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Joshua Thomasson

The Dangers Of Early Access

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So yesterday I found out the Double Fine's latest game, Spacebase DF-9, has more or less been halted in development. Some of the game was finished and people were playing it, but this game was slotted for a 5 year development cycle with regular updates. People had already paid full price for it, and were expecting as such. After a year and a half, Double Fine's cutting it off, simply because they ran out of money. Personally, this is kind of a shock. I mean Double Fine's a decently famous studio, making hits like Psychonauts and Brütal Legend. It just goes to show that even known studios can make mistakes and fall short.

 

Of course, the big issue here is the fact that a lot of players had already paid for the full game, and are being cut short. The game's playable, but no where near the vision Double Fine promised, which brings me to a somewhat touchy issue in the game industry. Early access and pre-orders are something that affect both triple-A and indie games. It's something that a lot of people take part in, and a lot of other people find idiotic. On one hand, you're securing your copy of a game or getting see and shape the game as it goes along. On the other, you're paying full price for a product you might hate or might not even get finished, with no guarantee of a return. The same issue exists with Kickstarter. It's a gamble that sometimes isn't worth it.

 

So, what's your opinion on this? Do you find yourself throwing money and early access and pre-orders or do you wait and see what others say?

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