Paying For What? Early Access, Pre-Orders and the Season Pass

An opinion on rethinking pre-buying games.
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What’s the deal?
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With a vast number of games offering the opportunity to buy before you see the finished product, is it time for gamers to re-think their strategy and wait until they see the completed game?

Whether it’s a free DLC for a pre-order ,or a lower price in early access and season passes, it can be hard to see what could really go wrong when you buy the game. Unfortunately though it seems that only occasionally you’ll be pleased with the outcome, more often than not in recent times it seems that the game you end up with won’t be quite as good as you expected.

Can’t be trusted

In the world of FPS games, one of the biggest titles in recent times to be criticised for failing to deliver on multiple fronts was Battlefield 4. Not only was the game criticised for failing to live up to the gameplay of its predecessors, it released with a large number of issues that for many resulted in the game being unplayable. As with most high-profile titles these days Battlefield 4 offered not only the option to pre-order, but a season pass for all future downloadable content. Yet what it actually ended up as was a game that just didn’t work at a basic level, something which should be unacceptable for any product.

Pre-order Battlefield 4!

The vast number of issues surrounding the game have made me review my opinion on pre-ordering and paying for a season pass. If you can’t trust the developers to finish the game in time for its release, do you really want to hand over your hard-earned money before even knowing that it will actually work?

It’s not all bad though

Towards the end of 2013, a Czech Indie studio released Space Engineers on Steam Early Access. While the game released with a focus on only its core features, and to this day is still relatively limited in terms of its gameplay, it is a strong advertisement for paying before its finished.

Space Engineers Early Access

Whilst still in its early stages, it offers an entertaining gameplay experience that I’ve personally found to be well worth it’s asking price, and perhaps one of the most important things about it is that it works. You get a game that is solid, provides everything it advertises and works, while the developer gets support and feedback to improve the game, what more could you ask for?

At the very least, bad experiences with buying games before they’ve finished should make you think about whether it’s worth the risk. As I’m sure many of us are well aware, there are many games that offer such deals that result in entertaining experiences, the problems come when things don’t run quite as smoothly..

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A lover of great games, whether big names or little Indies, the important part is the enjoyment. A casual interest in writing articles and making videos.