Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 11Seems like it wasn't that long ago that you could get in early and test whatever game you wanted, for free. Minecraft was the first solid example of selling alpha access to get a game across the finish line. The floodgates opened with Kickstarter, and the final nail in the coffin was the early access program on Steam. Now gamers constantly shell out bucket loads of cash for unfinished or, in some cases, completely unplayable games on a regular basis. Despite this, we all love it, and willingly participating in the madness.
Should we even play games this early?
I recently bought 7 Days to Die on Steam through their early access program. I enjoyed what little time I gave it, but hell, the game changes so drastically between updates, every guide for previous versions is completely out of date. While, awesome to watch the developers expand their game it can at times frustrate.
When high profile games release such shells of products to their testers, you wonder why anyone bothered to fork out so much to see it! There is a reason game development was not a collaborative process with gamers in the past, as most products were complete trash while in Alpha!
Don’t feed me that line of crap that you are there to help test and make the game better. All of you paid for early access to see and play the thing you are hyped for. More often than not, seeing a completely buggy unfinished mess does not help maintain your level of excitement about a title.
Yep, this is still a gimmick to get you to pay up front to test a game. Leave it to mmorpg publishers to come up with a new method to trick you into forking out money way too early. Hell, I just paid $150 for Archeage which is a free to play game! My mind still cannot wrap around that expense, even if it feels totally worth it.
Optional? ...Not Quite
Try and resist playing a steam early access game while all of your gaming buddies are dumping in hours every night into Rust, Day Z, or Starbound! How am I supposed to resist that Everquest Landmark founder’s pack while seeing sweet builds on Reddit?! I must master all there is to Archeage and prepare in order to dominate at launch! Sure, Mr. Developer, your alpha access is optional yet we will get suckered into these traps over and over again.
This glorious scam works every time and I will continually be the sucker.