Steam Ultra Early Access: The Best Way To Buy Games That Don't Exist

By Pete Haas 11 months ago discussion comments
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Steam Early Access allows players to purchase games while they're still being developed, such as DayZ Standalone. It's easy to imagine what the next step will be...

Today we here at Valve are proud to announce Steam Ultra Early Access. Steam Ultra Early Access allows players to purchase games before development begins. Or before developers even decide to make them. The possibilities are endless!

How does it work?

Over the past few years, a team at Valve has been developing a device that scans the brain activity of everyone in the Bellevue, Washington area (other territories coming soon). Steam then puts these possible games on sale. Quick, think of a game idea.

Uh, Minecraft 2?

Boom, it's now on sale for $19.99. Buy it now and get immediate access when it exists.

Twenty bucks is kind of expensive.

Boom, $18. Special pre-pre-purchase discount. It ends tomorrow so you'd better hurry up and buy the game.

Now you're talking!

Also, here's a Minecraft 2-themed hat for Team Fortress 2. Our device makes those automatically, too.

What made you decide to create Steam Ultra Early Access?

Ultra Early Access allows us to expand our library and also provide a more user-friendly experience. Over the past few years, gamers' right as consumers have been slowly chipped away by publishers. Ultra Early Access, however, is the pinnacle of convenience:
  • No install time - Because Ultra Early Access games don't exist, there are no big files to download or long installation processes.
  • No DRM - Once you buy an Ultra Early Access game, it's yours with no restrictions. We couldn't restrict your use of these game ideas even if we tried (we tried).
  • Fully tradeable - Feel free to trade purchased game ideas with friends. If you're verbally describing these game ideas, though, make sure you're as accurate as possible though. Otherwise our device will think you're describing a brand-new game idea and create a new Ultra Early Access listing. The flood of near-duplicates will ultimately cause the device to overload and send out a psychic shockwave that fries the - ah, you know what, don't worry about it. It's fine.
  • Open to all - Before we launched Ultra Early Access, Steam was biased toward people with the means and desire to make video games. In retrospect, that was very unfair. The idea is what matters, not the likelihood that it's going to actually become a functioning game. What difference does it make whether the idea comes from an experienced developer, a toddler, or an unusually bright dog (dumber dogs coming soon).
What games are currently offered on Steam Ultra Early Access?

In the first 24 hours of operation, roughly 1,459 game ideas went on sale through Ultra Early Access. Only half of them are Half-Life 3. Here are a few of our best-sellers, described by their possible developers:

"I'm thinking of a game where you have a sword but the sword is made of grenades. Or maybe it's just made of sword. Anyway, I need someone who knows how to do all the game-making stuff. We'll split the profits 60/40."

"Half-Life 3."

"Half-Life 3, except real."

"Madden with cats."

"It's a puzzle game where you invade Gabe Newell's dreams and convince him to make Half-Life 3."

"I wish there was a porn site where you could upload a picture of your exes and find pornstars that look like them. That could be a game too, right?"

These games are giving me another idea of my own.

Please don't say Half-Life 3. You're going to break the Ultra Early Access device and kill us all.

It's a first-person shooter with puzzle elements. You play a scientist who doesn't talk.

[whimper]

Half-Life 4.

Boom, $50!
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