There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to avoid Early Access games. You might be worried that you’ll buy the game and then it’ll never be finished. I’ve certainly bought into a couple of those. *cough* Once I even did it for two games to the same developer. Suffice to say, I won’t be knowingly buying a third from them. Or heck, you might just consider it in the same light as pre-ordering and be reluctant to part with the money until a complete game is ready for review before you.

But nope — my reason isn’t anything sensible like that.

My reason? Achievements. Or more to the point — the fact they’re often not implemented yet during Early Access.

This silliness has layers to it, too.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker — one of my recent Early Access acquisitions.

I don’t even particularly like achievements…

OK, that might be a bit extreme. I do like achievements.

So I suppose it would be more accurate to just say that I’m by no means an achievement completionist. I practically never even attempt to 100% or ‘platinum’ a game. Nor do I very often go hunting for a particular achievement. (Sometimes though!)

Mostly I enjoy the odd shot of joy delivered by seeing the little, ‘Hey- you did a thing!’ screen pop up. But it’s very transient in nature. I don’t overly ‘care’ about them in the longer run.

And if a game is never going to have achievements?

That’s fine.

Not a deal breaker at all.

The problem is when the achievements are added later

You know. After many hours have been spent. Many things have been done. Many things which should have resulted in an achievement!

And didn’t! They didn’t.

And there’s no way I’m going to spend that time in the game all over again. Or reach the same levels, doing the same things, hitting the same highs as I did in the first run through.

Something about this really sticks in my craw.

It might be some vestigial remnant of back in the days when I was more of a completionist. There was a time I would chase down achievements a little more aggressively after all. Or maybe it’s more that I don’t like having it ‘on record’ as it were that I haven’t done a thing, that actually I have!

That’s one more nacelle into the collection barge. Can I have an achievement now?

Whatever the reason — it’s a pretty silly (and shallow) one for avoiding a game I would probably otherwise quite enjoy already. It also means avoiding seeing a game develop throughout its time in Early Access first hand. Which is also something I used to quite enjoy!

Buuuut… I’m also relatively sure that this isn’t something I’m going to change any time soon. It seems a pretty engrained behaviour and feeling at this point.

Silly or not!


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Frostilyte · June 30, 2020 at 1:21 am

Well…your article’s title wasn’t wrong. :P

One thing I’ve always appreciated is when developers add achievements in such a way that you get retroactive credit for them. That is to say the first time you boot up the game after they’re added you get an annoyingly large number of them, but at least you don’t have to start from square one.

    Naithin · June 30, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Hah. :P

    Yes though — retroactive application is greatly possible.

    Still apparently feeling quite burnt by the cases where this wasn’t done though, as post evinces. lol.

MagiWasTaken · July 2, 2020 at 7:03 am

It’s a silly reason but I totally get ya. With Moonlighter a lot of the achievements got added a lot later after the full release… Steam usually tracks them quite well if the dev didn’t do an oopsie, but in the case of Moonlighter I was still missing that achievement of upgrading my shop to level 2, despite me already having upgraded it to level 3! And that’s just stupid… but… no worries… I’ll replay it… eventually. All of the other achievements got tracked just fine though, so that’s a relief. I wouldn’t say that this is THE reason to avoid EA titles… but even if it was one of the bigger reasons to do that, it’s really not that much of an issue if the dev did well with implementing the detectors :)

    Naithin · July 2, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    But the risk is you have no idea whether the dev will be any good or not at implementing retroactive achievement detectors. Or if they’ll even bother. It’s a lot of effort, if not outright impossible for certain game types. If it isn’t explicitly a milestone based achievement and no trigger for it was implemented at the time you ‘did the thing’ it’s very unlikely you’ll ever see a retroactive application of the achievement.

    So even though I fully acknowledge this is a silly reason for not spending too much time with an EA game — it’s one I’m probably going to stick with, except for the odd time one breaks through this barrier when I give it a taster. :)

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