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Microsoft Learned from Steam’s Early Access Mistakes for Xbox One Preview Program, First-Party Titles Could Appear

by Kyle Hanson

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The Xbox One Preview Program launched at E3 2015, presenting console players with a similar ability to play unfinished game that PC gamers have enjoyed for some time. A few games have been launched, such as Elite: Dangerous, and more are coming, like We Happy Few and Ark: Survival Evolved. However, questions continue to be asked as far as how the program is being run.

Game Informer was able to ask some of those questions to Microsoft Studios Global Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis, who revealed some interesting new details about the Xbox One Preview Program. These details include the fact that first-party Microsoft games could appear on the service, and that Microsoft is learning from Steam’s mistakes.

“First party will be using Game Preview for our games,” Loftis said. “It’s not 100 percent. It’s very much developer choice, but it is definitely an option.” This means we could be seeing some pretty big games released on the Xbox One Game Preview Program, before they are finished, and before they are available in any other way.

One of the issues that Steam users have had with Early Access is that it is full of broken games that, frankly aren’t very fun. Microsoft is working to avoid that though.  “We are curating that program,” said Loftis. “We’re curating it very much with an eye for making sure that the games are high-quality games.”

“A lot of the issues we’ve seen with the folks that tried this sort of service earlier have seen, are things that we’ve been able to learn from. There is a little bit of extrapolation that the gamer has to make in order to guess that the end product is good. So far, nothing has backfired as far as gamer reception, but we are being very cautious.”

In fact, Loftis goes on to explain that if a game were having trouble reaching final release, as many Steam Early Access titles have, they might step in to help out, ensuring gamers a finished product. To read about that, and more, head over to the full Game Informer interview.

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