Some of my favorite games are early access titles. But, I can understand why many are hesitant or even regret buying these type of games. Early access games, by definition, are incomplete. Some even stay that way. Others, like Darkest Dungeon, shed the early access tag and get ‘released.’
Early access platforms are spreading. Steam made the platform popular. In recent months, Xbox adopted the feature with games like ARK: Survival Evolved finding huge success on new hardware platforms.
Today, GOG is welcoming a handful of early access titles to their store.
Here’s how GOG’s homepage looks this morning.
GOG’s Piotr Karwoski had this to say in a statement this morning.
“Our goal has always been to offer a selection of titles that are both excellent and worth your time. Nowadays, we’re seeing more games that are already great experiences while still in development.”
Karwoski added, “We want all gamers on GOG.com to have access to what these titles have to offer, but we want to get it right, carefully evaluating each and every game, offering a 14-day refund policy, and providing GOG Galaxy support with update rollback and more.”
14 days, no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if you’re having technical issues, if you don’t think the game is sufficiently fleshed out, or if it simply doesn’t click with you — all games in development can be returned for any reason within 14 days of purchase.
Steam’s refund policy is similar to a 14-day window, but includes a caveat. The game can’t be played for longer than two hours.
GOG’s early access program includes one major difference from Steam. GOG won’t be flooded with early access games. The store front is hand-picking games to include in its program.
This does two things. The quality of games, in theory, should be high. And, in turn, the high-quality games should see fewer refunds.
How the GOG Galaxy client gives you more power
Ok, this is cool as hell. Say an update comes out, and you don’t like the changes? The GOG Galaxy client includes a rollback feature that allows you to easily restore an earlier version of the game. Plus, the rollback feature creates snapshots of a game’s development. Perfect for easily looking back at how a game changes over time.
I’m going to assume that won’t work well on multiplayer games. I can’t imagine Ashes of the Singularity multiplayer working if two people are running different versions of the game. Still, update rollback is an intriguing feature. If, for nothing else, just to take an in-depth look at how game development changes over time.
GOG is celebrating the launch of early access by offering discounts ranging from 15% – 40% off for the five games. While you’re there, take a look at Pillars of Eternity. It’s 50% off today.
Would GOG’s 14-day, no hassle refund policy make you more willing to dive into early access games? Let me know in the comments.