Steam Early Access games have been a hot topic of conversation among PC gamers on Steam as of late. In its purest form, Steam Early Access should give developers a platform to fund their games while working toward completion. Unfortunately, there’s nothing promising that the game ever gets to that point.
The Steam Early Access Frequent Asked Questions section has been updated with a new warning, claiming buyer beware.
“Its up to the developer to determine when they are ready to ‘release’. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses,” according to the FAQ. “You should be aware that some teams will be unable to ‘finish’ their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state.”
The warning doesn’t change much for developers or purchasers, other than it’s now plainly out in the open that just about anyone can release anything on Steam, working or not, legitimate or scam.
Valve has since commented on the warning, “The changes to the FAQ are intended to help set customer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game. We frequently iterate on Steam features as we gather feedback and find areas for improvement,” according to Valve’s Doug Lombardi.
“In this case, it became apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles. We think of Steam, Early Access, and game development as services that grow and evolve best with the involvement of customers and the community.”
Steam Early Access is a great thing that has spurred numerous high profile projects. This along we’ve seen popular games like Starbound, Rust, Day Z and others flourish using the platform.