free Starcraft 2 beta and sold it for 40€ on Ebay.

I hope there will a scandal with some popular Early Access game, where it shutdowns before being released - it will make people cautious about Early Access games, just like Aliens Colonial Marines made lots of people cautious about preordering.
2point4 Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:38am 
You're not investing in anything. You invest in something to see some sort of gain out of a particular investment. You purchase a game to get a game. That you're buying it before it's complete doesn't mean you're investing in the final product. If you prefer to see it as investing then every game you ever purchase, whether it's a $60 CoD or a $.01 Humble Bundle, is an investment. But really, how is your "investment" of an early access title any different than me buying it for $.99 during the next Steam sale? We both end up with the exact same outcome. A game.

I prefer to view this realistically. Was there a struggling market for indie/niche games before early access? Not if you listen to the praises sung to Steam by all those indie developers out there. The only reason early access even exists is because Valve wasn't getting a piece of the Kickstarter pie. Not because of some made up reason of this or that game not existing because it couldn't get funding.

Also, nice job projecting. I didn't insinuate anything of the sort, calling anyone an idiot or telling you you're wrong for buying into the early access propaganda, but if you prefer I can go back and point out a bunch of posts where you've called people idiots for plenty of other reasons. What you're wrong about, however, is that you believe you're investing in a game when you purchase it before development has passed its alpha or beta stage. What gain do you feel you're receiving when you do this? A game? Like I said, I'll "invest" $.99 for that same game and we both end up with the same thing. What more do you have in this case than I do?
(Skim)Skimy400 Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:47am 
Hmm
Satoru Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:49am 
When making a purchase on a retail product that's a retail purchase. Someone else has assumed the monetary risk, publishers, investors, etc to get the game to a certain point. At which people can pre-purchase and buy teh game.

Like I said, I view 'certain' games as an investment to get said game done. Money is always a problem in game development. Three's the game you want and the game that gets made. Resources are limited. People need to get paid. Bills need to get paid. I have no issue with paying for Early access, which is in effect pre-purchasing the game anyway, for a game that I want to get made. In return, my monetary contribution as well as feedback, can go to improving the game structure or to implementing features. Just like Kickstarter has shown how expensive game development is. By the time a game is in a 'pre order' status the game is mostly feature locked. I enjoy the alpha process and watching the game evolve. This 'sausage making 'process isnt for everyone. But there are more to games than the 'end product'

You view it as 'paying to be a beta tester'. I view it as 'pre-ordering to get games I like made, and I get alpha/beta access'. What I don't do is tell you that your view point is wrong/incorrect/etc. You don't want to assume the risk. That's fine. I assume the risk for various personal reasons.

All I ever ask of people is to respect the decisions we make. You made yours. I respect that you don't want to purchase Early Access games. But I feel this is something worthwhile. Neither is 'wrong'.
Last edited by Satoru; Oct 1, 2013 @ 9:50am
Sir Spunky Oct 1, 2013 @ 2:03pm 
I think they should definitely make it clearer in the FAQ that you also get the full game for free once it's released.
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Date Posted: Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:11pm
Posts: 127