Discord launched its video game store last month, starting off with a modest 22 titles. The platform recognises that it can’t sit still if it wants to establish itself against competition, evolving its service to include its first wave of Early Access games.
Popularised by Steam, Early Access is a divisive term that allows publishers to sell games during their early stages of development. While players would be forgoing the wondrous ‘first-time’ experience sometimes provided by completed games, they gain a voice within the development process that allows them to influence direction, potentially crafting an ideal full release for a cheaper price.
Discord kicks off its Early Access slate with downhill freeriding game Descenders, dino management title Parkasaurus and stunning sandbox RPG Kynseed, which is built from some of the minds that helped create the original Fable. Visage also makes an appearance, bringing with it the PT-inspired psychological horror elements that have proven rather popular across Twitch.
Continuing its run of timed exclusives, Mad Machines is the only Early Access game to be a “First on Discord”. The premise looks a lot like Rocket Leagues, pitting two teams of three robots each side against one another as they aim to score points by pushing a metal ball past the enemy’s goal post. Mad Machines does distinguish itself using magnets, allowing players to catch the ball mid-air.
While this is an expansion of just five games, Mike Rose, Director at publisher No More Robots states that Descenders would not have been possible without Early Access. “It’s that simple. Giving our community a way to get involved through feedback and funding gives us what we need to steer our game’s development in the direction that players want. That’s huge. Our community is incredibly important to us and we are making games for them, so involving them in the process is a no-brainer.”
KitGuru Says: I can appreciate that Early Access has paved the way for many games that would otherwise not see the light of day. Discord’s newfound role is sure to help bolster these numbers moving forward. How do you feel about Discord’s storefront?