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Sony contemplating PS4 early access

2 min read

Buy it before it's assembled!

Right now on PC, there’s a brand new scourge in gaming; early access. Consumers are asked to pay for access to a game that’s still very much under development. They then get to play the half-cooked game, with their hopes pinned on eventually getting a full game. It offers developers who can’t otherwise afford to make a game a way to monetise their work-in-progress and fund game development. When it works well, as it did with Minecraft and Don’t Starve , it can be a good thing. But for every Minecraft, there are 15 Cube Worlds.

Cube World developer Wolfram von Funck disappeared for months, leaving many of the people who paid for early access to his game worried that they’d thrown their money away.  Here’s a selection of angry people on Twitter, who wondered what had happened with Cube World.

Early Access has usually been consigned to indie games, because they’re the sort of developers who don’t have the cash to finance game development – but some larger publishers have started taking notice, most notably EA.

Now, it looks like Sony may want to do the same,. though likely only for indie titles.

“We’re working through that right now,” Sony’s VP of developer relations Adam Boyes told Gamasutra. “We’re figuring out what’s okay. We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. We’re internally discussing [what the list will] look like and what are the caveats. At what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we’re being mindful of the consumer.

“We don’t want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience. So it’s still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it’s something on the top of my mind every day.”

Because we gamers are idiots, many of us will happily pay money for an unfinished product, for some reason.

“There are different types of people,” he postulated, “who always back games, enjoy Kickstarters, try things that they know aren’t finished but are willing to help make better. I remember playing Rust and laughing hysterically. And there were some things that weren’t finished, but I had a ton of fun.”

I was ambivalent about Early Access. I paid my $10 for Desktop Dungeons back when it was relegated to a browser window, and I have no regrets – even if the game was released quite some time after expected. I am however becoming a little more reticent with its prominence. It’s going to become more and more difficult to know who to trust; who’s going to eventually deliver a finished game, and who’s going to take the money and run. It’s probably no mere coincidence that the initialism of Early Access is EA…

Last Updated: July 14, 2014


  1. Admiral Chief Fairburne

    July 14, 2014 at 11:37

    Hello sir, I’d like a sandwich please, but yes, of course I’ll pay for and be happy with only the lettuce/butter now, I’ll be glad to have the rest of my sammich later


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      July 14, 2014 at 11:39

      So you’re buying the lettuce beta & hope the game isn’t stale by the time the tomato & beef patches are released?


      • Admiral Chief Fairburne

        July 14, 2014 at 11:45

        The nett-effect is the same


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    July 14, 2014 at 11:38

    Nope. It works on PC because of the nature of the platform, don’t think it’s a good idea for consoles. Even then I won’t buy anything that’s in early access. For big companies to try dipping their toes into it is a bit of a cheek too.


    • Sith JJ

      July 14, 2014 at 11:54

      And not all companies are getting it right. I support it in some way, but in another way I actually don’t like Early Access much.


    • Skyblue

      July 14, 2014 at 14:18

      Yeah but then you get your Star Citizen and Next Car Game dev’s who are brilliant.

      EDIT: I do agree with you completely btw.


  3. Spaffy

    July 14, 2014 at 12:05

    Early Access = EA


  4. Hammersteyn

    July 14, 2014 at 12:10

    BF = EA(early access)
    And before they can complete the game(patches and DLC) the next one releases.


    • Sith JJ

      July 14, 2014 at 12:14

      Well, the “next one” that they brand Battlefiend yet it’s not technically a Battlefield at all.


      • Spaffy

        July 14, 2014 at 12:23

        It is. Well a mod at least.


        • Sith JJ

          July 14, 2014 at 14:33

          I don’t see what it has to do with Battlefield though. It’s not really part of the “story” or anything.


          • Spaffy

            July 14, 2014 at 14:35

            You are correct in that sense.
            And it’ll have to do till a new True Crime or similar comes out I guess

          • Sith JJ

            July 14, 2014 at 14:37

            If it’s considered part of Battlefield because of the engine and the look then Portal is a mod for Half Life (or at least that’s how I see it). I still think they’re just coining in on the name.
            I’m on PayDay 2 at the moment for all my heist needs, 75 hours and counting. Man, I love that game.

          • Spaffy

            July 14, 2014 at 14:39

            Is it really that good? I have it on my shelf somewhere.
            Oh the blasphemy.

          • Sith JJ

            July 14, 2014 at 14:42

            Well, some people are not too fond of it because the stealth is shite difficult (read: more realistic), but I personally love the stealth. It means you have to PLAN your heists properly.
            If you’re playing with a friend or two it can be a lot of fun once you learn that teamwork is kind of the only way sometimes. But there are a lot of good players online that will help you out when you’re new. Nice community too.

          • Spaffy

            July 14, 2014 at 14:44

            I think I’ll try it out.

  5. Hammersteyn

    July 14, 2014 at 12:13

    Also a fool and his money is soon parted the saying goes. IE. the people who gave their money to Wolfram. I can understand investing in a ocean liner as example unless it sails near ice bergs. But this is a piece of software.


  6. HisDivineOrder

    July 14, 2014 at 12:41

    Everything PC’s invent, consoles eventually steal, but with more monetization. I fully expect consoles to show up with this, but at a huge markup. It’s gonna be hilarious.

    For years, console gamers proclaimed PC gaming dead and “soon,” but every year they’d crib some new element of gaming from PC’s. Now look at them. Blatantly copying with not a hint of shame.


    • Kromas

      July 14, 2014 at 15:59

      They can have Early Access as long as much as they want. I have a love/hate relationship with the whole process. Pretty much like DLC.


  7. MakeItLegal

    July 14, 2014 at 12:57

    I the cheek I say ….


  8. Double-O-Six and a half

    July 14, 2014 at 13:46

    hate to say it, but these days in a lot of cases games are released at the “early access” stage. With the advent of the “day one patch” and “fix it after release” mentality game developers are NOT getting it right and generally releasing stuff that in the days before patching was viable would have killed the brand…

    Imagine somebody releasing a PS2 game with the amount of buggyness in it that are
    inherent in modern releases…they wouldn’t have lasted long!!!

    I sometimes harken back to days of yore, when games were released when they were ready, they worked when they were released without the need for incessant updates and those that delivered crap faded into oblivion (Pun not intended…) ah, the good old days…


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