What is Early Access and why do they do it?

Some people wonder why games go into Early Access and what is the point of it?

Early Access to me in its simplest form is a way for game developers to raise money to further progress their games.  They are able to put out an unfinished version of their game for the public to see and report bugs, conflicts and give suggestions for improvements.  Some say that early access is just a way for people to make a quick buck then take off with the money they get and leave the public with a shitty game that barely works!  While this does happen sometimes, I would have to say that the majority of the time when games are given the go ahead to be in early accessmost developers get excited at the prospect that their game is gaining a following and people are genuinely interested in the product they have put up.  The developers I have worked with like @iDev_games and @MountainsGame they have re-invested a lot of the money they made from the early access period back into the game and taken suggestions from the community on how they would like the game improved!  This is truly what early access is and should be about.  Early Access is not for people to publish finished games that are “flawless” or in the final stages rather it is for small (sometimes one or two people) teams to gain the funds necessary to help build the product that they see in their minds.  For most it is a passion or side job with many people maintaining an IRL job while they work on what they love most.
I think Early Access has received some bad publicity in the past from certain games either asking too much money or from releasing of an unfinished product that is ditched once the money has come in.  Not everyone is like that though and I would advise people to do a little bit of research on the games you are interested in purchasing… check out the developers Twitter, the indiedb page, facebook page and even IGDB to see how active they are and what the actual plans are for the game.  I love the Early Access community as a whole and most people understand that the games are unfinished and may contain bugs or glitches, just try to remember that when you pick up your next game and if you do encounter something be sure to report it and definitely leave a suggestion if you have one!

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