Early Access: The New Standard in Gaming, and It’s a Positive Development

The rise of early access titles, including those from triple-A releases, is a trend expected to continue. Project Zomboid’s success is attributed to its dedicated modding community and the patient development team at The Indie Stone. Early access is seen as a valuable approach to game development, enabling developers to gather player feedback and gradually improve their games while keeping the community engaged.

Project Zomboid, in early access since 2013, has a robust modding community and a communicative development team at The Indie Stone. Despite lengthy gaps between updates, the community eagerly awaits the upcoming Build 42, which promises significant content additions. Baldur’s Gate 3, the Game Of The Year winner, spent three years in early access, during which it was continually updated based on community feedback.

The developers believe that the success of Baldur’s Gate 3 underscores the importance of early access in releasing a fully realized game. Enshrouded, a game with potential for future updates, has been dubbed a long-term project, and the team at Keen Games has engaged the community through forums to gather input on desired features for future updates. According to Inflexion Games CEO Aaryn Flynn, early access is an exciting and modern way to develop games, allowing developers to directly engage with player feedback.

However, it is noted that player input may not always be right, necessitating a balance. Nightingale, an upcoming survival game, plans to launch in early access at a lower price point. It will join the ranks of popular games that have thrived in early access, while acknowledging that not all games have succeeded in this model.

Despite many success stories, early access has seen its share of failures, such as Spacebase DF-9, underscoring the need for proper handling of early access. Overall, the trend of early access is expected to continue, with more triple-A studios opting for this route.

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