Early access has become a bit part of the gaming landscape over the past few years, with many games launching into it. ARK: Survival Evolved is indisputably one of the big success stories of the past several years. In a recent interview, co-creative director and studio co-founder Jesse Rapczak cautioned against using early access as a funding model, specifically pointing out that doing so creates unpleasant and unhealthy expectations for a game.
Rapczak specifies that a game ready to launch in early access should be ready to launch in general, with the earlier access tailored toward ensuring that players can provide important feedback ahead of time. Thinking of early access as a way to generate more funds leads to a lack of consumer confidence, which in turn will eventually demolish the model as a whole. It’s certainly worth considering as an opinion coming from a creator who has found no small amount of success with early access.