Let’s Talk Early Access

If you’re a gamer like me, you’re definitely familiar with the term “Early Access” devs use this to release a game to the public to purchase but it is not the final version. Unlike demos, this is the full version of the game for us to play, however, there are still things that are a work in progress.

So, the great thing about early access is it allows us to play the game while the devs are still working on it and work with them to help them target bug fixes and other issues experienced during gameplay. Some companies might release a demo to implement that “try before you buy” before and after release, while some devs may keep everything tight-lipped until release and then there’s Early Access.

Some games that have caught my eye and I have bought have recently made it out of Early Access and are now fully released such as Praey for the Gods: a game I am really looking forward to playing for its combination of hack and slash combat with survival elements, giant boss battles where you can climb them to defeat them, and female protagonist. (she doesn’t have a name but I guess I’ll just name her after myself when I play!)

I did not purchase the game until it was fully released. Even so, the devs are still updating it. The only game I played in Early Access was Prodeus which is a FPS like DOOM but with pixelation mixed with modern graphics. After playing it for a bit, I experienced significant lag and some optimization didn’t resolve so I decided to wait for the devs to tweak it a little more. As I write this, however, Prodeus made it to full release a few days ago.

Lots of people I know are playing Valheim which didn’t interest me and it is still in Early Access. I have some other titles on my wishlist currently in Early Access like Space Engine, and, more recently, Slime Rancher 2 and Disney Dreamlight Valley. But I am in no hurry to play them.

Hell, it’s surprising that DDV hasn’t tempted me enough to purchase and play anyway! But why am I willing to wait? You could say that well my backlog is one contribution to my patience while my experience with Prodeus is another. Even after a game is fully released, there’s still going to be bugs that remain, and when a game comes out of Early Access it is version 1.0 but, rule of thumb, is that version 1.0 is never perfect. So, I still wait for a little for things to be patched up!

That’s why I’ve never been a fan of playing games in Early Access because they’re bound to have just as many issues as version 1.0 does. It also all comes down to the “I’m a busy woman and when I get time to play after two or three 12-hour shifts, I want it to be fun, not stressful.” The stress impact of lag and bugs is equivalent to playing on higher difficulties which is why I don’t do it. You could just say I’m being cautious which is perfectly okay.

I can understand the appeal of playing games in Early Access though, some people are just eager to dive right in but for me, there’s no urgency to play immediately. It depends on the game as well which is why I was shocked that I didn’t have the instantaneous desire to dive right into DDV when it came into Early Access a few weeks ago. I guess maybe it was due to my lack of knowledge of it as I was away on vacation when it was first out and then well, maybe I just want to play other things right now.

I should probably fire up Prodeus again at some point now that it’s hit full release and maybe I will have a better experience this time. I didn’t get very far playing it in Early Access!

What do you think of Early Access? Do you play a game in it, or are you willing to wait for full release and a few patches that follow?



9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Early Access”

  1. I’m in the same boat as you – always wait for 1.0. I did as much for Dead Cells, and Slay the Spire. More recently I’ve been waiting on Baldur’s Gate 3. Kinda sucks to have to wait several years for a game you could be playing right now, but as you said players tend to get a better experience when they wait.

    Here’s hoping Prodeus worked out those bugs and you can enjoy it as intended!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it can be hard to wait for version 1.0 when the game is technically already available to play.

      But I’d say it’s worth the wait, there might still be some issues but likely less by then. I just booted up Prodeus this morning and it runs much better now with the resolution I use! The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s better to wait for full release.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not against to buying into an Early Access product, in the past this was largely because I enjoyed seeing the development progression of the game. I think the first example of this was Mount & Blade, with another huge example being Minecraft.

    Now I don’t often have time or inclination to dig into the evolution of EA games, so I have to at least either, preferably both: a) Consider it likely I will enjoy the game already is it is *right now*, b) Expect there to be a price increase for 1.0, and wish to lock in the lower EA price.

    I have a specific category for ‘Early Access’ setup in my Steam Library, where I have 45 games at the moment. I enjoy, even now, just poking into the list and seeing what updates might’ve happened in these games every so often too.

    Have I been burnt by EA purchases being abandoned or (in my view) prematurely dropped into 1.0 in the past?

    Yep, absolutely — but on balance, I’ve received far more benefit and joy out of being willing to jump into EA (RimWorld, Factorio, Satisfactory, Dyson Sphere Project, etc etc) than I’ve been disappointed by the rare burns. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone’s experience is different, some have more than others, I suppose I just prefer to have the best experience possible and there’s always risks so I wait a little longer. It’s nearly absurd also that some games have been in EA for more than two years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I played ATOM RPG in early access – just an RPG. I paid £10 for it and ended up saving money as the price went up when the full release came. Decent game so glad I did that.

    I also play 7 Days to Die which has been in early access for 8-9 years. It’s still in alpha with no beta in sight, let alone a full release. But you get your money’s worth. I dont feel cheated by the devs on this one.

    One I disapprove of is Mount and Blade Bannerlord. I’d love to have this game – the previous one is great – but I refuse to pay £39.99 (AAA price) for an early access title that has no full release in sight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Idk I like backing the development process. Yes it can be frustrating to deal with bugs. But providing comments to the dev team is helpful for you as a gamer and the devs. It’s like being a part of making the game better. I backed Neuro Voider in alpha and it has grown in sales and popularity. I even shared an alpha screenshot on my steam profile and the dev commented on it!


    1. That’s great but I’m not interested, I just want to play the game and not get frustrated with bugs. I am the type of gamer who would prefer to be patient and get a better experience once it’s patched up a little more and I will know the wait will be worth it. Yes I know some remain after full release but still, and devs still can interact with players even after full release. Devcats has followed me on Twitter after I have written reviews for three of their games after they released.


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