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It looks like GOG.com is getting in on this whole early access business, and will soon offer exactly that for a select crop of upcoming titles.
Early today, GOG sent out a press release explaining how its “Games in Development” program will function. For starters, the program will offer five games in development (Oh! Now I get the name!) that have been hand-picked by the good folks at GOG. These games will offer a 14-day refund period, as well as “GOG Galaxy rollback features” for each game. Oh, and they’ll be discounted by 40 percent as part of the program, too, as well as provided in the usual DRM-free format.
Here’s a rundown of the games included in the Games in Development initial run:
-Ashes of the Singularity
According to GOG Managing Director Piotr Karwowski, the team has been hard at work making sure the selected games fit the GOG philosophy.
Our goal has always been to offer a selection of titles that are both excellent and worth your time. Nowadays, we’re seeing more games that are already great experiences while still in development. We want all gamers on GOG.com to have access to what these titles have to offer, but we want to get it right, carefully evaluating each and every game.Karwowski explains that “getting it right” means not charging full price for games that are not yet finished, as well as offering a two-week period where GOG users can receive a full refund, no questions asked. Steam Early Access offers a similar program, though folks have been known to take advantage of that return policy. Hopefully folks realize that such actions only hurt the developers trying to provide more fuel for our favorite pastime’s fire and won’t, you know, be utter tools about it.
As for that rollback feature, the GOG Galaxy client will basically allow you to shout “wait, never mind” if an update completely borks your game. If an update comes out that introduces “unwanted changes,” you can easily roll the game back to its previous version and keep playing until a fix if offered.
As for when the program goes live, you can actually start experiencing the Games in Development program right now. The five games listed above are up for grabs and available at the promised discount.
While there are likely to be a few disappointments in the mix as the program evolves, Early Access has been a pretty beloved system over on Steam. Games like Don’t Starve Together, DayZ, Nuclear Throne, Armello and Darkest Dungeon have all been Early Access success stories, so hopefully Games in Development will similarly be able to create a few indie successes along the way.