Early Access on Steam has always been a topic for debate among PC gamers, usually because of the games that are never finished without any kind of refund system for the buyers of the game. However today a game called Atajrubah has gone against the current flow of games that never update, instead the developers are exiting early access. Atajrubah is a role-playing adventure based multiplayer game set in the 1930’s-1940’s and is heavily influenced by Arabian architecture and folklore to the point that even the name means “experience” in Arabic; it was also due to receive oculus rift support.
“In the few months since launch we have encountered a number of technical and personal issues, that will affect the development of the game in a negative way. After much deliberation all team members involved have decided to step away from development.”
While the game is leaving steam early access development will not be stopping, just moving a much slower pace.
What does this mean for the buyers?
All those who bought the game are eligible for a full refund through steam, the head developer has also offered free steam keys to those users who wish to help test the game as it is developed; keys will be free under the assumption they will not be resold.
Many games have remained in Early Access since it’s introduction to Steam without any intent to finish the game for whatever reason however there are just as many games that will be finished and continue to provide regular updates. Early Access is a gamble and some PC gamers avoid it completely for different reasons and those that do buy these games to support them in their development run the risk of getting burned by developers.
Supporters of the game on steam are showing their gratitude for the blog announcement on steam, wishing the developers luck with future development. Perhaps we will see the return of Atajrubah to Steam Early Access in the future, though it may take some years before the developers decide the game and team are Early Access ready.
Myself and the other team members don’t want to burn the wonderful folks that have purchased access to the game, I would also be loath to make money off of the assets created by my former team members in their abscence.
Is this something all developers should be doing in Early Access if their game is not updated after a certain amount of time? Le us know what you think!