Video games have come a long way since the early days of pong, and not just in terms of graphics, but also how they are actually developed. One of the biggest new innovations in digital distribution is Early Access, and since it's been a while since the first time it happened, we wanted to get a general idea of how everyone feels about Early Access titles now? Has the distribution strategy improved since it began? What else can be done to make it better?
I mainly bring this up this weekend for 2 reasons: first of all, more and more games are now being released in some variety of Early Access with the majority of them being indie games, and a lot of them seeing great success. Hades recently sold 1 million copies after launching out of Early Access, and more than half of those sales were during Early Access.
So it's clearly doing something at least, and it seems like the success rate of Early Access titles is growing larger and larger with less games being totally abandoned (I could be wrong here, but it sure seems like it's getting better). Is Early Access seeing more success then? Why is that so? And if not, then why as well?
But the second reason, and the main reason to be honest, is the recent news of CD Projekt Red now having six-day work weeks in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 ready for the November 19th release date, which has obviously caused quite a bit of controversy when it comes to workplace “crunch.”
But a few comments from that article we reported suggested that either the developers should delay the game’s release date or knock off $10 from the price tag and launch it as an Early Access title. Which got me thinking: could this style of distribution work? More and more AAA games are released and unfinished but they're so desperate to get them out the door that maybe this would help curb complaints about being unfinished, or unpolished, or just generally buggy on release.
If CDPR did launch Cyberpunk 2077 in Early Access to give players the game whilst they finish up on polishing it, should they release the whole thing? Or just parts of it to avoid spoilers?
So would you be interested in an Early Access version of Cyberpunk 2077? Even if it was generally finished but with lots of bugs? Would that break immersion for you? And could that strategy even work? And what are your feelings on Early Access games in general? Let’s debate!