The Bellevue-based company today debuted a new program on its Steam platform called “Steam Early Access,” which is a way for gamers to purchase, test, and offer feedback for games that are still in the development process.
Here’s Valve’s description on this FAQ page:
Get immediate access to games that are being developed with the community’s involvement. These are games that evolve as you play them, as you give 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. 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.
This is the way games should be made.
The program is starting with 12 titles that range from $6.99 to $22.99. One of them is free. Once you start playing, Valve encourages gamers to chime in.
“Give feedback, participate in discussions, post screenshots, write guides,” they write.
Prices of individual games are subject to increase or decrease, depending on the developers goals.
Last week, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that Valve saw a 50 percent spike in sales in 2012. He credited the success to having open platforms.
Previously on GeekWire: Valve CEO Gabe Newell: Valve Steam Box controller may measure your heart rate