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Valve makes paid 'Advanced Access' a clear feature on Steam now

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With more and more AAA publishers putting up special editions of games you can pay extra for, to play a few days before the main release, Valve has formally made "Advanced Access" a thing on Steam.

You know the drill, you've seen it right? "Buy the Deluxe Edition or the Special Edition, and you get to play 3 days before everyone else!" something to that effect anyway. Publishers have been using all sorts of naming and wording for it — until now. On top of Valve adjusting the refund rules recently, this whole Advanced Access thing is now, well — an actual thing on Steam.

Noticed by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik on TopSpin 2K25 you'll see this for example:

Seems like Valve did a bit of a woops there though. The Learn more link actually goes to the Early Access info page instead of the new Advanced Access page. I'm sure they'll fix that soon though.

At least according to the Advanced Access page, it seems the feature is open to any developer to do this. As Valve say "Games by default will not include an Advanced Access pre-purchase option. This will be setup at the discretion of the developer/publisher creating and selling their products.". So it's not reserved for AAA.

With this getting promoted to be a proper official Steam feature, it's no surprise then to see them going over some of their rules like refunds to ensure people aren't gaming it by playing as much as possible before "release" (what does release even really mean now?) to refund it.

How do you feel about Advanced Access?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc, Steam, Valve
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35 comments
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Eri Apr 24
This is hard to understand for me, you can count with your fingers the amount of AAA games that come out polished or finished. But you have people paying to play a few days earlier for what? Paying to be beta tester? I bet this practice makes crunch even worst for developers. My head hurts when I think about this.
wytrabbit Apr 24
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Quoting: EriBut you have people paying to play a few days earlier for what?

The feeling of exclusivity, even if only temporary. Also the feeling of superiority over non-testers after it releases. It's essentially become an addiction for some gamers. 🤷‍♂️
whizse Apr 24
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Quoting: EriBut you have people paying to play a few days earlier for what?
Streaming possibly? Extra hits for your YouTube channel?
Pikolo Apr 24
I think the name is terrible - if they want it to be different from "Early Access", they should call it "Early Release".

Advanced Access sounds like it gives you command flags for the game executable - "Advanced Access" =/= "Access in Advance"
Lofty Apr 24
Quoting: wytrabbitIt's essentially become an addiction for some gamers. 🤷‍♂️

This is going to become really confusing for others when they turn upto their local AA meeting.
finaldest Apr 24
I am done with this crap.

I am fed up of this complete utter greed. First we lost physical releases along with publishers destroying games preservation. Now they want even more money by charging £100+ for a broken PC game and now I am required to give yet more money to play the game on release day (AKA On time)

I am done. After 20 years I am now going back to the high seas.
Eri Apr 24
Quoting: whizseStreaming possibly? Extra hits for your YouTube channel?
This is probably the only scenario that makes sense to me, making profit out of it.
Lofty Apr 24
Quoting: finaldestI am done with this crap.

I am fed up of this complete utter greed. First we lost physical releases along with publishers destroying games preservation. Now they want even more money by charging £100+ for a broken PC game and now I am required to give yet more money to play the game on release day (AKA On time)

I am done. After 20 years I am now going back to the high seas.

i mean, yes and no. You don't have to play these overpriced "AAA" garbage titles, with terrible pricing, optimization, forced agenda's, Scam DLC, Malware DRM. There are hundreds of smaller dev's who would want your support, and of course a long back catalogue of existing games that can be modded. Then there are Retro games of which are still highly enjoyable and again can be emulated to look great.

But i do agree with the sentiment that until people change their buying practices non of this is going to change. And that applies to everything not just video games.


Last edited by Lofty on 24 April 2024 at 1:46 pm UTC
Jarmer Apr 24
I agree on the addiction thing. From a higher up level I don't really mind it at all, since I would never be enticed by this. But there are TONS of gamers who would, and this feels like the industry just blatantly taking advantage of peoples addictions.

Kind of reminds me a lot about all the app-based sports gambling right now which is a pandemic in my mind.
finaldest Apr 24
Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: finaldestI am done with this crap.

I am fed up of this complete utter greed. First we lost physical releases along with publishers destroying games preservation. Now they want even more money by charging £100+ for a broken PC game and now I am required to give yet more money to play the game on release day (AKA On time)

I am done. After 20 years I am now going back to the high seas.

i mean, yes and no. You don't have to play these overpriced "AAA" garbage titles, with terrible pricing, optimization, forced agenda's, Scam DLC, Malware DRM. There are hundreds of smaller dev's who would want your support, and of course a long back catalogue of existing games that can be modded. Then there are Retro games of which are still highly enjoyable and again can be emulated to look great.

But i do agree with the sentiment that until people change their buying practices non of this is going to change. And that applies to everything not just video games.

I will continue to support indy devs but I am now done with AAA publisher that implements this.

I am very disappointed that valve implemented this feature.
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