First, what is early access? By definition given by wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_access
Basically, it is a mean for small game companies or indie games to gain some funds in order to actually complete a game: The team release a 'playable' version with some description of what is to come and the player base, if they enjoy the concept, will put an amount of money to help the team WITHOUT any guarantee that the game will make it to release.
Fortnite – Save the world, is by no means a cheap early access game. You almost have to pay the price for a fully developed game (40 euros) in order to be able to play it. By going the early access route, Epic is going past checks from the stores of different platform and can release their version on a 'fast' schedule.
Epic Games gained a lot of experience developing the Unreal Engine and supporting it for another game that I will not mention. But unfortunately for this company, Epic quickly realised that by using the assets from Fortnite they could recreate another battle royale game and surf on the hype of the genre to have more money. Of course this meant that the investment from players in save the world had to be slightly diverted to create Battle Royale. Which as we all know, is a huge financial success for Epic.
Good for them.
Now, having a succesfull early access, especially for small independant teams, requires to be quite open with the community. And when Fortnite started, it sounded good! For reference, first dev update:
Most of us old players know the story afterwards, Fortnite development slowed down a lot. Each year Epic is promising better communication, and keeps breaking this promise consistently. As Epic being a big company and not a small team, information is not allowed to filter to the players. This is a major hurdle between the community of players who loves the mode and just want it completely playable, and the team that clearly have a policy of communication being a no go.
This is definitely not what we signed for with a payed early access. Epic is currently acting like the game is fine as it is, with bugs running around for months and not even being acknowledged by the community managers.Instead of seeing an actual end of the tunnel, they removed their deadline for the 1.0 release. Fortnite now approach a three year milestone for an early access game where bugs can stay for months.
Now, they stated that development of Save the World and BR will be separated. Meaning that only BR is following a proper cycle of season release. Save the world is just lagging behind, starting the season with content usually one months after BR and finishing more than one month before BR. Instead of finding a temporary solution about this drought between seasons, Epic just let it slide without explanation.
Lots of Epic decisions have been not completely understood by the community, and Epic didn't want to share why:
- Stripping the founders pack from the actual value of their content:
- Founder chat removed (and actual chat horrible to use to sweeten the deal)
- Weapon packs useless with weapon being completely useless and not fun compared to the weapons you could just by in the store
- Hero pack being just reskin of average-ish heroes (and soldier pack is not even exclusive now?)
- Founder llama being completely useless
- Stopping dev updates altogether, cutting the only 'real' communication we had left
- Stopping the patch notes for each update, letting the community to find out about the changes by themselves (really. not. cool.)
- Increasing the XP gain by more than a factor 10, letting the end game content being swarmed with players who actually don't know how to play (and at this point, clearly do not want to know how to play).
It is mind boggling that Epic is consistently refusing to communicate their roadmap for the release of the game. It is even more frustrating that despite them promising more communication each year, we still get less and less vision on what WE INVESTED money in. We are not clients, we did invest money in promise of a full game which showed promise.
Just a last link: https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/7j5ka7/the_oldest_games_of_steam_early_access/
We are close to the three years mark, and no sign of Epic changing. Epic must stop with the empty promises and show the community that they still have something to do for the release. After three years, that is the least that can be done.
Source: Original link
© Post "Early access and save the world" for game Fortnite.
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