h1z1

Much like pre-orders, gamers tend to have mixed feelings about the entire concept of Early Access. For some, it’s worth it to be able to get in there early and enjoy some perks while supporting a game they feel pretty strongly will be worth their time in the long run. For others… It’s a scam. Whatever you feel about it, a lot of companies are embracing the entire concept of Early Access for one reason or another.

Daybreak Games — who when still flying under the banner of SOE was free-to-play all the way — is one of those companies. Recently, the company’s Chief Publishing Officer, Laura Naviaux Sturr, spoke with Games Industry about this shift, saying that the model is ideal for games with longer product life cycles and that it encourages and empowers the community more — allowing them more involvement with the development process.

She did note that the model isn’t for everyone, but she does expect more companies to start using it — especially non-AAA games that don’t have to make it to publication at a specific time. Her belief is that like free-to-play, early access is a good option for the industry to have.

“You really have to commit as a developer… the development team really has to ingest that feedback into the work flow and be able to pivot and course correct and make adjustments and I think that that’s one thing that Daybreak does really well is that we are fairly nimble. We’ve been doing games as a service since our inception. It’s in our DNA.”

Sturr also added that the company is making the shift in models due to the fact that it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” situation, and that while some of their games benefit from the company’s traditional free-to-play models, others — such as H1Z1 — do not.

the author

QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community. For the past five years she's been a writer at Gamebreaker TV.

16 Readers Commented

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  1. InfinityofLight on April 29, 2016

    I and many others have gotten our moneys worth out of Landmark. The new update is great. We get to create our own dungeons and have other players enjoy playing them. no coding involved! I have 2 accounts that I paid for. I bought the 20$ pack and then I got the 100$ pack for 33$ on a Steam Sale. The money has been worth it for me. I have made many friends and Landmark has the most amazing player community of any game I have ever played.

    If you get in Landmark and want help to understand how to build just send me a tell in game. I and many others would be glad to help a new player.

  2. Chomper on April 28, 2016

    Beware!

    They recently wiped the Landmark closed beta and removed certain items that players had previously purchased with Daybreak Cash, giving them refunds in a new game resource called Lumens.

    They wouldn’t say what the exchange rate of Daybreak Cash to Lumens was (or will be), and you cannot use Lumens to repurchase removed items in the store because they’re just another game resource, like dirt and wood.

    And to make matters even worse, they jacked up the price of an important item they’d removed from players by over 60%. But within a couple of weeks of abysmal sales figures, they dropped the price back down 60% and refused to refund the difference to players who had just paid the high price.

    IN A CLOSED BETA IN-GAME STORE!

  3. SqueezyTime on April 27, 2016

    Daybreak proves they don’t pay very much attention to the gaming industry. This is my obviously surprised face…

  4. Razer on April 26, 2016

    Zero obligation to deliver a complete game that is anything close to resembling what was promised.
    Good for game companies, bad for consumers.

    • Chomper on April 28, 2016

      ‘Early access’ is a euphemism for crowdfunding, which is the act of transferring financial risk from a company to their customers.

      That’s a shady business practice at best, especially when we’re talking about AAA game corporations with access to large amounts of credit.

  5. Anon on April 26, 2016

    A company defending their own terrible business model? What a surprise

  6. Jek Tono Porkins on April 26, 2016

    EA is not bad – you can access it if you want and if you don’t you can wait it out till the game is free. Sometimes, you can get free EA by just applying on the game’s website, if it’s an option. EA is OK if the price is symbolic, like $5 or something. Anything beyond that is a robbery.

  7. Ninetenduh on April 26, 2016

    oh exactly Daybreak is talking about things that are good for the Industrie ? Daybreak the biggest Joke of all of them, i am btw still mad about paying 100$ for a freaking Minecraft.

    • Chomper on April 28, 2016

      “..still mad about paying 100$ for a freaking Minecraft.”

      There’s an old saying in advertising that goes “Sell the ‘sizzle’ and not the steak”. And that’s exactly what SOE did with Everquest Landmark by linking it to Everquest Next, which was billed as the dream MMORPG.

      Sadly, EQ Next was vaporware, and now Landmark is being turned into a Minecraft clone with lipstick and Zynga style micro-transactions, where the game is designed to make players uncomfortable enough to part with their money, a little at a time and forever.

  8. Hellsworth on April 26, 2016

    On another note I completely agree they are VERY nimble, just look at how Smedley went nimbly out of there. As for early access opinions: “Yes do them but also, YES playerbase reset when you go F2P live, get the feedback from the “founders” and also reward them with something unique from the game they payed, make them love you and you wont be disapointed.”

  9. Hellsworth on April 26, 2016

    Again and as I said a few weeks ago this mindset is COMPLETELY wrong and I quote: ” Recently, the company’s Chief Publishing Officer, Laura Naviaux Sturr, spoke with Games Industry about this shift, saying that the model is ideal for games with longer product life cycles…” when you are doing a F2P you are NOT doing a PRODUCT you are building a STORE/MALL so start treating it as such, you are not building a PS4 DVD that you put on a shelf, you are creating something that needs to be dynamic and mutable, something that NEEDS to change every so often (as much as putting in something new and fresh every week, even if its just a clown red nose costume but it’s there) so you keep the playerbase interested. For as long as you think that you build something and you aim to sell it for something you’ll fail and be unemployed within the year.

  10. Krucible on April 25, 2016

    I don’t have a problem with a REAL early access.
    I have problems with cash grab early access / founder pack BS.

    Warframe, Robocraft, and Fractured Space are good examples of a real early access, where systems underwent massive changes, and where players could expect changes based on their feedback.

    Funny how the actual indie / small time developers use early access and founder packs the right way, and big time companies like daybreak / trion / aeria exploit it for the cash grab.

    • Chomper on April 28, 2016

      “..big time companies..exploit [early access] for the cash grab.”

      Exactly!

      Ask yourself why large corporations would use early access and crowdfunding in the first place. They already have traditional funding sources, but their investors would laugh at this deal, where if they fail to develop a viable product, the debt is just forgotten.

      Early access is a ripoff investment!

  11. Xazur on April 25, 2016

    Dafug? Early access is good? for the publishers yes. Why are you even listening to what Daybreak is saying anyways? They took over SOE and pretty much laid off their workers and cancelled and terminated a few games.

  12. mehmeh on April 25, 2016

    Of course they think early access is good. They risk nothing and get idiots to pay to test games.
    |
    Just release an alpha version and hope everyone who paid for it forgets about it once a new shiny game comes out.

    • Aloha on April 26, 2016

      All true. Early access is just a scam. Of course scammers will say it is great.

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