Getting to play games that are still in development can be fun, PC gamers know through the use of the Steam Early Access program. With Xbox One also opening up to the idea with the Xbox Game Preview it is obvious that other companies will also make the move. As could be the case with Nintendo and its Nindies at Home.
Speaking to Polygon, Damon Baker the head of third-party relations and Indie development for Nintendo had this to say:
“We don’t have anything to announce, but I can say that we’re certainly exploring options and capabilities. So anything is possible. I guess the important part of it is we’re very conscious of it and definitely looking at it.”
While the Nindies at Home program isn’t exactly Early Access it still gives players a chance to try early demos of upcoming eShop games, often months ahead of their eventual release. Those who try the demo also get a 15% discount on final launch.
Adapting this to an Early Access style model may be a little complicated, but as Damon Baker says Nindies at Home is almost the same concept:
“We had to change policies over this, guidelines. I mean we basically created almost an early access-type of situation because some of this content isn’t even coming out until towards the end of the year. So to be able to give such early visibility to some of the developers and these builds, there was a lot of work that went into it.”
The problem with an early access scheme would be the restrictions on change that Nintendo have in place, but it could help:
“Working out some of the kinks, the server loads or what matching those expectations so that it’s a prime experience when it does, when the full version actually launches. So there could be some benefits there, but I think it’s a very sensitive topic, because you wouldn’t ever want to ask for money for something that doesn’t become fully-realized.”
Do you think Nintendo should go ahead with a full Early Access program? Let us know your thoughts below.