Extra Credits tackles why we buy into early access games even when we shouldn’t

    
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If you missed our podcast’s epic rant about the problems of early access this week, then strap in because the folks at Extra Credits have an explainer that addresses the problem from another angle. Our podcast question addressed whether the early access hype cycle was bad for the players and the genre, but Extra Credits focuses on the game dev misconceptions, both intentional and unintentional, that lead people to buy into early access in the first place. It’s not just because you’re impatient!

For example, EC differentiates between unfinished and incomplete games – the one you’re getting with early access is incomplete and sometimes not playable outside of a non-representative “vertical slice.” And yet studios are cobbling together trailers to get you to buy buy buy (and test test test!), even when those trailers – and hacked-together tradeshow demos that waste dev time and mislead the press who play them – aren’t really much like the actual game at all.

Take a peek at the whole episode below, and remember – maybe just don’t buy early access.

Source: Extra Credits via City of Titans. Cheers, Ken!

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Fenrir Wolf

I only ever do it as a niche interest. I tend to generally feel as though I’m part of a rather under-served demographic. Therefore, I’m willing to support and be positive about anyone that throws a scrap my way.

You can’t expect people to believe there’s money in your demographic unless you’re willing to take chances and gamble, knowing full well that there’s a good chance you’ll never see any real returns on your fiduciary investment. C’est la vie.

You’ll find many small sub-cultures — furries, otherkin, therians, et alia — know this all too well. They’re very open with their wallets because they want to encourage more creators to step forward and craft fascinations for them. Unlike the affluent, blessed demographics, though, we can’t ever think of ourselves as entitled.

No one should, really, but not a point I care to argue right now. The truth of it is self-evident enough.

These sub-cultures understand that to create something is a job, a job requires one to have income. Thus commissions are a thing where services are exchanged for cash. Commissions can be a risky business since you don’t really know what the end result will look like, exactly. We trust the artist, though, and usually that works out.

And even if it doesn’t, it still adds to the overall reputation that there’s more money in these niche subcultures than there are in most bigger subcultures, so long as you’re not a mainstream company who can cast their net that wide.

Little Dragons Cafe is an example of this. I was worried it wasn’t doing well, and going by only the Steam and Metacritic reviews, that’s a fair assessment. However, I’ve seen no end of praise lavished upon it in furry, otherkin, and therian communities.

That made me very happy as LDC is a game that deserves to succeed. It’s a lovely reality where people actually aren’t sociopaths and don’t fetishise parasitism (vampires, to wit). For a pessimist like myself, it’s an uplifting experience and one that I want more of.

I feel that anyone who finds suffering and sadness novel enough to appreciate it, and embrace it with all of the edginess that implies must live a blessed life indeed. I suspect that these people have never had to worry about sickness, debt, or death.

I mean, I can only conclude that all George R. R. Martin fans score pretty highly on the dark triad.

So, yes, sometimes money is worth spending in support. I know of LGBTQ+ friends and acquaintances who’re frugally free and easy for that reason alone, being thrifty doesn’t serve you unless you’re a part of the one of the mega-demographics.

So sometimes you should buy into early access, just to continue to show that your particular niche interest has money and to keep that reputation afloat. We’re certain to be exploited, sure, but it’s worth the risk as we don’t really have any other choice.

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Mattias Berg

Next EA game on the horizon i Anthem. Won’t be finished, have plenty of bugs and still make way too much money for the shareholders and executives while the actual developers deal with 18 hour days, 7 days a week work conditions for no money and they’ll get fired the second the game is done. Talking Early Access or Electronics Arts? EA = EA simulation theory proven

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Bruno Brito

Thank god for not having money to spend on this crap.

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Fenrir Wolf

I don’t have much money, either. It’s all about priorities, though, I feel. One chooses to support things that are meaningful to oneself, or one chooses to go for the latest big, shiny blockbuster release. It’s all a matter of whether you’ve any subject that means anything to you in that way, along with whether any developers are risking supporting it.

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Bruno Brito

Oh, yeah, sure. I still don’t EVER support EA games. I don’t care if i’m into it, i don’t care if they seem like good people, i don’t care if they NEED this to stay afloat. Betas are supposed to be tested. Testing is a fucking job. EAs are literally selling a broken game, and getting bs feedback for PR stunts. I’ll live without them.

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Paragon Lost

Good video, gotta agree with their points.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes, also cant help, after watching it, to think if all the videos on Torchlight based mmo are real or not

Veldan
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Veldan

Wow, I had not watched extra credits in so long that I didn’t know the old narrator left.

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Siphaed

Same. Looked back and found the May 30th 2018 video the first introduction of the new Narrator. I liked the old narrator’s voice mask, though.

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PanagiotisLial1

EA often isnt beneficial both ways. I mean – and telling that to you developers – your game will be scrutinised as unfinished and sometimes gets a bad reputation(fair or unfairly) before being delivered and ends dead on arrival just cause you had the idea to show it unfinished to the public in order to do some early financing