Tomoe Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:00pm
What if Early Access game's developers go silent?
What will Steam do about Early Access games being forgotten by the developers? Refunds? Trials? "We're sorry, but you knew what you've been buying"? Are there any rules for developers, like deadlines? People pay for early access to see the final product in the end, but when is the end?

As for why do I ask: there seems to be a candidate - Mercenary Kings. No updates and even news for quite a long time (didn't even bother to update changelog for last update, that was months ago).
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Black Blade Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:05pm 
Maybe there working on it?
Any how i think if a game is really not getting to were it needs to that Valve will give a refund heard they did it with one game so far...
But i do think it will be a last resort
Purple Tentacle Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:22pm 
its the risk you take when you buy a early access game, you just have to lump it
L-r | Canti Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:28pm 
I would assume they haven't abandoned it, since they still update their blog and Facebook/Twitter feeds with posts related to it regularly.

As for what would actually happen when a developer does abandon an Early Access game, well, we'll have to wait and see.
Satoru Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:45pm 
http://steamcommunity.com/games/218820/announcements/detail/1946974263281869911

Nov14th isn't exactly 'months' ago.

Note Early Access doesn't mean 'weekly updates'. Even Prison Architect is only updated monthly.
Last edited by Satoru; Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:46pm
muckymucks Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:51pm 
Take the risk and throw the dice.
Master Zone Dec 9, 2013 @ 3:42pm 
Originally posted by Purple Tentacle:
its the risk you take when you buy a early access game, you just have to lump it

But you are not really buying access to a BETA, you are kind of pre-ordering the game in advance... And if you never get the game, then I think you should get a refund.

Tomoe Dec 9, 2013 @ 4:34pm 
Originally posted by Satoru:
Nov14th isn't exactly 'months' ago.
Note Early Access doesn't mean 'weekly updates'. Even Prison Architect is only updated monthly.
So it seems I'm just impatient. But "soon" and "when it's done" is unbearable. Lack of visible activity is twice as unbearable. So I wanted to know if there are any rules in Steam that require developers to do reports/news so their game won't look abandoned.

Originally posted by Master Zone:
And if you never get the game, then I think you should get a refund.
When is that "never"?
2point4 Dec 9, 2013 @ 4:43pm 
Originally posted by Shion:
So I wanted to know if there are any rules in Steam that require developers to do reports/news so their game won't look abandoned.
Nope! No guarantees. It's going to happen eventually. Some dev will get their game on Steam and make a good buck or two and hit the road, leaving an incomplete and broken project hanging. On the plus side, that dev probably wouldn't be allowed to publish games on Steam anymore. On the other hand: Who cares, right? The reactive stance Valve takes to these sorts of issues doesn't offer the consumer any protection. So what happens in the future doesn't really matter if you got screwed over today.

My advice is to steer well clear of early access titles. The whole concept is designed to benefit only Valve and developers. It offers nothing at all for the consumer.
Last edited by 2point4; Dec 9, 2013 @ 4:59pm
Meatbug Dec 9, 2013 @ 4:45pm 
This might help with some of the questions:

http://store.steampowered.com/earlyaccessfaq/?l=english

What should I look for?
How often is this game getting updated?
Take a look at the recent update announcements from the developer (shown on the store page for that game) to get a sense of how active the developer is. Does it look like that game is getting updated a lot? Are they valuable and interesting updates?


Is this the same as pre-purchasing a game?
No. Early Access is a full purchase of a playable game. By purchasing, you gain immediate access to download and play the game in its current form and as it evolves up and through 'release'.

When will these games release?
Its up to the developer to determine when they are ready to 'release'. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses.
Satoru Dec 9, 2013 @ 5:12pm 
Originally posted by Shion:
So it seems I'm just impatient. But "soon" and "when it's done" is unbearable. Lack of visible activity is twice as unbearable.

You may wish to avoid Early Access games then. Some devs update fast and furiously. Otehrs infrequentl. Otehrs on a slower but consistent basis. It really depends on the dev. If this kind of model is disrupting to you, you shouldn't really get involved with Early Access. It's not for everyone.

So I wanted to know if there are any rules in Steam that require developers to do reports/news so their game won't look abandoned.

So far nothing really. YOu can't really force devs on any kind of 'schedule' Again the Prison Architect guys update monthly and post a funny video as part of the update taht shows new features and such. I find that actually 'regular' updates is more improtant than 'more often'. If devs commit to a schedule and stick to it, I find that gives peple a better feel for the game progressing. That's just my opinion though. Devs are of course free to pursue whatever update schedule they want to.

Ultimately it's up to the dev to communicate with their audience about the game.

When is that "never"?

So far this scenario hasn't happend yet. Though as an example, Mincraft was in "early Access" for 2 years. So really 'never' is a relative term.
Last edited by Satoru; Dec 9, 2013 @ 5:12pm
Kablam0 Dec 9, 2013 @ 5:42pm 
Well, it could always be worse - you could have invested with Bernard Madoff.
Dynex1267 Dec 9, 2013 @ 6:58pm 
Yeah
L-r | Canti Dec 9, 2013 @ 10:45pm 
Originally posted by 2point4:
Nope! No guarantees. It's going to happen eventually. Some dev will get their game on Steam and make a good buck or two and hit the road, leaving an incomplete and broken project hanging.

Originally posted by 2point4:
My advice is to steer well clear of early access titles.

While I do agree Early Access should be avoided, to their credit we see a lot more incidents of leaving games in incomplete and broken states through non-Early Access games, sadly.
Black Blade Dec 10, 2013 @ 3:39am 
Originally posted by Canti:
While I do agree Early Access should be avoided, to their credit we see a lot more incidents of leaving games in incomplete and broken states through non-Early Access games, sadly.
So far i think i seen more Early Access games that are working to get to a full end then full games....
Rzep Dec 10, 2013 @ 3:51am 
I hope Steam goes "Early Access has it's risk, by buying an Eearly Access game you agree to that". As it should be. No one is forced to pay for a game in early access. Steam isn't here to babysit people.
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Date Posted: Dec 9, 2013 @ 2:00pm
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