Steam Early Access

We're considering going into Steam EA (regardless, we'll be doing Greenlight pretty soon), and I was hoping to get feedback from some people that have done it. With the exception of Genital Jousting, the previous threads haven't really given much insight into what happened after EA, and how it helped/didn't help.

So, our main motivation for doing early access is
- Financially, it would help to get some money in while still building out the remaining stuff, and polishing, to be able to work on it for longer than we can now.
- Gauging general public (i.e. not game devs, friends, or colleagues) interest in it, and helping know what parts we should be focusing on (and what parts not).

My main concern is whether EA can have a detrimental effect on sales overall. I think the main reason it could be detrimental is getting bad ratings (and public perception), and carrying those through to the final release.
But in our case, what we would publish to early access would be close gameplay-wise to what we would publish finally. As in, if you don't like the game right now, the polish, extra story content, and bug fixing stuff we still need to do won't change that.

For reference, the video I posted a couple months ago, is basically what we have now, and is close to what we'd put on EA (with some extra polish).
And to be clear, this is not the video we would post, but the gameplay segment is full representative of the game.


(And yeah, this is all assuming we get through Greenlight)

Comments

  • roguecode said:
    We're considering going into Steam EA (regardless, we'll be doing Greenlight pretty soon), and I was hoping to get feedback from some people that have done it. With the exception of Genital Jousting, the previous threads haven't really given much insight into what happened after EA, and how it helped/didn't help.
    Do we even have community members with such experience here?

  • edited
    critic said:
    roguecode said:
    We're considering going into Steam EA (regardless, we'll be doing Greenlight pretty soon), and I was hoping to get feedback from some people that have done it. With the exception of Genital Jousting, the previous threads haven't really given much insight into what happened after EA, and how it helped/didn't help.
    Do we even have community members with such experience here?
    From search I see Genital Jousting, Broforce, Bunny Bash, Shark Attack Deathmatch 2, PolyGod, Viscera Cleanup Detail, and I'm sure a few others.
  • edited
    It's really impossible to say...

    But I think there are clear benefits to doing updates to your games. Significant updates get you some exposure in http://store.steampowered.com/updated/all/ ... So there's a little bit of incentivisation from Steam update your games, and they do do some promotion for well-selling games when those games do updates. Valve wants games on Steam to act like services with evolving content (kind of like how they run games like Dota and CountrikeGO) so they do build in incentives for that.

    Early Access is a way to do that. And I'd guess for certain games they've done far better than they would have without Early Access, largely because of having a good update schedule. But a broken or severely disappointing Early Access launch would probably hurt you just as much as a broken or severely disappointing final launch.

    Steam doesn't do much to differentiate Early Access from full launches, you don't get a double launch if you go Early Access, I don't think Steam even tells people who have wishlisted the game when it goes out of Early Access. So if you go Early Access you are using up the exact same promotional opportunities that you would if you went straight to full launch.

    I'd like to finish off with reiterating that I can't really say if Early Access is a good fit for your game. I don't know what the normal results are for an Early Access game that is mostly mostly complete when entering Early Access, I think all the South African examples are games that went into Early Access with a lot of development still to go.
    Thanked by 1roguecode
  • Thanks for the response!

    I didn't know that going from EA > full release didn't count as a normal release. I guess that makes sense though, else everyone would just release in EA, and a couple months later go full.

    Just to clarify, I don't really mean it is almost finished due to not having things we want to add (however, I would call the core gameplay "done"). There is lots more I would like to add. But realistically, we can only develop it more for x amount of time (and that is one thing I would hope early access could help us with). One example of this is enemy types. I would love to add more, and add a bunch of boss levels that we've spoken about. But realistically we won't be able to right now.


  • edited
    roguecode said:

    From search I see Genital Jousting, Broforce, Bunny Bash, Shark Attack Deathmatch 2, PolyGod, Viscera Cleanup Detail, and I'm sure a few others.
    Genital Jousting, Bunny Bash, Shark Attack Deathmatch 2 and PolyGod are all still in EA...
    Thanked by 1roguecode
  • critic said:
    roguecode said:

    From search I see Genital Jousting, Broforce, Bunny Bash, Shark Attack Deathmatch 2, PolyGod, Viscera Cleanup Detail, and I'm sure a few others.
    Genital Jousting, Bunny Bash, Shark Attack Deathmatch 2 and PolyGod are all still in EA...
    D'oh, you're right, wasn't thinking!
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