In the gaming industry, trends go beyond gameplay and affect how studios work and monetize the games they create. Currently, breaking conventions between the game and the player, especially regarding early access, has become common.
This does not refer to early access like Baldur’s Gate 3, which allows playing the game before its official release to participate in its development. In this case, we are referring to the week before the official release date in which those who purchase more expensive versions of the game can play it.
This practice creates a division among players, causing friction, especially in the current context where “FOMO” (fear of missing out on the conversation) dominates social media. First-tier players, those with early access, enjoy the full experience and avoid spoilers or community revelations. Meanwhile, second-tier players, who cannot afford to buy the more expensive versions, are exposed to spoilers and have an inferior experience.
On one hand, having early access may mean being exposed to a product that may not be completely polished. With the increase in day-one patches and cases where games receive improvements months after their release, players who wait for the official launch may end up having a more polished and complete experience.
On the other hand, this practice of early access contributes to a gap between those who already pay the high prices of games (around 80 euros) and those who pay even more for early access versions. This contributes to the devaluation of the product as the industry seeks higher economic performance from AAA games.
In summary, early access is creating divisions in the gaming community and blurring the magic of simultaneous releases. The gaming industry is seeking ways to achieve greater economic profits, but this can ultimately harm the gaming experience and create a gap between players who already pay high prices and those who pay even more.
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