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This is becoming a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I am someone that has occasionally jumped on a Kickstarter project here and there. Mostly titles that have a sound development team, people with a name in the business that are putting their reputation on the line and more.
Recently though, I find myself more and more frustrated as I flip through catalogues of games, mainly on Steam. It feels like every other title that looks interesting that I click on is "Early Access Alpha". Many of which are from people I have never heard of, companies I have never heard of and are infested to the gills with balance issues and game breaking (and ruining bugs).
I understand that Alpha products are suppose to be buggy, but I can't help feel that developers are taking advantage of players/consumers to some degree.
My question is, why are so many people throwing money at promises now? What happen to Alpha being about internal testing? Worse yet, why are people paying 30+ dollars to ultimately test a game?
I feel like that at some point, a large group of people are going to end up burned by this practice. At some point (and it is already happening) the developer is going to take that money and run. They are going to cease or slow the patching/production process and ultimately, who is going to hold them accountable?
This really feels like a new point of tension.