Early access for games is becoming more common
Early access for games is becoming more common as a preorder incentive, and a new thread asks what you think of the practice, with opinions varying greatly. Some see it as a positive way to benefit from early sales, while others see it as a negative marketing strategy that drives players to pay for unfinished games.
Many of us are aware that early access for games is on the rise, and a recent report from analyst Daniel Ahmad confirmed that it’s helping drive early sales. However, some of you may perceive it as a negative trend, and a recent thread on Reddit asks for your thoughts on the matter.
“Early access for games is a great incentive,” one user replies. “I’m not one to preorder the vast majority of games, but early access is a nice benefit if it comes with preorder bonuses. It also drives early sales and helps the company stress-test their game before release.”
Others, however, prefer to wait for sales or see if there are any major bugs that need to be fixed before buying a game. “Waiting for the game to be 100% complete is a good idea,” one replies. “Getting a fixed game with all the DLCs at a discounted price is a major advantage of waiting.”
“Wasn’t the whole point of early access to let people play the game before it’s out so that they can give feedback?” another replies. “Now it’s just a way to get people to pay extra for the game, even when there’s a Game Pass.”
Many also question whether exclusive preorder bonuses weren’t enough of an incentive for preorders, especially given the prevalence of game subscriptions like Gamepass that let you play almost all games without paying extra. “Playing the game earlier than others is the real appeal,” one replies, “rather than exclusive content.”
There are also many who say that they don’t care about early access and prefer to buy games late and on sale. “I’m part of the ‘I won’t pre-order shit until someone else plays it first’ crowd,” one replies, “and I consider early access a better deal for me because I can wait for the sales.”
Another replies, “I love pre-downloads because I have a slow internet connection and can download games when I’m not home.” This leads to a discussion about the safety of preordering Nintendo games, while acknowledging that other games have had buggy launches.
One user also points out that “pre-ordering is a negative practice, but early access is not”, adding, “I see it as an incentive to pre-order, not a way to trick people to pay extra.”
The discussion also touches on the controversy surrounding Twitch exclusives tied to pre-orders, which some find even worse than early access itself. “I’ll be honest,” one replies. “I don’t really care about the Twitch exclusives because I don’t watch Twitch. But I do like the idea of letting other streamers be beta testers.”
“I think it’s important to remember that early access has been around for a long time,” another adds. “I don’t think it’s a recent trend that corporations are trying to exploit. It’s always been there, but it’s become more common because of the negative reaction people have to pre-orders.”
If you do pre-order, or used to before you became disillusioned, what is the appeal of early access for you? Do you find it a fair reward for your commitment, or a negative marketing strategy designed to part you with your money?