Early access is a concept that has revolutionized PC gaming. The idea of being able to play and try out a game before purchasing the full version is not only genius, but simply convenient. There are a few current indie games that are taking advantage of early access and have used it to their benefit, and this is how they have risen to fame in the indie gaming scene.
Being able to get a small taste of a game before purchasing the entire thing is helpful for players. This is also a very useful tool for developers when it comes to getting feedback from the players. Early access, also known as paid-alpha or early funding, allows the developers of a game to get feedback and to fix bugs that the players find along the way. That way, in the finished product of the game, it can be completely fleshed out and ready to go. It is always frustrating to buy a completed game with lots of bugs and issues, so early access is one way to prevent that from happening.
Two popular indie horror games that have utilized early access are Sally Face and Bendy and the Ink Machine. Both games are released in “episodes,” and will not be completed until every episode of the game is complete. Both games have been a hit on Steam and Gamejolt, and early access is a key player in their rise to stardom. Each episode is able to be left on a cliffhanger while the next part is being developed, which gets the player hooked into the game and waiting for more. It is a strategy that certainly works in both of these game’s favor.
As well as creating a solid fanbase and getting players ready for more, the developers are also able to get feedback on a piece of their game and work on bug fixes and corrections. This way, the game will be wholesome and complete on the actual release day. This is, in my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of allowing early access to a game.
As time goes on, the idea of early access has become more popular in the PC gaming industry. Many smaller indie games are taking advantage of this concept, and it is allowing the games to grow and become more popular. In cases like Sally Face and Bendy and the Ink Machine, without early access letting the games grow and form a core fanbase, they more than likely would not have been as successful as they are today.
Bendy and the Ink Machine is one of the fastest-growing indie PC games of 2017. Since its release in February, and with only two episodes released, there is already merchandise being made to sell in stores and an enormous fanbase of diehard Bendy and the Ink Machine lovers. Early access has allowed this game to grow even quicker than it would have without it.
Early access has been a great advantage to so many PC games, and has resulted in their quick and triumphant success. It is a positive for both the players and the developers. Early access is a huge step in the right direction for gaming, and it is exciting to see which direction gaming will go in the future.