Valve unleashed a new feature on the online gaming service Steam that gives players early access to purchase and play games still in development.
The program, called Early Access, allows gamers to play games and give feedback to the developer. It is aimed at giving players a chance to experience development firsthand and providing direct feedback so developers can make improvements before the official release date.
All games will allow for easy updating at no additional charge. The early purchase includes the complete title when it is finished and all development stages before launch. Many developers participating in the program will be offering their games at a discounted price when they are available for early access.
Although the purchase includes the full game when it eventually releases, it is important to note that all Early Access games are not complete and are considered a work in progress.
Early Access games are available using the dedicated hub found on the Steam store. The Early Access area of the site is accessible under the Games tab by clicking on “Early Access.”
“A lot of games are already operating as ongoing services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community,” said Sean Pollman of Badland Studio in a press release. “Greenlight helped us raise awareness for Kinetic Void, and now Steam Early Access will let us continue the development of our game while gathering crucial feedback, input and support from the Steam community.”