In the wake of Minecraft, the video game digital distribution method has been shaken up a bit. The first service to allow access to games still in development is Steam with Early Access.

Allowing players into a game while it is still in development could be a godsend or the kiss of death. Minecraft changed everything in gaming since its release, but allowing players access to the game while still in development was a stroke of genius. It allowed them to get feedback straight from the people who would be playing and that is part of why Minecraft has been such a huge success.

Valve, always the gamer's developer, has started allowing Steam Members to check out games that are still in development and allow them to provide some crucial feedback to the developers. With their Early Games Portal, you'll be able to play unfinished titles and make your voice heard.

This is all very exciting because now the end user will be able to help mold the experience of a game. After all, who knows better about what they want to play than the players themselves. But, this might not be the best option for every title. Let's say a story driven single player game is made available. It may do more harm than good to reveal any plot twists before the final release date. But, if the game is a multiplayer experience, gamer feedback could be vital in creating a taut title.

The titles available now are:

  • 1… 2… 3… KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)
  • Arma 3
  • Drunken Robot Pornography
  • Gear Up
  • Gnomoria
  • Kenshi
  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Kinetic Void
  • Patterns
  • Prison Architect
  • StarForge
  • Under the Ocean

Hopefully more will be available soon and bigger name developers will start taking advantage of a resource that they haven't listened to in a long time. The actual players.