A program allowing gamers to pay to join unfinished games and have say in their creation is on Sony’s mind.
Following the lead from Steam, who introduced their Early Access program in March 2013, Sony are considering bringing a similar service to the PlayStation. Steam Early Access allows gamers to get on board games that our still in development with the understanding that the game will be unfinished and could remain so.
By offering early access it allows for gamers to be involved in a game’s development which in turn can influence the final release. Adam Boyes SCEA VP of publisher and developer relations spoke to Gamasutra on this issue and when asked if an early access system would be coming to PlayStation he replied, “"That's one of the massive conversations we have internally - 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."
"Honestly, we're working through that right now.” Boyes continued, “We're figuring out what's ok. We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. 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."
Boyes also said: "We have a global strike team, plus an SCEA strike team, who are in charge of trying to figure out how to look at what's happening with early alpha access, or paid betas, which we've allowed before with Dust 514."
"Even with our own product, PlayStation Now is going into open beta at the end of July. We're always looking at ways to make it easier and more accessible."
A early games access for PlayStation strikes us as something to stand Sony in good stead going forward. What are you thoughts?