Is “Early Access” Ruining Video Games?

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It isn’t unusual to encounter many games that are in a state of early access. I feel like it is becoming more common for games to start off as early access these days. Sometimes I ask myself: “Is early access ruining video games?”

And when I think about it, in a lot of ways early access is indeed ruining games, but early access can be a good thing too.

Let Me Explain

So basically, what I’m saying is that not all early access games are bad. In fact, some of them have turned out to be really good.

The truth is, that there are different developers with different goals in mind. Some of those developers truly do care about the community, while others main priorities are nothing but money.

To make this post more interesting, I’m going to write from two different perspectives. The first one will be how bad developers see early access as, and the other will be what good developers think of early access.

Keep in mind, that I’m going to oversimplify it, and this isn’t 100% accurate on what bad and good developers think, but it’s just to make a point on how early access can make or break video games depending on the attitude of the developers.

What Bad Developers See Early Access As

I don’t really care what the customer thinks, just make a cool trailer and they’ll all come flocking over to buy our game. We already have tons of money, but we want more of it! Who cares if the game is complete garbage, it’s early access!

It’s natural for it to feel unplayable! We don’t have to guarantee our game will ever get finished. We can even forget about it if it doesn’t do so well.

And if customers complain that we are still in early access and not even updating our game, we could always go out of early access, even though our game technically isn’t ready for it.

The best part about early access is that we won’t have to pay for game testers, instead the customers will pay us to test our game!

What are all these messages we keep getting from customers? What is this “Feedback”? I don’t quite understand it… So you’re saying our game is garbage? I am so offended! Banned!

What Good Devs Think

Okay, we are a small gaming company and we don’t have very much money for advancing our development yet, perhaps we can make an early access game and then we’ll have enough money to do more things.

We need to be clear to everyone that the game won’t be complete when it first comes out and that it’s going to be in a state of early access. We shouldn’t deceive our customers into buying something they don’t want because that would be wrong.

I wish we could hire game testers, but like I said earlier, we as a small team don’t have very much money and it costs a lot to make a game.

Since we are being honest about our expectations and game development, it will filter out anyone that truly isn’t interested in our product, which means only customers that actually want to be part of our early access game will take part of it in joy.

Feedback is crucial and we need to understand the importance of it. The community that is surrounding our game will be the very fate of it and we need to take what everyone has to say into consideration.

Sometimes people may not be very constructive with their criticism, but that’s what we signed up for when we decided to get into early access development.

We are going to do our best to deliver a game that people want!

Tread With Caution

As a customer be careful about what early access games you get. Some games are early access just so the developers have an excuse to release an unfinished game so they can make money.

While this technically isn’t the exact definition of a scam, I’d have to say it’s definitely wrong. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how well an early access game will do, but one way of knowing is to pay attention to the developers.

Do they react negatively to criticism? Do their actions speak louder than their words? How well is their feedback system? How clear are they about their early access goals? How well do they communicate with everyone?

Some additional questions you may want to ask yourself are: Is this game worth supporting? What are others saying about its current state of early access?


All in all, I think that it isn’t early access games that are bad. I think it is the developers that make it good or bad based on their thoughts and actions.

And I’m not saying it’s wrong for a developer to want to make a living doing something they enjoy, the problem is when they focus on nothing but the money and get greedy over it.

There are a lot of good developers out there with excellent early access games, but it’s the bad developers that give all early access games a bad name.

When it comes to playing early access games, I usually like to do a bit of research before even thinking about buying it.

I try to see what the developers are like and I carefully try to read what the reviews say without the game being spoiled (if it has a story).

Sometimes I’ll even view some actual game play rather than basing all of my information solely on the game trailer itself because it gives me more of an accurate insight on to what the game is actually like and whether I’ll like it or not.

If the game is something I like, then I’ll either wait to buy it until it gets more updates, or I will buy it and then try to save it for later so I can fully experience the game in its complete state.

Although sometimes I’m tempted to play the early access game, even if it isn’t finished yet. If you want to hear more on what I think is ruining video games be sure to check out: 11 Things Ruining Video Games And How They Should Be Fixed.

If you want more advice on buying games you can also check out: What Games Can I Play On My Computer?

As always, I appreciate the readers out there reading this. Be sure to leave a comment letting me know what you think and happy gaming!


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