It's strange to call this a post-mortem, as Aground is still very much alive. But, I have moved onto new games, with Stardander School for Witches now in Early Access, and Aground Zero not far behind.
The key takeaways from Aground's strange journey are:
- Early Access is much better than you think it is.
- Don't lose hope until after the full launch, and maybe not even then!
On Losing Hope
On Early Access
Downsides of Early Access
- Sales are weak in early access - so if you never transition to full release, you'll never get your launch visibility round and will do worse than if you just started with a full release.
- Launching in early access takes you off the upcoming games list - so if you're gathering a lot of wishlists and are prominent on the upcoming list, entering early access could potentially hurt you.
- Some games just don't easily fit the early access model.
- You do need to build momentum during early access for it to have value - if you get no sales, views or wishlists, no amount of time in early access will help.
|See Video Game Insights for the full infographic - and this is from 2020, it's only gotten worse.|