11 gaming trends the industry can lose or embrace in 2018

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Embrace: Early Access Curation

Early Access games get a bad rap, and on some level they should, because you are inherently asking people for money on a promise of something very, very difficult. No one needs to go easy on the standards for an early access game or a Kickstarter game or any game that asks the public for money in order to exist. Believe me, no one in the private investment world is taking it “easy” because they know game development is hard.

While I have never and do not foresee myself ever paying outright and looking for Early Access content, it is inevitable that I find more and more things are in “beta,” “alpha,” or Early Access of some kind prior to a full release.

When it comes to problems with Early Access on Steam, these issues are mostly the same since Venture Beat wrote a report on your rights for Steam Early Access three and a half years ago. While I cannot speak to how the program functions today, many of the complaints seem to still be the same.

As mentioned above, it is difficult to make a game and even harder to manage a community of people around it while you do so. The problem of Early Access exists on all sides, Steam should be doing more to vet the teams that will be posting content on Early Access and players should be understanding and know the actual teams themselves are not merely thieves. Developers themselves should adhere to the thought process laid out by Steam when considering a game for Early Access on their Steam partner documentation.

Additionally, with the Xbox Game Preview program, we see there is a way for games to exist like this on consoles as well. Understanding the rules around it and vetting teams better will surely make for a better solution for developers who cannot afford the rigorous testing of a major studio and for consumers who are interested in being more involved in the game making process.

Consumers and creators alike, however, should caution themselves from: