This article about State of Decay announces that the game will apparently be getting a proper release day this Tuesday, November 5.
This got me thinking. How many Early Access games have actually become proper releases. On Steam itself, there is no information about games that have "graduated." As for the number of games currently in the program, I got the numbers 74, 64, and 68, all in different locations on Steam, so I don't even know how to compile a proper list.
While digging around for an answer on Steam, though, I found a rather disconcerting post replying to a user who compared Early Access to pre-ordering:
It isn't a pre-order. Steam gives refunds for pre-orders, not for early access.
There is no guaranteed that an early access game will even make it to a full release, and there are no refunds for it (atleast not stated in any agreement that I know of).
A pre-order is for a guaranteed product where you get access to the full game early. Some offer inclusion into the beta also, though they tend to offer free beta access to those who sign up too.
Never confuse early access with a pre-order. They are similar in some ways, but not all.
All in all, I am asking this question because I feel increasingly uneasy about the Early Access program (I have yet to support a game in it,) yet it is becoming pushed harder and harder by Steam without any positive results that I can find.
Finally, please note that this isn't me trying to decry Early Access. I have the willpower to not purchase a game I don't feel right about. It's just an honest question, seeing as how my current wishlist has about 20 Early Access games in it, with no sign of a proper release ever happening for any of them.
Any input is completely appreciated! Thanks!