Steam’s Early Access program isn’t taken advantage of nearly as much as one would think. The ability for indie developers to essentially self-publish and sell their games on Steam while they are still under construction is both an invaluable industry tool, and an open-door for abuse and scams. The most notable example of this was The War Z, made by Hammerpoint Interactive, which was free to play but charged exorbitant amounts of real money in-game to do just about anything in the glitchy open-world full of poorly designed zombies. Following a horde of user complaints, the game was taken off of Steam and those who were sucked in to paying were given full refunds. The same thing has now happened with Earth: Year 2066.
The “open world sandbox MMO RPG survival horror immersive First person shooter” (as described by one of only three obviously planted positive reviews), Earth: Year 2066 was clearly influenced by games like Fallout 3, but similarities between the two are purely based on the most basic of premise. The “game” consists of one very small map of a sandy, barren wasteland populated only by simple objects, buildings, and annoying enemies. Players have pointed out that the gameplay is nearly impossible to enjoy with constant physics glitches, awful graphics, and no goal or narrative to be found. For a game that costs $19.99, it’s nothing more than a simple demo made by someone who is clearly just getting started in the business. I would suggest he stop now.
In response to overwhelming accusations, mostly on Reddit, of the game being a scam and not meeting the level of quality expected from even an unfinished Beta release, Valve has announced on the game’s forum that they will be pulling Earth: Year 2066 from the Steam market due to a lack of honesty on the developers part and will be offering a full refund to anyone who purchased it until March 19. The game will still be listed on Steam until the 19th but no option to buy it will be available. Instead, customers who purchased the game previously should see a refund option. It should be noted that Valve ultimately plans to end the Early Access program and turn Steam into a “self-publishing platform”. What that means and what would end up replacing Early Access is unknown.
Sounds like Earth: Year 2066 should be given a physical release, just so all the copies can be hauled out to the New Mexico desert and buried forever.
The following video contains some profanity. But can you blame the guy?