Is it okay to downvote early access games on steam for lack of content?

I think that when a game is in early access and it clearly states that it’s not finished you shouldn’t be able to make a negative review with a thumbs down on steam because of “lack of content”. I mean, of course it has lack of content, it’s in early access. This is a problem with Boundless as there’s currently 91 negative reviews and most of them have a thumbs down because of the lack of content. If Boundless was just completely broken, then I think it would deserve this but Boundless is a pretty polished game. What are your opinions?


My thoughts exactly. It seems kind of stupid to do so… reviews overall should only be done when the game is finished… But you can review the DEVELOPMENT of the game, like: is it going to the right direction? is it getting better? i dunno, stuff like that, otherwise i think reviews in early access dont seem to do much sense


I’m glad they have this now


I think that mostly depends on how you do it.

There is a large different from the “Derp this stupid game lacks content” reviews and the “At this point I wouldn’t recommend to buy this game if you do not do it solely to support the creators” reviews.


Yeah, it’s really disappointing to see those reviews. Early Access is a bit confusing, and the way Valve promotes and presents Early Access alongside fully released products doesn’t help set expectations very well.

We went all caps on our disclaimer in the end to make sure we only attracted the most willing and patient players. Now that we don’t need to obsess too much about funding milestones we have the luxury to sacrafice early sales and hopefully have happier customers at 1.0. So that’s good.


Very much this, I think quite a lot of the negative reviews was by people who went into it expecting more than they got. (Which is a totally fair reason to give bad reviews but not so much if you have not read what the game you buy comes with)

I think Prison architect came nicely around this at first by making a very honest trailer. When even the first video you see present and aray of bugs people go into playing the game much more prepared.

Also the fact that early access games comes in everything from basically complete to just started coding, it is very much a minefield for the buyers out there.

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Another aspect is: how early is your game? Many early access games are small experiments, or basically betas and pre-sales for much larger games. There aren’t many projects like Boundless that are going to be big, but out there as early.


Seems like the reviews are mostly positive now!

I would say NO!! It is unfair to judge a game that is not done yet. And people that barely try it out giving it a bad rap makes me upset :frowning: Its more than the game, its the community that is awesome too! :doug:


Yeah that is precisely the problem, some games are almost finished and just put it into early access to polish a bit, or it is actually done and they just want to add more.

people will compare early access games which just doenst make sense, for example it is about useless as saying ‘‘A is a game, B is a game, A should be like B then’’ some games have been in early access or developement for years and as such have gotten a fanbase.

this is what i have a hardest time explaining people, that not all early access gamesa re in the same stages.


What about the games that get stuck in early access for years upon years without any real development?

The voting system in early access help people warn each other about dead projects and such.

But yeah just trying it out for short time and then giving it a bad rating is kinda stupid.

As thor mentioned above.

there is a huge difference between saying ‘‘While the game shows potential it is very barebones at the moment, and a such i cannot recommend it to people expecting a game with lots of things to do’’ and ‘‘This game sucks, there is nothing to do, its a scam!!, avoid at all costs!!’’

however the problem with this lies in the fact that you have to judge it on ‘‘Promises’’ and ‘‘Potential’’ and as some mention that isnt really the best way of doing it either, so i cant say there is anything you cannot downvote it for, someone mentioned you could downvote if it was broken, however that is also part of early access. so some would argue you cannot downvote for that either.


Potentially Steam can present this to players in a useful way: “20 updates in the last 3 months”, versus “0 updates in the last 3 months”. If the game isn’t being updates it deserves to slip down the “progress” ranking.

(Obviously this would say nothing about the size of these updates. But it would still capture some form of developer engagement.)


That would be an amazing idea actually. Someone should write to them.


It’s like reviewing a book based on that one chapter preview you get on amazon before it comes out sometimes.

It would be great if the devs could ask steam to remove some of the reviews that are simply incorrect and damaging to a game at this stage of the development. There has been a culture forming due to a large number of early access games not delivering on dev promises, goals and features. I think we can all agree that boundless is not one of those games, and it looks like it never will be if the community is anything to go by!

Steam reviews are really helpful sometimes and I always read the first five to see if I should buy a game or not, but most of these reviews are misguided.

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Isnt it sad that some of these reviews are coming from grown adults? Its like they read the catagory of the game and go " this game is for me" , plays the game and then complains like " why was this not what i wanted, this is trash".yaknow?

I also blame part of bad reviews on early access games on youtubers and streamers who also dont properly treat those types of games as they are, its always " i hope they fix this soon or make the game better " “screw around messing with bug glitches” on early access games that come out NEXT YEAR" of course the game is going to get better :angry:

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