When it comes to Kickstarter and Early Access games, stop being cheap

Personally, I love the idea of "Early Access" games where you can support the makers of a new game and watch it develop. Having input into a game is very exciting. Over the last year there has been a lot of this through Kickstarter and now Steam Early Access. I’ve put my support behind multiple games and look forward to more developers breaking away from big game publishers to create the games players really want.

Sadly though, I’ve noticed a dark trend. I’ve read far too many complaints from people who feel that Early Access should be free or it’s unacceptable to charge more than $5 for a game that’s in development. People want to play for free and then after all the development is done and after their changes have been implemented, maybe they’ll buy a copy when it’s released. Well that seems perfectly fair doesn’t it? "I want you to build me a house with this many rooms, with hardwood floors, a bar, a media room, sunroom and 3 car garage and after you’ve spent $350,000 of your own money on it, I might considering buying it and moving in."

Kickstarter and Early Access are great ways for developers to gauge whether or not their game is viable before they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it’s development. It also keeps games out of the hands of the big publishers that are looking for a "sequel" rather than delivering the best product possible. To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of franchises. One of two games in a series is fine, if they improve on each other, but sometimes you need to make something new. I think Need for Speed and Real Racing have their course.

But back to the main point, people need to get past this idea that they should get everything for free. Games cost a fortune to produce and market. Even a fantastic programmer who’s shunned family to work nights and weekends will eventually need an artist, a musician, a marketer, an accountant and a whole support system to get it out the door.

Come on, let’s not be cheap. We’re better able to work with developers right from the start to help build games we really want to play. We can get instant downloads and not wait years to see how things are shaping up. Developers don’t have to work in a vacuum hoping they’re building a game somebody wants. This is a great relationship we’ve got going, don’t spoil it by being cheap.

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