Should Sony Have An Early Access Program?

Should Sony Have An Early Access Program?

This week we’ve heard some interesting news from the developers of Ark: Survival Evolved. This game has seen a lot of success on Steam, and is now available for Xbox One owners through the Game Preview Program, but Playstation 4 owners are going to have to wait until the game is finished before they can play it at the moment. The developers announced via a forum post that Sony would not allow the game on their platform until it has finished development, and if PS4 owners want to play the game now then they should tell Sony in every way they can think of.

The developers, Studio Wildcard, have said that they already have a version of the game running on PS4 in their office which is really great, but it isn’t down to them to decide whether an in-development game can be released on the Playstation Store. While Sony doesn’t have a program for early access games, it does have Paragon on PS4, which is a MOBA that’s constantly being worked on and hasn’t even been in open beta yet. The difference between the games, I think, is that Epic, developers of Paragon, are a known quantity when it comes to great releases, but Studio Wildcard’s fantastic dinosaur MMO still has bugs and crashed because of the nature of it being an in-development game.

Should Sony have an early access program?

After reading about this it’s apparent that I think Sony should have some form of early access program, even if it’s for Playstation exclusives, because I adore early access games and being part of them as they grow form a hot mess into something brilliant like Prison Architect. Xbox One owners obviously love Ark: Survival Evolved, but that isn’t to say PS4 owners wouldn’t, they simply don’t have the chance to find out.

If Sony had an early access program then we’d get a lot more games with bugs, and that isn’t something that I love on the PS4 because it generally means the console will crash. There’s also the fact that the bugs and errors in early access games could cause actual damage to consoles, meaning they’re unplayable because of an in-development game. Part of me thinks that Sony wants to protect the reputation of Playstation having quality games, and I understand that totally. I also think they don’t want to open the flood gates for people to start saying that a game crashed and broke their console, because that would be almost impossible to sort out without making everyone buy a new console or not play that in-development game.

All in all, I think Sony is protecting their reputation, and you have to accept that for them that is their number one priority as one of the most successful console manufacturers at the moment. I think it’s easier for Microsoft because the Xbox One is closer to a computer than it is a console, and that’s why its’ always been easier to develop for. I think Sony should look into allowing early access games on PS4, but I’m not holding my breath because they’re pretty stubborn when it comes to things like this. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp has been playing games since he was 8 when his parents bought him his first Gameboy. Ever since then he reads about games at every opportunity and plays them more than regularly. Jamie owns this blog, and you can follow him at Google and find out more about what’s going on in his life outside of his gaming blog.

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