An exhausted developer, surrounded by screens

In the world of video gaming, a growing trend is causing a stir among gamers and critics alike. It’s the practice of releasing unfinished games at full price, a phenomenon that’s becoming all too common. These games, often riddled with bugs, glitches, and incomplete storylines, are sold to consumers under the guise of a complete product. Yet, they barely qualify for what we’d call ‘early access’.

The Early Access Mirage

Early access is a model that allows gamers to play a game before it’s officially released. It’s a way for developers to gather feedback, fix bugs, and make improvements based on real-world usage. However, the line between early access and a full release has become increasingly blurred.

Many game editors are releasing games that are far from finished, yet they’re charging full price. This is not only misleading but also unfair to the consumers who are essentially paying to be beta testers.

The Crunch Culture Culprit

One of the root causes of this issue is the pervasive ‘crunch culture’ in the gaming industry. Crunch culture refers to the practice of working excessive hours, often unpaid, to meet tight deadlines. This often results in rushed products, as developers scramble to deliver a game by the release date, regardless of whether it’s ready or not.

Crunch culture is not only harmful to the quality of games but also to the developers themselves. It leads to burnout, stress, and a host of other health issues. It’s a toxic practice that needs to be addressed if we want to see a change in the industry.

The Impact on the Gaming Community

This practice has a profound impact on the gaming community. It breeds mistrust between gamers and developers. Gamers feel cheated when they pay full price for a game that’s not ready for prime time. It also affects the overall quality of games in the market. If developers can get away with releasing unfinished games, what’s the incentive to deliver a polished, complete product?

The Call to Action: Release Games When They’re Ready

It’s time for a change. Game editors need to take responsibility and ensure that games are ready for release before they hit the market. This means thorough testing, fixing bugs, and ensuring that the game is complete in every sense.

Releasing a game should be like releasing a piece of art. It should be something that the creators are proud of, something that they believe is ready to be seen and experienced by the world. It should not be a rushed process, driven by deadlines and profit margins.

The Role of the Gaming Community

As gamers, we have a role to play too. We need to hold game editors accountable. This means not buying unfinished games and providing feedback when we encounter these issues. We need to demand better, because we deserve better.


In conclusion, the practice of releasing unfinished games at full price needs to stop. It’s detrimental to the gaming community and the industry as a whole. Game editors need to take responsibility and ensure that games are ready for release before they hit the market. As gamers, we need to hold them accountable. Let’s demand better, and let’s ensure that the games we play are worth the price we pay.

Remember, a game is not just a product, it’s an experience. And we deserve the best experience possible. Let’s also remember that behind every game, there are developers who deserve fair working conditions. Let’s stand against crunch culture and advocate for a healthier, more sustainable gaming industry.