Too often do we see these words nowadays, especially on the steam-forums for Early Access games. Gamers are buying into games in early stages of development, and still have the nerve to complain that it doesn’t meet their expectations.
I remember before the age of Early Access you were lucky if you got into a Beta-program for an upcomming title, and you didn’t complain about stuff that wasn’t done but you head in to the closed forums for that game and posted bug-reports and balance issues. I’ve been part of several betas through my time as a gamer but never have I witnessed so many whiners anywhere like you can find now.
It’s really simple really; If you don’t like unfinished products, then stay away from buying into Alpha stage developments. Notch of Mojang started this trend by allowing gamers to buy Minecraft before it was done, and that turned out to be a brilliant success. But that will not be the case with all Early Access. A lot of the gamers would be better off not buying the game until release to see if it is actually what they want.
How can this be so hard to understand?
It isn’t even done yet.
Some of the games on Steam Early Access aren’t far in the Alpha stage, and a game I’m following closely called Stonehearth is one of these. I backed them on Kickstarter, and I was really happy when I got my key and could start testing. What did I get?
Well the first version for download wasn’t even a game, it was a Graphics Test-engine. But I did not jump onto the forums shouting that the developers ripped me off. No I tried it out, had a couple crashes and sent in the bug reports. Hopefully that data will help the developers create an engine that is stable and good. Well at least on my hardware. 😉
I think a lot of younger gamers would do well to remember that it takes a lot of time to develop a game, and be patient and supportive to the people who actually take time out from their lives to create something to entertain us.
And as a final note one should of course exercise a bit restraint in what projects one wants to support. Because this trend will pull all kinds of developers out of the woodwork, and some might not end up actually seeing the product to the end.