Hello everyone. Alex Poysky here.
I wanted to take a moment to adress the entire Early Access abuse crapstorm that's currently spewing all over the place.
First off, let me explain the situation for those who aren't up to speed.
Early Access has always been intended as a way for developers to make games that they otherwise wouldn't have possibly been able to make. It's a means to an end, a way to take your work and present it and allow money to be exchanged on that basis in order to:
FURTHER BENEFIT THE PROJECT AND GIVE THOSE KIND SOULS WHO HAVE PUT MONEY UP FRONT MORE THAN THEY ASKED FOR IN RETURN BY INVESTING IN YOUR PROJECT AND MAKING IT THE BEST DAMN GAME IT CAN POSSIBLY BE.
What Early Access SHOULDN'T be is:
A WAY TO CASH IN QUICKLY ON A COOL PREMISE THAT SELLS REALLY WELL ONLY TO ENTER DEVELOPMENT HIATUS AS SOON AS YOU MAKE SOME CASH.
Personally it's a no brainer for me. As someone who LOVES Producing games, it comes naturally to me to work as many hours in a day as possible to make sure the project is as perfect as can be.
As a businessman, I make a game's alpha, sell one hundred and eleven thousand copies (thanks for the support guys, you are incredible and we would NOT have been able to do this without you!), and think to myself "Alex, there are over Seventy Million registered steam users, you are currently selling to less than 1 % of them. That's because the game isn't finished yet and the other 99% want to see a finished product prior to spending their hard earned cash on your title." The choice is evident, I continue working. I keep everyone going towards the 1.0 release, there's no stopping it.
We hire more personelle, a new programmer, we hire a dedicated artist, we hire out a composer and have the music that was previously done using royalty free music from Audiomicro.com swapped out (today in fact) for fully voiced and composed LIVE music made by real human beings.
In short WE INVEST IN OUR TITLE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN IT AND YOU!
All of this "We poop out a quick Early Access title, see 100 grand and ride off into the sunset" Malarchy is damaging the basic premise upon which Early Access stands.
I find it shameful, embarrasing, and I PERSONALLY apologize, as a developer, as a producer, and as someone within the industry, for having to share the same title as those types of people. For every one of you who purchases the game I try twice as hard to come through, and you can ask the members of the team how hard I ride them to achieve. I always tell them, "It's not about us anymore, it's about the fact that there are more people expecting this project to be completed than people in some small countries!". With that type of support there's just no way I'd even concieve leaving.
Two years ago I was just a soldier in the Spanish Armed Forces, getting ready for deployment to Afghanistan. This industry made the change possible, and using that change I'm trying my hardest to make as many people around me happy as possible, the alternative would have been MUCH worse, trust me, my replacement died in my stead...
That's why it completely baffles me that there would be people out there willing to come up with a good concept, have you pay for it, then ditch it. It burns bridges, it breaks trust in a geniunely good concept, and it disrupts and harms the people who NEED this in order to provide solid entertainment for the medium and it's users.
I'd appreciate the sharing of this post on twitter, reddit, facebook, etc in the hopes that the press denounce this type of attitude, that developer AND CONSUMER awareness spreads, and that we can see Early Access continue to be what it once should have been.