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Steam Early Access Done Right | Tomer Barkan


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Delivered at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016 | Steam Early Access is a great platform to get your game out there early, collect feedback, and make a better game for the final release. It is, however, a platform that is often abused or used incorrectly, leading to angry players and damage to one's reputation. In this talk we will discuss how to determine if Early Access is right for you, the common pitfalls of Early Access, and how to use the platform correctly so that it helps your sales instead of damaging them.

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Steam Early Access Done Right | Tomer Barkan

  1. 1. Responsible Steam Early Access Making the most of Steam Early Access By: Tomer Barkan, Founder
  2. 2. About me Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation @tomerbarkan
  3. 3. Today’s Lecture • What is Steam Early Access • Why Early Access – pros and cons • Is Early Access right for me? • Am I ready for Early Access? • During Early Access • Releasing from Early Access
  4. 4. What is Steam Early Access • Public alpha program • Not crowdfunding • Remember: people pay to PLAY your game
  5. 5. Why Early Access Pros • Feedback and improving • Testing the waters • More exposure on Steam • Funding *
  6. 6. Why Early Access Cons • Weaker final launch (???) • Less flexibility • May lose key players • Reviews stay in final release “1 month for this update. Well, it's time to write a bad review. Completely unhappy about the purchase. :( ” Early Access Player
  7. 7. Is Early Access Right for Me? • Is my game a good fit? • Replayable games • Story based games • Requires strong launch (Multiplayer) • Research similar games • Do I depend on sales? • Alternatives? Early Access tags - Steam Spy
  8. 8. Am I ready for early access? • Researching similar games • Already enjoyable • Stable enough • Trends • Usual release considerations “When your game enters EA, gamers seem to treat it in the same way as non-EA games” Steam Spy
  9. 9. During Early Access • Listen – and show it • Communicate and engage • Don’t make promises • Analytics • Frequent updates • Be honest and open
  10. 10. Releasing from Early Access • Only release when ready • Release with a bang
  11. 11. Additional Reading • Steam Spy – On Early Access Games • Gamasutra - 7 successful Early Access games that all developers should study • Steam Dev Days – Is Early Access Right for You? (Video)
  12. 12. Questions? @tomerbarkan