Steam Early Access games may never be finished, Valve warns

FAQ updated to make customers aware of the risks of purchasing unfinished projects

Valve has updated its Steam FAQ to warn customers that some Early Access games may never be completed.

Previously the Steam FAQ only informed customers how the Early Access system works, stating: "By purchasing, you gain immediate access to download and play the game in its current form and as it evolves up and through release".


Now the end of this statement has been changed to " it evolves. You keep access to the game, even if the game moves from Early Access into fully released."

It also adds another paragraph stating: "You should be aware that some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state."

The Steam Early Access system launched in March 2013 and allows customers to buy games while they're still being developed.

Players can download the most up-to-date playable form of the game, with the knowledge that it isn't the final product and may contain numerous glitches, bugs and unfinished elements.

In early May, Steam removed Early Access game Earth: Year 2066 from its digital store after it was revealed the game suffered severe glitches that made it largely unplayable, and featured allegedly stolen assets including art and music.

"The changes to the FAQ are intended to help set customer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game," Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi told VentureBeat. "We frequently iterate on Steam features as we gather feedback and find areas for improvement.

"In this case, it became apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles. We think of Steam, Early Access, and game development as services that grow and evolve best with the involvement of customers and the community."