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Is early access really that bad?

TheScavengerTheScavenger Member EpicPosts: 3,321
Early access. Saying that gives groans and sighs of quick cash ins.

However, are they actually really that bad?

Lets take MMOs. Many MMOs have a cash shop with loot boxes and all kinds of things to pay your way into the game...sometimes cosmetic...sometimes not. One can argue that is actually WORSE than a simple early access game that probably has no future. Many early access developers may look for a quick cash-in (Repopulation is a good example of that, till that changed owners and still haven't heard anything about it since)...

However, many actually released MMOs really try to force you into their cash shop to buy all kinds of junk. Sometimes its cosmetic stuff, but often times its items that make the game easier in some way or stuff to boost you (either levels/skills or better items). And often when its cosmetic, it can cost more than most AAA released games would cost.

How is that better than the multiple early access games? On one hand, you got greedy developers who really focus on the cash shop. Even worse are the RNG loot boxes which are only there because SOME people get pretty addicted to gambling. On the other, however, are early access games with many just never releasing. Besides Repopulation, there have been many early access games outright abandoned by the developers. They DO deserve the hate.

But RNG loot boxes, and overly expensive cash shops get little in the way of complaints. Early access however gets far more hate than most cash shops in MMOs. Is this because cash shops have been around so long people are used to them?

If so, then in the next years early access could be regarded as the norm and no longer a "taboo" thing in gaming. Does it get more hate than cash shop just because its a new model in gaming? There aren't just failed early access games, but many early access games are seen as a great success (like Subnautica and Ark Survival).

Just like not all cash shops are actually bad, just the ones with paid RNG and overly expensive cosmetic items. But there ARE MMOs with good cash shops like EVE and WoW. How are both models any worse or better than each other? Except one (early access) gets a strange amount of hate compared to cash shops.

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Comments

  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,131
    bad when you are the one who buy the ticket for unfinished product , don't matter if you don't spend a penny
  • AeliousAelious Member RarePosts: 3,521
    As long as the company is up front about what they are providing and for what price.... what possible problem could there be? If anything it would hurt the company more than help. They are wasting their "unboxing" attention moment to provide an unpolished version of their product. If they could wait longer they would get more customers in the end due to word of mouth. As it is by the time it's a full release, those who were interested have moved on.
  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,838
    edited August 2017
    It is up to the management of the company to decide how they release and monetize their products. I can only speak from the position of a potential customer.

    For me, cash shops selling any kind of ingame assets completely ruin immersion. The game may still be fun, I may still even play it, but I will never consider it to be my virtual home and take it seriously like I did with what people now call "oldschool MMORPGs".

    They are all just games which are not to be taken seriously you may say and you would be right, but for me, MMORPGs have always been sort of special. There is simply a difference between how I used to treat Lineage 2 back in the day, for instance, and how I treat CSGO. Only one of these is just a game for me.

    Regarding early access (EA), the problem I see as a potential customer is that the companies usually do not specify dates when the product will leave the early access stage and they just keep it in EA for years. I bought DayZ, for instance, several years ago. It was in playable state back then and I would expect that the game would be released by now, but it is still in the EA without any date provided as to when it will be released. As a potential customer, I am no longer willing to spend money on EA games unless there is a clear date when it will be released. 
    ConstantineMerus
  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 2,058
    Why do we give chlamydia such a bad rep when testicular cancer is a lot worse.

    Games that have gambling boxes are bad and games that stay in early access forever are bad. No need to make a comparison between the two.
    VestigeGamer
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    Your experience playing "early access" games will vary dramatically, from being almost unplayable to being indistinguishable from a release version. Anything goes !

    And that is the core of the problem. There is no way a prospective customer can judge the quality of what they're buying. There's no way of knowing when a buggy product will improve, or if it ever will. And you can't really complain about anything, because it's "early access", after all...

    Anyone who bought Foxhole a few weeks ago at "early access" launch can tell you that the game is rock solid, and has fewer issues than many release versions. It has a good selection of features, and they all work. The servers are packed (with long queues during primetime).

    But playing Foxhole will give you a very skewed impression of what "early access" means in other titles. 
    ConstantineMerusKyleran
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    iixviiiix said:
    bad when you are the one who buy the ticket for unfinished product , don't matter if you don't spend a penny
    Your experience playing "early access" games will vary dramatically, from being almost unplayable to being indistinguishable from a release version. Anything goes !

    And that is the core of the problem. There is no way a prospective customer can judge the quality of what they're buying. There's no way of knowing when a buggy product will improve, or if it ever will. And you can't really complain about anything, because it's "early access", after all...

    Anyone who bought Foxhole a few weeks ago at "early access" launch can tell you that the game is rock solid, and has fewer issues than many release versions. It has a good selection of features, and they all work. The servers are packed (with long queues during primetime).

    But playing Foxhole will give you a very skewed impression of what "early access" means in other titles. 
    That isn't really something to do with early access. 

    I seen 2 types of early access, the most common get certain players to start a few days before everyone else. That usually have no real impact on anything besides who gets a certain name. 

    The other type charges for a beta and call it early access like PFO did. It is not a great idea since we will judge a game as a finnished product once they charge us for playing it.

    In both case if the game is already in good shape it have little impact on things but if you have a paid beta in a game that shouldn't be close to being released it will kill all hype for the game.
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,135
    Early access games are fine so long as you don't spend more money on them than you can afford to lose, as there is a very real possibility you may be effectively doing just that.

    As far as cash shops and random lock boxes, we are pretty much at the place of 'get over it', as not enough players are willing to support subscription only games to make them viable with WoW being the only exception of note (and has a cash shop anyway.)

    Being unable to rely solely on subscription revenue game providers have to generate their income somehow, and that will always involve something less than ideal.
  • immodiumimmodium Member RarePosts: 2,604
    edited August 2017

    But RNG loot boxes, and overly expensive cash shops get little in the way of complaints. Early access however gets far more hate than most cash shops in MMOs. Is this because cash shops have been around so long people are used to them?
    Purely anecdotal but not on this site they don't. Cash shop/Loot boxes get far more critique than EA.

    The reason for this is that they see it as more of an infection, games starting out without a cash shop and then including one.

    Whereas you know what you're getting into with early access.
    ConstantineMerus

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  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    Loke666 said:
    ... 

    I seen 2 types of early access, the most common get certain players to start a few days before everyone else. That usually have no real impact on anything besides who gets a certain name. 

    ...
    Indeed, the "early access" label can mean just about anything these days.

    Originally, it implied access to the release version before the general public was allowed in. But, just like "MMO", it has become a vague catch-all that is largely meaningless in itself without checking the fine print first.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Early Access to me means it is an unfinished game, one of the problems is that many games seem to stay in that 'early access' phase for extended periods of time, so much so that i think many of them should really be considered to be the final game and should no longer be under the 'umbrella' of early access to excuse away various bugs and/or incomplete features. Which is why, i don't pay to early access and i refuse to engage in the pre order madness. :/
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,663
    I dont even consider EA games that charge to play
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    I think the problem is Early Access is being used as a marketing term by a lot of games meaning come and play our game before the crowd, instead of a tech term meaning the game still needs work.

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 2,958
    The first thing I thought about when I saw "early access" was that it was a clever ploy to release a game while selling it as "not yet finished" so people wouldn't immediately throw in the towel if they didn't like it. You had time to work on it so it could only get better. It was basically releasing a game and somehow lowering expectations without having people realize it. 

    It's the perception of the product that they were changing. 

    Cryomatrix
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  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,894
    Being able to sell a tech demo and charging the whole price has been the greatest boon ever to games/companies that never plan on finishing the game anyways.

    _________

    I mean seriously Arc devs have been frustrated by their inability to actually finish to the point that they can leave EA,  They really want the ability to monetize expansions (and got some really nice public outcry for it).    When they realized there wasn't anymore money in ARC they went and decided to play company/game shell games, and go and make Dark and Light.


    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,826
    yep
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