GOG offers risk-free purchases of select early-access games

It's becoming quite common for game developers to offer early access to upcoming titles in order to drum up anticipation, stress-test servers, or get feedback from the community. However, there's always the chance that the game will turn out to be a buggy mess—even after release. To encourage gamers to take a chance on these games, GOG.com is offering an early access program that allows gamers to try out upcoming titles risk-free.

The program is launching with five titles: Starbound, Ashes of the Singularity, Project Zomboid, Terratech, and The Curious Expedition. Purchases of these titles come with a 14-day, no-questions-asked refund policy, and they're DRM-free. Users of GOG's Galaxy client will also be able to control updates for these titles. Galaxy lets users roll back to more stable versions if necessary.

Of the available titles, I'm most curious about Ashes of the Singularity. As one of the first games to implement DirectX 12, it provides a way for for us to check out the performance and features of Microsoft's latest graphics API. That might make it worth the price of admission, especially since the game has been discounted by 25% to promote the launch of GOG's early access program.

Comments closed
    • Heiwashin
    • 4 years ago

    I have a solution, i don’t do them anymore. I’ve been burned a few times.

    1..2..3 kickt it, dropped by developer but funny enough is still for sale on steam as early access 3 years later.

    Starbound, as someone else said they started dragging their ass after it made obs and gobs of money.

    Rhythm zone, a guitar hero a like for pc. Since stepmania(ddralike) was so good i was hoping for something at least decent. It was terrible, and even required 5-10 minutes to process and copy each song you wanted to play and expanded the file size, and in the end was so bad it was completely removed from steam.

    There’s more but i can’t think of them at the moment. There’s also the fact that i tend to not play games past my first play through. Since that’s the case it’s best if i not play an incomplete version of a game since i’m likely to never play it again after they finish it.

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve only bought a couple early access games but that’s generally my attitude towards them too. Most of them are in “early access” for a reason. Most are just betas/alphas that you pay for and many of them will never get finished or deliver on their promises. The devs already have your money so why not just take the money and run?

      There are rare exceptions like Kerbal Space Program which was better in Early Access than most full games, but those are few and far between.

    • slowriot
    • 4 years ago

    I don’t think this will address the concerns with early access at all. 14 days? It’s better than a Steam refund. But why in the world are you buying into an early access game if you’re only willing to wait 14 days in the first place?

    Games can stay in early access for years. Rust for instance is one of the most played games on Steam and has been in EA for a bit over 2 years. It gets weekly updates and has gone all sorts of different direction on the “how complete is it?” meter. Hell, it’s probably still another 2 years from what I’d deem “complete”. But that just speaks to how arbitrary that definition is. I’ve played 900+ hours of Rust. I’ve more than gotten my $20 value out of it. And yet if you read the dev forums or subreddit you’d think people who have played thousands of hours were ripped off.

    So… I don’t know. I think the problems with EA are as much about gamers not managing their own expectations as it is developers not delivering a “complete” game.

      • Sonk
      • 4 years ago

      I adore your balls 🙂

        • DoomGuy64
        • 4 years ago

        TMI :p

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      You might find very early that the game is not what you expected it to be from the description.

        • slowriot
        • 4 years ago

        Not what you expected? What does that mean in the context of a game that, by definition of being labeled early access, is incomplete?

        I have a few suggestions though…
        – Watch a stream. If you’re cool with resisting the temptation to buy immediately on an EA release you will find someone, somewhere streaming or uploading video of gameplay.
        – Ask on a forum or similar community.
        – Save your money or spend it on something else.

        I think a 14 day refund is reasonable. I just don’t think it will to any significant degree address the toxicity that has built up around the early access model. There’s a lot more that needs to be done, on both the buyer and seller sides, of managing expectations and laying out what it really means to buy into an EA game. Though patience and a bit of self education on the buyers part would go a long ways towards fixing it…

          • Welch
          • 4 years ago

          Hit it on the head Slowriot.

          At the same time, you do have developers that take advantage of the early access name and totally abuse the hell out of it. For instance, Mr. “Rocket” and the Day Z standalone. They pretty much halted the development of it because he made plenty of money. Then said “Hey, I’m going to make a completely different game!” Extremely happy I didn’t buy into that even though I played the heck out of the Alpha.

          Alpha’s I’ve bought into…

          Star Citizen (way more than I want to admit)

          7 Days to Die.. I got some decent hours into it and feel they have made decent progress, but other games interest me right now.

          Ark Survival: Evolved – Currently playing, and feel it is pretty damn good and the developers are pretty receptive of people apparently on reddit. My brother and my wife are both loving it as well, picked it up for $17.99

          Don’t Starve Together – It’s Beta, or “Early Access” I suppose… was really cheap and I played it a bit… damn good game just not up my alley the same way the other games are. My wife also enjoyed it to a certain extent. Played a good 30-50 hours and I’d probably play it again in the future.

          Out of all of those games though, I can’t say I felt completely ripped off. 14 days just isn’t enough. It would be simple for a shady dev to release a game, wait a few months after a large influx of people and then just BAM, quit putting work into it and walk off with all of the cash.

          Don’t buy an early access game unless you know what your getting into people, it is waaay to easy to know what to expect with them.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          It happens. I bought an interesting looking EA game on Steam only to find out it had microtransactions. Immediately took the refund.

          First and only time I’ve used Steam refund.

          Now, I suppose I could have went on the forums and asked if there are microtransactions, but I’m not sure I even thought of the question before I bought the game.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      That’s one of my main concerns. A developer needs to have a vision of what the complete game is. I can’t buy into a game where the dev has a wait-and-see approach in terms of game development. I want a game to be completed via a path to completion.

      Minecraft is different in that it was in a release state after developmental phases, and has since received many updates since its release years ago. I can get on board with that concept.

      I will not purchase EA games for any price.

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      Yep ultimately gamers have to take a lot of the responsibility for this. If someone really doesn’t want to support early access, DLCs, season passes, premium, etc then they shouldn’t pay for those things. Paying for it then complaining about it won’t really accomplish anything.

      I see a lot of reviews on Steam like that too “This game is absolutely horrible and not worth playing” ~ 500 hours played. Maybe when you have played a game that much you just start to get bored of it and see all of its flaws and shortcomings instead of the many hours of enjoyment you got out of it.

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    The five titles appear with the white background even on the blue website setting.

    • Archer
    • 4 years ago

    No link to GOG? Hyperlinks aren’t exactly new.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 4 years ago

    Starbound – Miniscule development progress since the opened their early access on Steam. A couple tweaks, a bunch of (superficial) new sprites, but is still a fraction of an experience that is Terraria. Hugely wasted potential.

    Project Zomboid – Isometric Day-Z, but deeper. Has potential but (personally) its not very “fun” or user friendly. If it had some sort of Multiplayer Dungeon Master type mode w/ scenarios it might be interesting.

      • Heiwashin
      • 4 years ago

      I was following starbound, they spent too much time moving around and trying to get things in order rather than just getting shit done.

    • odizzido
    • 4 years ago

    GOG offers risk free purchases on all their games. You don’t get as long with other ones though.

    • tanker27
    • 4 years ago

    I’m a huge fan of GOG. I also use the Galaxy client. While its not full of features like Steam it gets the job done.

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      I’d buy way more games (i.e. as in play more games, not pirating) if more were available on GOG. I’m specifically referring to the UPlay-required, even when purchased from Steam, games that I simply refuse to buy, despite being interested in the game and satisfied with the price.

        • tanker27
        • 4 years ago

        I can’t argue that. I too which they offered more.

        • NovusBogus
        • 4 years ago

        Same here, I gladly pay retail price for retail games but I won’t buy/play a “service” that’ll be taken away from me in the future unless its both dirt cheap and I’m feeling particularly charitable at the time. And I’ve been mighty ornery lately, which means my gaming budget has been all GOG and indie/crowdfund stuff for about two years.

        That applies to things other than games, too. Autodesk Fusion 360, for example, is a neat thing and definitely a breath of fresh air in the CAD world. But I’m not going to sink lots of time into something that’ll probably be unplugged as soon as Carl Bass gets canned and “we’re proud to be empowering students, hobbyists, and other potential future AutoCAD users” becomes “we can’t be leaving money/power/ego on the table like that, throw thyself at the feet of the nearest [s<]royal magistrate[/s<] reseller and beg for mercy like the good old days."

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