The Steam Early Access program has been kind of a double edged sword. On the plus side, it allows small developers to get paid for a semi-completed game halfway through development in order to finish up their development cycle. On the other hand, it tricks gamers into thinking they are getting a full product when in actuality they aren’t even guaranteed a full release. It also causes journalists to review a game far before it comes out, usually making them miss the full release all together. Still, most gamers and developers believe that more harm than good has come out of this program, and so Sony is thinking about implementing one of their own.
"That's one of the massive conversations we have internally," Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president Adam Boyes said in an interview to Gamasutra, "that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we're being mindful of the consumer. We don't want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience. At the same time, I want to help bootstrap people, to help them out. Like supporting the underdog for a sports team."
"We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to," he said. "So we're internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this. So it's still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it's something on the top of my mind every day."
Senior Contributing Writer