In 2018, We Happy Few officially left early access and became a fully developed game. Allegedly. Footage from reporters at the scene verify that it was a Bethesda-grade cavalcade of bugs that interfered with the gameplay to the point where the game could only be enjoyed as a glitch safari. The heaping of shame the developers received for the state of that release was well-deserved, although I note that Bethesda got away with it for like four games until people finally noticed in Fallout 76.
Still, the whole point of having early access is so you can sell a cheaper version of the game in a playable but incomplete state with the promise that people who buy into the half-finished version will be upgraded feature by feature to the full release version for no additional charge, receiving each build as it’s finalized. It helps the developers bring in funds while they’re making the game, gives them a profit-positive QA process, and the game’s most enthusiastic fans can get their hands on it early, at a lower price in recognition of the risk that the game will never be completed, and have some influence on the game’s direction during production, while people who are more casually interested can just buy the full version when/if it gets released. It’s a good idea in theory, and even sometimes in execution. We Happy Few scammed the people who bought it only after it left early access, though: Those people took the deal that they’d pay full price (and I do mean full price – the initial release price was $60!) for a copy of the game that was finished the moment they installed it, and what they got was a feature-complete but glitched to Hell mid-beta release. Boo.
That said, people who bought in early, or who did what I do and waited two or three years for the dust to settle, got a perfectly good deal, because the game did eventually become good, though even in its 2020 state (when the developers seem to be largely finished with it) it doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its premise.
Continue reading “We Happy Few Is (Now) Good At Being What It Is”