Developer Explains Why Early Access On PS4 And Xbox One Won’t Work

“There aren’t easy ways for console users to communicate with developers.”

Posted By | On 15th, Jan. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

Steam Early Access is a way for independent developers to get their games out to people as soon as possible so that the community and the developer can work together to make game better. There is a lot of debate in the industry regarding this model, however that is beyond the scope of this article. The big question is, will early access work on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?

Electronic Arts have their own early access program on the Xbox One but is limited when one compares it to Steam Early Access. So will a proper early access model work for the PS4 and Xbox One or is such a model possible in the first place? In a recent interview, GamingBolt raised the same question to Free Lives Games’ Richard Pieterse and Evan Greenwood.

“Early access on consoles at all is news to me. I think there’s a couple problems with early access on consoles. Firstly console users are a bit further removed from the developers of their games, there aren’t easy ways for console users to communicate with developers.”

“I don’t think console users tend to browse forums and post feedback on their consoles, so early access there may be less about collaborating with users on the game. And secondly, it’s harder for console users to find out about games before they buy them, so users might be more likely to get burned by misleading storefronts.”

The developers definitely make a valid point. The consoles have a very closed eco-system and it will be difficult to have such a system on PS4 and Xbox One. Will this change in the future? Only time will tell but for now it’s looking extremely unlikely.

But what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think Sony and Microsoft should start thinking about an early access model for their games? Sound off in the comments section below.

Free Lives Games are currently working on Broforce, a hypermasculine action hero-style commando game due for the PS4, Vita, Windows and MAC sometime this year.

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  • GHz

    I thought that’s what MS was doing when they had us test out games like Titanfall, FH2, Halo MCE and Halo 5 MP which is still currently active. Weren’t they collecting data to better balance those games before there official release?

    • Guest

      Those were betas, which are near finished (on a technical front) games. You should check Steam’s early access and what it means. Games on there are mostly broken games from less competent indie devs. I’m sure the PS4 will head in that direction though as their quality control is already diminishing with PSN being down nearly every week.

    • Plerpy

      Down every week? I must have missed that while I’ve been playing online for the past year on PSN.

    • d0x360

      It depends on how close to release. If release is a month or 2 away then a beta test is looking at server load and maybe some small last min bugs testers didn’t find and small tweaks to weapon balance.

      If the beta is many months from release then they are collecting all of thr above plus looking for feedback from players so they can actually modify the game if that feedback is reasonable.

  • It’s true, if only consoles had some sort of connection to other systems. Something like a world wide network that would allow games to be delivered digitally in the same way that PCs do. Oh, wait………
    This article makes no sense, consoles aren’t a closed ecosystem inherently. Maybe they were two generations ago, but that makes me wonder how aware of gaming this “game developer” is. The only reason developers are further from consoles (which i’m not entirely sure is true) is because they have chosen to be. There is no reason Early Access wouldn’t work on PS4, Xbox One, or Wii U. All of them have networking capabilities, all have the ability to play games. The only reason it won’t work is that some indie devs don’t want to do it. Simple as that.

  • Anders

    “I don’t think console users tend to browse forums and post feedback on their consoles, so early access there may be less about collaborating with users on the game.”
    It’s actually happening with PlayStation first party games through the official SCE beta program on the official forums so it could be extended to indie games..

  • Matt M.

    Early access is a joke, and it’s extremely consumer unfriendly. It does *not* need to spread into the console market, and I’d prefer it end in the PC market as well. Vote with your wallets and stop telling devs it’s OK to release half-completed games!

    • d0x360

      Yea it’s tricky. I was excited for early access to the forest but every update which is every couple of weeks my save file is deleted and I have to start over again. Blah

  • d0x360

    This guy is out of touch. First off every console this gen and last has access to a web browser. Also he doesn’t think console gamers browse and post on forums? Is he crazy?


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