The slippery slope of Planetary Annihilation

Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2014 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: gaming, bad idea, prerelease, planetary annihilation

Releasing unfinished games is no longer limited to EA, many developers have picked up the habit of Early Access versions of their games and it is in danger of becoming as common as pre-purchases have.  For some users this is not an issue, beta testing can be fun if you are that type of person or have a vested interest in trying to contribute to the development of a game.  Uber has gone one step further with Planetary Annihilation, actually releasing an Early Access version of the game to retail stores with a free upgrade to the full version once it is released.  There will be many consumers that do not understand that this is not a finished game and will purchase it with the expectation that it is completed.  This will likely lead to a lot of internet bile being unleashed and bad reviews being published which is something you would think a publisher would want to avoid.  Do you think that it is not an issue or perhaps a self correcting one or do you agree with Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN that this could be the start of a bad trend for the gaming industry?  It is unlikely that this particular game will die in development and never be released but if it becomes a common trend unscrupulous publishers could slap together a demo, sell it as a pre-release and then abandon development; they've already made money so why bother finishing the game if consumers are happy paying full price for a half-baked product?

For those who prefer to play fully finished and perhaps even heavily modded games, why not join the Fragging Frogs for a gaming session

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"The practice of releasing alpha or beta games as part of an “Early Access” plan is not, in itself, inherently harmful. It can be quite good for a game when developers priorities are in order and everyone is given plenty of information about what they’re getting into upfront. Planetary Annihilation‘s early access version on brick-and-mortar store shelves, though?"

Frogs moron

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July 2, 2014 | 06:59 PM - Posted by Ophelos

I've bought into two early access games this year one is called "landmark, formly known as Everquest Next landmark" which cost me $100 for alpha and beta access plus other things that things.
here's the link landmark:
The second game is called ArcheAge, an this game cost me $150 for alpha/beta access. But the difference with this game it's been released over a year ago in South Korea.

Alot of people might think i'm nuts about spending that amount on early access, yeah u could say that i am, but i don't mind since i have done my reseach on them an they're very well worth the price i paid for.

Also one other thing both of these games will be released as free to play games.

July 3, 2014 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Pholostan

Yeah, I would say that paying $100-$150 for alpha/beta access is crazy. There are a lot of really good games that are finished out there for a lot less.

What's the incentive to finish the game if you can get paid well before it is done? Just eat it in profits, then do some window dressing and call it a day. A bean counter/stock holder dream.

July 3, 2014 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Game designers aren't like Subway's "sandwich artists", they are usually very committed to their project and care deeply about its success.

People blow much more money on total vaporware on Kickstarter every day. At least with alpha/beta software, you have something that you can play with and enjoy. I wouldn't spend that much money on an unfinished project either, but I can understand why someone might.

Now that I think about it, the most expensive game that I ever bought was Zelda NES for like $80... in 80s dollars... which is $175 adjusted for inflation. :-O

July 3, 2014 | 03:31 PM - Posted by Pholostan

Sure I can understand it, I have spent way too much on Kickstarter etc. Most seem to become something, but some the dev/devs have taken the money and pretty much left. Sure they can be committed, but they can be greedy too. Very important what kind of history and reputation the dev/devs have, and sometimes it seems they have no problem squandering stuff like that to make a little money.

July 3, 2014 | 01:00 AM - Posted by Sonic4Spuds

First I have to say I have been playing PA for a year now, and I have been convinced of their ideas from the first.

I have to say that it is rather hard to mistake the game for a full retail version when it has a yellow caution tape saying it isn't, but I can see that this could be an issue if you are buying from a site that doesn't show the box art or the full information.

They have dealt with that sort of backlash before on steam when they got to be one of the most popular games in early access, and have learned a lot from the experience.

They are also very up front with information on what they are changing, adding or planning for the game, and have shown that they are serious about delivering what they say they will.

It is something that I think people should be thoughtful about before they invest in a game that isn't finished, because it would be easy for a company to abandon a game, but I think it has shown that there is a lot to be gained from a program like this when the company handles it well.

July 3, 2014 | 07:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All I know is that I can't get enough BroForce in my life. I also like being part of the group that helps support and shape such a great game.

Now if BF sucked ass and I expected it to be complete and polished in every way like a Mario title, then I would be upset.

So I guess it just comes down to transparency.

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