Valve's Steam offers early access to beta games

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Valve has rolled out a new Steam program that allows users to play games in beta status.

Dubbed "Early Access," Valve says the titles will evolve as they are played via feedback, and as the developers update and add content.

"We like to think of games and game development as services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community," a Valve rep explained.

"There have been a number of prominent titles that have embraced this model of development recently and found a lot of value in the process. We like to support and encourage developers who want to ship early, involve customers, and build lasting relationships that help everyone make better games."

Interestingly, the Valve rep also cautioned that users should consider what the game is like to play in its current state before purchasing - and noted that the transaction did not cover or include the final version of a title.

"There are a lot of ways a game can go as it develops over time, so if you aren't excited to play the game in its current state, then hold off and wait until the next update - it shouldn't be far off.

"[Remember], early access is a full purchase of a playable game. By purchasing, you gain immediate access to download and play the game in its current form."

A limited number of games (12) are currently available on Valve's "Early Access"  website, including Arma III Alpha, Star Forge, Kinect Void and Drunken Robot Pornography.