Valve has warned Steam users that some Early Access games currently available on Steam may never get fully finished by their developers, leaving some games incomplete. In an Early Access Q&A, Valve recommends only purchasing an Early Access title if you are excited about playing it in its current state.
“When you buy an Early Access game, you should consider what the game is like to play right now. Look at the screenshots and videos to see what the game looks like in its current state. There are a lot of ways a game can go as it develops over time, so if you aren’t excited to play the game in its current state, then hold off and wait until the next update-it shouldn’t be far off, Valve says.”
Many developers have been criticized for the lack of updates provided to certain titles following their launch on Steam, as well as some which have left gamers disappointed by their extremely poor quality. The most recent case being that of Earth: Year 2066 which was pulled from Steam last month, offering refunds to all those who purchased the game.
Valve stated, “It’s up to the developer to determine when they are ready to ‘release’,” Valve said. “Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses. You should be aware that some teams will be unable to ‘finish’ their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state.”
However Steam Early Access has also enjoyed a lot of good publicity and success, with Early Access games such as DayZ and Rust constantly amongst Steam’s best selling games.