How many Steam Early Access games have a proper release?

#1 Posted by mancopter (71 posts) -

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!

#2 Posted by JayEH (516 posts) -

I'm interested in this too. I was also wondering the other day how many people actually continue playing Early Access Games.

#3 Posted by mancopter (71 posts) -

Okay, so State of Decay did indeed graduate today. It's no longer listed under Early Access.

Another game I found was Don't Starve.

Other than those, though, I got nothin'.

#4 Posted by alanm26v5 (434 posts) -

I played Mercenary Kings for about a day and went "Well this is neat, can't wait till it's done." And haven't played it since. I only bought it because they said it was $5 cheaper than when it came out. And it was probably in great shape as far as the average early access game on Steam goes. I don't have anything against early access aside from the confusion it causes on the new release store page, but I'd rather play a finished game than an unfinished one, no matter how good it is.

#5 Edited by PrimalHorse (71 posts) -

I still play prison architect quite regularly and some of them are pretty robust that I can't tell which are which. Some are slow. Tbh I don't even think about early access I look sat them and if they list what they currently have and it's what I want I can't be disappointed. Then any updates are bonus. Same as all games buy what I think is interesting. It reminds me indies took over my gaming interests. Just look at them as reasonably priced middle games . I say you can't lose by not buying in if you wanna be safe but personally had s lot of fun with some I've bought. Some I just spend a while playing just figuring out. Even if I end up not doing much it entertains me greatly. Don't starve was great for this I couldn't tell if it was crazy, I was dumb or the game was unfinished either way in laughed.

Written on phone with ape hands so sorry for neanderthal speak

#6 Posted by BisonHero (6047 posts) -

Skulls of the Shogun had an Early Access period of like 1-2 months that was a multiplayer-only beta, then the game released. But yes, most games linger in Early Access for like a year because the dev is desperate for more cash flow.

#7 Posted by MannyMAR (392 posts) -

ArmA 3 was early access and is now a proper release.

#8 Posted by Nals (74 posts) -

1 specifically, that being Electronic Super Joy. Skulls of the Shogun, State of Decay, and Don't Starve launched as Early Access but were largely done by the time they hit Steam, so they don't really count.

This isn't really an answerable question though. Most games take a year plus to release even after hitting the spot most people put them on Early Access. Considering EA has only been in place for a few months, the results haven't really shown much yet. This'd be better asked around this same time next year, as the number will likely be much higher.

It also really sucks to just instantly dismiss games due to EA. Sure you have stuff like Interstellar Marines, which is just idling for more cash to keep working on the game, but you also have stuff like State of Decay/Skulls, that was already "done" prelaunch. Or you have stuff like Xenonauts, Gnomoria, Prison Architect, Full Mojo Rampage, or Door Kickers, games which are maybe 2-3 months out from release, are close to being finished, and want some public opinions/extra cash flow now.

#9 Posted by jArmAhead (169 posts) -

@mancopter: Games take a long, long time to make. Keep in mind we only just started seeing Kickstarter games come to fruition, so we'll have to wait and see if this goes well. Ultimately though, if you feel uncomfortable you're missing the point and it's probably not something for you. The purpose is to help a game in development and encourage new ideas in the industry, not to get cheep or early games and I think a lot of people criticize the program without keeping that in mind. Even if it never produces a finished, quality product it's helping support newcomers in the industry, some of whom may go on to do awesome things elsewhere in the business.

If you want a good example though, ArmA 3 would be the one. It's gained an awesome new map, grown in content, had bugs squashed, graphics bumped up, and a campaign made since it launched. It's not a perfect product, but I don't think that's really the point of many of the games on Early Access, at least that are worth taking seriously. They need the help usually because they aren't a massively promising business venture, and that's usually because they are filling a niche category. And they don't have AAA budgets so you have to keep your wits about you and manage your expectations accordingly.

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