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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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LungDrago Apr 25
Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: MasterSleortI say let free market forces dictate whether it is a feature that will stay or not. If people are getting burnt or don't feel the value is there, publishers will be hesitant to use the feature. After all it's also a way to get advanced negative reviews.

This is true - "advanced access" could result in negative reviews that destroy "release day" sales. Hopefully that's enough incentive for greedy publishers to be cautious about milking this too heavily.

It really depends on the number of people who get roped into this advanced access thing versus how many people wait patiently for the actual release day, and how many people in the advanced access actually refund their game. If you make most of your sales in AA and then people don't refund your mess, well, you're golden. :D
Eike Apr 25
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Quoting: LungDrago
Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: MasterSleortI say let free market forces dictate whether it is a feature that will stay or not. If people are getting burnt or don't feel the value is there, publishers will be hesitant to use the feature. After all it's also a way to get advanced negative reviews.

This is true - "advanced access" could result in negative reviews that destroy "release day" sales. Hopefully that's enough incentive for greedy publishers to be cautious about milking this too heavily.

It really depends on the number of people who get roped into this advanced access thing versus how many people wait patiently for the actual release day, and how many people in the advanced access actually refund their game. If you make most of your sales in AA and then people don't refund your mess, well, you're golden. :D

Aren't most release days sales preorders being fulfilled?
Sparhawk Apr 26
Makes the actual price of the game look cheaper and a better deal.
It's certainly a step in the wrong direction.
LungDrago Apr 27
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: LungDrago
Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: MasterSleortI say let free market forces dictate whether it is a feature that will stay or not. If people are getting burnt or don't feel the value is there, publishers will be hesitant to use the feature. After all it's also a way to get advanced negative reviews.

This is true - "advanced access" could result in negative reviews that destroy "release day" sales. Hopefully that's enough incentive for greedy publishers to be cautious about milking this too heavily.

It really depends on the number of people who get roped into this advanced access thing versus how many people wait patiently for the actual release day, and how many people in the advanced access actually refund their game. If you make most of your sales in AA and then people don't refund your mess, well, you're golden. :D

Aren't most release days sales preorders being fulfilled?

Yeah, I was taking into consideration the worst case scenario and AA is overall a slightly better idea than EA, I suppose.
sudoer Apr 29
Haven't read all the details but from the little I've read I think it's a good idea that fills the gap for the developers/publishers that don't want to develop from scratch in Early Access (out of secrecy for their project) but would rather do a beta test on Steam, which is not allowed on Steam if you don't go the EA route. Helldivers 2 comes to mind as the best example, it was multi-platform and it couldn't be tested properly with the vast amount of Steam users. Advanced Access would benefit both the dev (real test) and the consumer (don't buy 'til it's fixed) in this case.
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