The gap between Steam and GOG.com has further widened now that Valve has embraced the sale of work-in-progress games under its Early Access program while the latter digital distributor has continued to focus on curating finished releases. Will GOG.com follow suit? "We're obviously looking at it," CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski told Eurogamer.
Commenting on Steam's approach to distribution, he said "it's fine, it works extremely well for them and some developers, but it has threats like the one of bad Early Access games." Iwinski's team would "definitely consider" a similar model, "but again it would be the GOG way. It would have to be curated and, we believe -- we are always saying this very openly -- we are responsible in front of the gamer for what they're buying on GOG."
He also believes there would need to be "some kind of protection" for consumers, a sentiment I wish Valve would better strive to embody. "Definitely not every game should be permitted, and consumers should have an option to opt out if they're really unhappy. It can be done better still."
In the end, it comes down to meeting expectations. For all of the talk about Earth: Year 2066 being awful and Valve pulling the game from Steam Early Access and offering refunds, here's the thing: the game was fairly obviously awful. The deeper issue, the one I worry about, is knowing that I can trust a developer to stick with a project and not move on after collecting a paycheck.