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Valve's puts warning in an update to the Steam Early Access FAQ

by Mark Tyson on 5 June 2014, 12:45

Tags: Valve, PC

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Do you remember our previous reports on Steam publishers abandoning unfinished games? Now, in an official update to its Early Access FAQ, Valve is officially warning that some games may never reach completion. The company advises consumers that titles should be purchased at their discretion. You should buy a game only if you are happy to play it in its present condition.

"It's up to the developer to determine when they are ready to 'release'. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses," Valve said. "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."

Valve also provides some tips for consumers who are looking to purchase Early Access games. Tips include being aware of recent update announcements from the developer - to get a sense of how active the developer is. Buyers should also know that pricing of individual games may change over time. If possible you should also try and find out whether you'll feel satisfied to play the game in its current state from forums, screenshots and videos.

The Early Access FAQ update comes following a number of high profile cases where players have complained about the poor quality of Early Access games. Some games have been slated for being full of bugs, incomplete, or offer a lack of updates post-launch.

Valve went as far as pulling a first-person sci-fi open-world game, Earth: Year 2066, from Early Access last month. The company offered unsatisfied players a refund after having issues with the developers, Killing Day Studios. The studio was being accused of; lifting other people's artwork, deleting negative feedback and making up fake positive feedback for its game.

GamesBeat reached out to Valve regarding the changes to the FAQ. Valve's director of marketing Doug Lombadi commented that the changes made are intended to "help set consumer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game," as it was "apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles."

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Good. At least some people will now be wiser on purchasing unfinished rubbish now.