Games don’t spring out of the ground in a finished state, but there is still a glimpse of good things to come with most of early access titles. GOG introduces their own DRM-free take on this with games in development.
It was only a matter of time. After introducing client GOG Galaxy and slowly updating their games with achievements, the next step to be close to Valve’s Steam platform is to give gamers the chance to see work in progress titles. But just like the client that isn’t mandatory to play games, this concept has a few interesting features.
GOG chooses the games they find worthy to add to the catalogue, they’re all DRM-free and there’s a 14 days refund policy. The first seems like a good idea, but of course this is also quite similar to Steam’s Early Access form. Even the voting part is found in the requested games which are on the Community Wishlist. The second is obviously a good way of keeping the crowd which is suspicious of internet-only games happy. It’s also great to be able to rollback to earlier versions of titles and see their progress in a historical way, e.g. what was cut or added. The 14 days refund policy means that one doesn’t have to explain why one wants money back, although hopefully this doesn’t lead to a problematic buy-play-no-money-spent procedure.
I’m certainly no advocate for the Early Access policy, and games in development aren’t my kind of thing, either, as I usually want them in a finished state. Of course this gives indie developers a chance to promote their games and the audience influencing certain aspects of gameplay, presentation, etc.. Hopefully this new approach doesn’t end up in a flood of samey-looking titles on GOG, but then again this could lead to some innovative titles as well. It remains to be seen how many will be exclusive to the DRM-free platform as well.
Right now, 5 games are available to buy/try out: Starbound, a sci-fi sandbox adventure, Ashes of the Singularity, a 64-bit sci-fi RTS, Project Zomboid, an open-ended zombie sandbox survival game, TerraTech, a sci-fi building-commanding customized vehicles RTS, and The Curious Expedition, a 19th century expedition roguelike. To be honest, there are way too many sci-fi themes in there. The Curious Expedition sounds the most interesting for me, although with so many roguelikes in the indie sector, there will hopefully be enough features to differentiate it from the others.
Here’s to a good bunch of interesting new games in development and hopefully some more genres which haven’t been done to death in indie games! However, if you still want to try these games out, they’re up to 40% off at the moment, so grab them while you can and maybe even discuss them in the appropriate forums.
What are your thoughts about early access games or games in development which are sold for money? Have you had any experience with them or do you just wait until they’re finished (or not)?
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Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).