Early Access is something we’ve talked about a lot here at What’s Your Tag?, and it’s a program that’s primarily only available on PC. Sure, console owners have open and closed betas, but there’s nothing immediately available that allows developers to charge consumers for incomplete games that are still in development. There’s a Battlefield 4 joke in there somewhere, by the way.
One of the biggest games in Early Access right now is Bohemia‘s open-world survival sim DayZ, which was recently announced for PS4 during Gamescom earlier this year. Very little information has been given in terms of the game’s console release, but we do have a couple of things to go on, thanks to an interview with Eurogamer: Bohemia wants DayZ to be multi-platform, and they really need consoles to offer some sort of Early Access program in order to put DayZ in the consumer’s hands before 2016.
In regards to when we could expect the already confirmed PS4 release, Hall stated “…that would depend on what options Sony provides. I don’t think they’ve said anything about… Everyone’s said they’re thinking about it [Early Access releases].”
“The during next year thing would depend very much on what do the consoles offer in terms of release strategies,” he stated. “A straight up retail release? It’s not going to be next year, because there’s just too much work remaining. It would be a very bizarre universe where there would be a 1.0 release of DayZ on consoles before PC.”
Although DayZ was only announced for PS4 during Gamescom, Dean Hall was quick to dismiss Bohemia‘s game as a Sony exclusive. He confirms this during the interview, claiming “DayZ is definitely going to be a multi-platform title – that’s the firm vision from Bohemia’s standpoint. But we’ll announce what all the other platforms are as we get to that point.”
So while Xbox One isn’t being confirmed by name at this point, it’s pretty safe to assume that Microsoft’s current-gen console won’t be ignored when it’s time to play ball. And with Bohemia waiting on Sony to decide if they’re going to venture in to the world of Early Access, now would be the perfect time for Microsoft to strike while the iron is hot; pending, of course, they’re actually interested in early access themselves.
Early Access is already a touchy subject for PC gamers, but is it time for consoles to follow suit?
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling news, reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and on again/off again WoW player that blasphemously favors consoles over PC. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, although he’ll always have a soft spot for Nintendo. His favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.