GOG Introduces “Games in Development” Early Access Program
Ever since Mojang used alpha funding to complete the development of Minecraft and turn into a multi-billion dollar company, the alpha funding business model has been a popular way for indie developers to do business. After Minecraft did it, we saw the rise of Early Access on Steam and Game Preview that launched on Xbox last year.
Now, the other big name in digital PC retail is launching their own version of alpha funding / Early Access. GOG announced that they were launching Games In Development to bring pre-release games to its customers.
In an announcement on its website last week, GOG announced that it would be bringing its own spin on alpha funding with Games in Development. The biggest difference between GOG and Steam is that GOG says that they will be handpicking the games that will make it into Games in Development. In the first wave, GOG will have Starbound, Ashes of the Singularity, Project Zomboid, TerraTech, and The Curious Expedition.
In addition to the handpicking games, GOG is also offering a 14-day, “no questions asked” refund for the game. GOG’s usual refund policy is limited to technical issues while Steam limits refunds to 14 days or two hours of play. For Games in Development, all games can be refunded within two weeks of purchase. The other big difference from standard alpha funding is that GOG is promising that players will be able to roll back to earlier versions of the game in the development cycle if there’s a problem with a newer build or they just preferred an older build.
While the refunds and rollback feature are nice additions to the alpha funding model, the really big thing that GOG is doing is limiting the number of games in the Games in Development program. Steam currently has 400+ Early Access games and who knows how many of them will make it to a final release. Hopefully, GOG’s criteria includes the likelihood of a project being completed.