In a guest column on, EEDAR's Head of Insights and Analytics Patrick Walker warned developers that though there are benefits to the service, there's also the distinct possibility of alienating your customers.
"While there are clearly many benefits to an Early Access model," Walker explains, "there is also the possibility of a broken promise to the consumer. This is not unlike other models in the games industry, such as crowdfunding through Kickstarter or selling a DLC Season Pass, where the consumer pays up front for promised content."
"A notable difference between those particular models and Steam's Early Access program is the lack of a firm release window; on Early Access, a game could theoretically stay in development and be sold to consumers indefinitely, whereas a Season Pass is rolled out within a specific time frame and all Kickstarter projects are presented with an estimated "delivery date".
Walker warns that although scrutiny of the model hasn't yet reached the levels aimed at Season Passes and micro-transactions, if titles continue to falter and drop out of the programme without a full release then developers could start to suffer a far greater backlash .