I don’t like going out shopping really, there’s something that turns me off with large crowds of people getting in the way and the fact that I have to walk between about 7 different stores just to make sure I’m not getting ripped off on a certain games price. Online shopping is way more convenient because I can just do a few searches from the comfort of my own chair and find the best deal. So of course I enjoy perusing the Steam store for new releases and hot savings but there’s nothing that pisses me off more than goddamn Early Access.
Just in case there is anyone reading who doesn’t know Early Access is where developers can but their game on the store and charge people for it before its release. The idea being that the revenue generated from sales of the early access version will help developers raise funds to make the game better. Sound good on paper right?
The problem is that you aren’t paying a cheaper price for a game just because it’s in early access. Remember WAY back before Minecraft was released? You could get the early builds of the game for £5 and the idea was that people would give feedback and help it improve, exactly like early access. Now the game’s been released it costs $26.95 so now the game has been finished it costs a normal price. I know that’s not early access per se since it’s not a Steam title, but that’s how it should work. But no, that’s not how it works is it….
Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game that I think looks really cool, it’s a game I’m very much looking forward to once it gets released and it’s available as an early access title, cool right? Well no because it costs £30.98. Are you kidding me?! That’s like full price for a game that isn’t finished! This isn’t some shitty indie developer who’s got a big dream and is desperate for cash either, this is inXile Entertainment, the company that gave us Wasteland 2 which generated $1.5 million in it’s first 4 days of release. I’m pretty sure with that much money they don’t need an extra £30 per head just to develop another goddamn isometric RPG, I’m pretty sure Planescape: Torment was developed on a significantly cheaper budget than this.
Scroll down the information a while to to the “what state is it in” and they tell us that it’s only the first major area of the game. That essentially means that this game is a demo. £30 for a bloody DEMO. Demo’s used to come free on the front of magazines when I was a child. Hell, the first ENTIRE DISC of Panzer Dragoon Saga (4 discs long) came FREE on the front of the Sega Saturn Magazine my dad used to buy me when I was growing up.
But wait, there’s something worse than early access
Oh yeah, Kickstarter, the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen and a money sink for morons with big wallets.
Once again, Kickstarter seems like a good idea on Paper because you can see a project that you like the look of and then support that project by helping the creator out financially. The problem is time and time again we’ve heard of Kickstarters getting funded and under delivering.
Broken Age is a sorry excuse for a point and click adventure game made by Tim Schafer. It doesn’t even come close the the kind of quality of even the most obscure games in the genre from way back when, let alone the well loved giants like Monkey Island. Do you know how much money that game generated on Kickstarter? $3.45 goddamn MILLION. All that goddamn money for a game that looks like it was made in Flash with a terrible ending, I hope it was worth it. You know, there’s a writer on this very website who has made games better than Broken Age on a budget of $0 using AGS and a super old copy of Deluxe Paint to make the sprites. I won’t post his shit because he’s never actually released anything and I don’t know how he would feel about it but he does it for the love of the genre, not so he can beg for millions on dollars on Kickstarter even though he probably should.
Mighty No 9 is another great example of a funded Kickstarter than has yet to materialize. It’s on the Steam list, sure, but you can only pre-purchase. The game was announced in like, 2013, and it’s still not released despite all that Kickstarter money to help it get going. It’s a bloody Megaman game just with a new coat of paint, how long could it possibly take? Megaman 1 was released in 1987 and Megaman 2 was released in 1988, that’s like a year at best. This has been 3! 3 goddamn years and we still can’t play this shit. Not that they aren’t already milking the character though by including him in titles like GalGunvolt (MightyGunvolt in the West). It’s not like they are making anything new here guys, it’s just bloody Megaman but with a stupid name and a crap art-style.
I could go on for hours and hours listing bullshit examples of early access and Kickstarter but this post has already gone on long enough. Bottom line, if you want my money then finish your fucking game. If you want to try and generate interest then release a demo or something and stop trying to grub for money because as soon as you put up a Kickstarter or an early access release, you’re nothing more than a money grubbing little prick to me. Don’t come back to me like “but what about small indie devs”, get lost. Look at things like Touhou or Cave Story. Developed by one guy on no budget and in the case of Cave Story released for FREE. There are plenty of avenues for amateur developers to take without spending overly large amounts of cash.
I’m awaiting the people coming to tell me “uhh, but what about Darkest Dungeon, what about <Game X> or <Project Y>?”. Just save your time because I don’t care, I’ve seen enough projects fail and enough people get burned to have lost all respect for these ideas because whatever argument you have, I’ll always have the Ouya.
Like I said before, finish your damn game
Identity Gaming is an individual series attempting to raise money for Alzheimer’s! If you’re feeling generous, or you just want to make yourself feel better for buying that super expensive thing, follow the link below to the donate page… oh and Identity Gaming’s main site is also there… but you know, whatever.