Steam Early Access?
Steam Early Access could be described as the Dark corner of the gaming industry, What is early access? Players get immediate access to games that are being developed with the community's involvement. These are games that evolve as you play them, as you give feedback, and as the developers update and add content. Early access, alpha funding, or paid-alpha is a funding model in the video game industry by which consumers can pay for a game in the early stages of development and obtain access to playable but unfinished versions of the game, So why are first adopters paying for the privilege to play Early Access games? And why isn’t it the other way around?
Steam Greenlight is a system that enlists the community's help in picking some of the new games to be released on Steam. Developers post information, screenshots, and video for their game and seek a critical mass of community support in order to get selected for distribution. Steam Greenlight also helps developers get feedback from potential customers and start creating an active community around their game during the development process.
There has being rumors that Steam Greenlight voting system, "a bad election process" that may even be axed in the future. Gabe Newell valve boss said. we should stop being a dictator and move towards much more participatory, peer-based methods of sanctioning player behavior. Greenlight is a bad example of an election process. We came to the conclusion pretty quickly that we could just do away with Greenlight completely, because it was a bottleneck rather than a way for people to communicate choice." Greenlight suffered a rocky launch back in launched with scores of fake submissions peppering the genuine efforts from indie developers. Valve implemented a $100 submission fee as a quick fix.
You're probably well aware of a zombie apocalypse survival title called DayZ. Beginning its life as a mod for Arma II, the game has since been reinvented as a standalone game, The game was released December 16, 2013 as an early work-in-progress version was made available on Steam Early Access. Priced at 27,99€, the developers were keen to point out that DayZ is, by no stretch of the imagination, finished. It's buggy, unoptimised and prone to crashes. It's an alpha, which is an even earlier state than the commonly available beta testing phases of other titles.
The Rust that's available to play now on Steam doesn't look remotely like the Rust you might have played last year. Though you can still play that classic version through the game's launcher, developer at Facepunch has been slowly iterating on a new version of the game for months starting from the ground up to a build running on the new Unity 5 engine. I just recently logged back on to check it out and Rust literally looks like a new game, I can definitely say they made the game much more complex and enjoyable that it ever was, the UI, sound effects, music, and game mechanics have all changed. So for anyone like me that was waiting for the game to become more stable and playable.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Steam Early Access for indies
Your game could gain exposure over time. Rather than building hype before your game goes gold, going the Early Access route will allow your game to get exposure months earlier. The chances of word of mouth marketing spreads more quickly as a result and because players are able to provide you with insight regarding what they want to see in your game? A community grows as a result thus increasing the chances of your fans telling others about your game. Players aren’t shy about telling you what they want to see in your game, and when they have a place to voice their opinions like they do in the Early Access program? They are going to tell you what they want to see in the game and how it can be improved.
Most people that purchase an Early Access game know what they’re getting themselves into: a game that is almost always in alpha and will at times be riddled with bugs and virtually unplayable. Yet, first impressions can stick with a lot of players, and if your game is so unready for prime time that it flat out sucks when it first hits Early Access, this will leave a bad taste in player’s mouths. There is no guarantee that your game will sell as many units as you anticipate. If you are counting on selling a specific number of units to survive and complete your game, then you need to think carefully about what it would mean for you or your team if you don't sell that many units.