Early Access: To support but not to play

I’ve now played a good number of Early Access titles, and while overall I like the system and how Steam runs it, I do have a personal problem with playing EA games; sometimes by the time the game is fully released, I’m already bored with it, or have played it enough to not be all that excited when it finally hits version 1.0.

The best example of this is Prison Architect. It’s a great game, and has been in EA for a long time. I didn’t jump in until about a year ago, and played the game a good amount. Between that time and release, a few new features were added, but overall Prison Architect still felt/played mostly like the version I played before, which in turn didn’t lead me to push past the samey stuff to see the new stuff. For all I know the new stuff is really awesome, but I just can’t get to it or really enjoy it because I feel like I’m just playing the same game I’ve already played.

ARK is a little bit like this too. Since the group I had been playing with stopped, I’ve had a tough time diving back in. All the while ARK is getting new content, which sounds great, but the core game is still the same, so again I’m having a tough time pushing through the samey stuff to get to the new stuff.

I like supporting EA games I think show promise, because I think without EA some of these games either never get started or don’t make it to the end, but I’m going to have to seriously consider how I actually PLAY the EA games I buy into. Age of Deception was in early access, I played it a little bit, but stopped once I figured out I liked it and waited until full release. That worked, so this will have to be the approach going forward.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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3 Responses to Early Access: To support but not to play

  1. Particlebit says:

    I bought early access to prison architect pretty early on. Played it for a few hours and realized exactly what you are saying – I didn’t want to play through and get bored of the game before it gave the full experience. Luckily, I was able to stop and now that’s it been fully released, feels fresh and new.

  2. Asmiroth says:

    I guess this is less of a problem for the single player games but a heck of a mountain for multi player ones. It never really hits critical mass and you have no one to play with.

    Short EAs, say 3 months or so, at least give the impression of a beta. A year or more (darkest dungeon is near that right?) and the game just loses steam. Maybe the system is still too young for people to have found the sweet spot.

  3. Izlain says:

    This is why when I purchase EA games I’m picky with my selections, along with not playing the shit out of them while they’re in Early Access. One exception has been Nuclear Throne, I’ve played that one quite a bit and it’s nearing 1.0.

    I tend to try out EA games for a bit but because they tend to do wipes (or save games will stop working once a new version is released) I usually only dabble. I’m patient enough to wait for some big new feature to try (Such as the addition of the Cove to Darkest Dungeon) or for full release. I have a number of them in my backlog that are just waiting for the day when the updates stop.

    I do enjoy keeping up on what’s going on with them though.

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