Wednesday, January 29, 2014

EXP Podcast #261: Assessing Early Access

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Getting early access to a game used to be a pretty tall order. You might weasel your way into a limited beta, find a preview disk in a magazine, or poke around the shadier parts of the Internet. Today, it’s much easier: you can just buy your way in. Whether it’s through Steam or directly from the developer, increasing numbers of games are offering prospective players the chance to play the game before it’s official release. Of course this brings into the question the definition of release dates and what it even means to call a game “finished.” This week, we use Rowan Kaiser’s article on the topic to explore early access trend and what it means for customers, designers, and critics. Feel free to jump into the comments with your thoughts!

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Show notes:

- "Early Access exposes the lie that the best games should, or even can, be finished," by Rowan Kaiser, via Polygon
- Runtime: 34 min 44 sec
- Music by: Brad Sucks


  1. Regarding reviewing games that are "a moving target", did you know that the Minecraft client allows you to run any version from 1.0
    upwards? I'd love if they included the pre 1.0 versions as well, as
    that would really allow players to take a look at how the game has
    evolved over the years. In my opinion all early access games should
    include such functionality :-)

  2. That's awesome. I imagine there must be some Counter Strike-like enclaves of people who are like "It was all down hill after v1.702." :)