Developers continue to garner support for games prior to a retail release, releasing sub-par products that are unfortunately defended by the idiotic gaming masses that think a simple "Early Access" title warrants a complete lack of support and update for months following release. There are literally dozens of incredibly popular games on Steam at the moment, each using Early Access as an excuse for delivering a poor experience with the pipe dream promise that one day they'll miraculously fix a myriad of issues and suddenly create hundreds of hours of content - or at least fulfill one or two of the dozen promises on the Steam store page.
Don't misunderstand my personal stance on supporting developers in the industry. It's very much similar to other successful mediums in the business world. The rich get richer while the newbies struggle to merely make ends meet. Early Access programs aimed to less the severity of the differences between the two, allowing developers to secure much needed funding support prior to a games release. However, it appears far more developers are using this opportunity to separate gamers from their hard earned cash with a variety of promises that almost never get fulfilled.
I'll likely get burned at the stake for this but DayZ is arguably the most guilty of such actions. The mod amassed a massive following and with good reason, it filled a very unique niche in the gaming world and filled it well. It was only natural that the title evolved into a standalone product, but maybe evolved wasn't really the right word. It doesn't have half the features of its predecessor, it's creator is leaving the company at the end of the year, and they've barely managed to implement 1 perfectly working feature since Early Access launch.
Every Early Access game on Steam is accompanied with a brief note from developers explaining the games current state and what they hope to implement in the future, but this is not a fair deterrent for those that are not really deeply involved in the industry. If you knew a certain individual was addicted to Crack, would you then proceed to show them a house filled to the brim with the stuff, absconding from any responsibility by simply stating "Warning, there's crack inside". I'm not ignorant to the rather severe comparison I'm making here but as developers, as someone selling a product to a sometimes uneducated audience, shouldn't they take more responsibility?
Have you purchased many Early Access titles? How many have actually fulfilled any of their promises? Leave your comments below.