News on the street is that Electronic Arts is considering the idea of allowing players to play their upcoming titles during their beta or alpha stages, but for a price.
Gameinformer.com spoke with DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson, and one of the topics raised was the ‘shift in strategy’ surrounding the beta testing of Battlefield Hardline. Troedsson said that he recognizes a desire in the gaming community to be involved in the development process of upcoming games.
“We have nothing to announce, but we are having discussions when it comes to [early access] … It comes not from a business perspective, but more from a perspective of if it would help us have a stable launch of the game.” DICE general manager, Karl Magnus Troedsson- Gameinformer
It seems that Troedsson is eager to avoid suspicion that this would simply be a business move, making a clear point that large industry players would adopt the scheme to iron out gameplay bugs and issues before release, leading to “a stable launch of the game”.
Typically, early access has been reserved for small development studios that want fan feedback on the development of their game, whilst also raising money through the scheme to aid the development process. However, other large publishers, such as Ubisoft and Square Enix, are also supposedly entertaining the idea of early access.
Early access seems to be a delicate topic in the gaming community, with both benefits and drawbacks to paying for a ‘work in progress’. People are voicing their concerns with EA, and other big industry players, potentially selling unfinished products. Only time will tell if this is good news, or bad news.
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