I’ve noticed that a lot of the games I scroll through on Steam in early access are open-world survival crafting. I don’t know if developers of those genres only have a good chance to become fully released as long as they start in early access, or if the nature of early access breeds those genres. It’s something I’ve noticed quite often. Does anyone have any insight as to why early access and those genres go hand in hand, or am I just noticing something that isn’t there?

………… rife.

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31 thoughts on “Are there good reasons why early access PC games are ripe with open-world survival crafting games?”

  1. It was the next big thing a few years ago. In a couple of years there will be a million battle royal early access games

  2. My theory: There have been some nice hits in the genre, just like BR games. Smaller indie companies want to get in on the pie and they have some unique idea as their selling point, but don’t have that ability to fund the game.

  3. They are easier to make. Why go through the effort of making content when you can leave it empty with some building and crafting systems, slap on a sandbox label, and tell people the content is what they make it?

  4. AAA devs have stayed away from the genre so far and there hasn’t really been a great realistic survival crafting game yet, despite the massive popularity. Ark is a total piece of shit and yet there’s still something like 50k+ players online on just the Steam version at any given time. That means that it’s a great target market for smaller devs hoping to hit it big, but almost every dev that’s done so so far isn’t very good. There’s been some solid entries like Conan Exiles and The Forest but they’re still lacking in a lot of ways. Personally, I do hope that someone eventually does the genre right because I enjoy that type of gameplay but it hasn’t really happened yet.

  5. pretty much minecraft was extremely successful, so other developers wanted some of that pie. just like how pubg/fortnite were extremely successful so theirs a lot of battleoryals as well

  6. * No need for story or storytelling
    * Easy to make and further upgrade and update as necessary
    * Not a lot of competition from AAA titles

  7. It may not be much of an answer but my personal guess is that it’s a genre people have interest in but no developer managed to do particularly well yet, so these people keep buying the next thing hoping it will be “the good one”.

    Or maybe I’m biased because that’s more or less how I’m looking at the genre (except for the part where I buy them… So far I’m mostly sitting on the fence waiting to spot something that I would want to play).

  8. It’s the game a lot of us grew up wanting to play or make.

    Show of hands here who wanted some sort of realistic, beautiful, simulation like, survival elements, open world, role playing, multiplayer, zombie game? With destructible environments?

    Doesn’t have to be zombies, that’s really more telling of my age.

  9. It’s easy to make a big world full of nothing.

    You don’t need to pay voice actors, put together a compelling narrative or complex AI.

  10. Because it was a huge market with Dayz and Minecraft, and its extremely easy to make just enough content for people to enjoy before they abandon it and already eat off the easy money they made off of streamers. The same thing will happen to Battle royales and card games. Just like they did with Mobas and Shooters.

  11. Its due to the boom in survival games a few years back so what you are seeing are the late comers reaching early access point in development.

  12. Money.

    It sounds trite but that is ultimately what the main motivation for these “genre bandwagons” ends up being. Rust in particular is probably the game that really sparked the early access survival sandbox craze since it was such a monetary success right off the bat, and the game wasn’t even close to being finished and was even rebuilt from the ground up at some point.

  13. I think these games have a long development cycle. lots of testing finding what exact crafting system works well. if they released them when they were actually finished the games would be dated at release.

  14. Open-world survival crafting would be amazing if it was done right, which people always hope they are.

    They usually aren’t.

  15. It’s a faster easier way to generate money, that’s the only reason.


    Why go through the hassle of making a story, or quests, when you slap together some assets and have a survival game in six months that might make you half a million dollars.

  16. Because every publisher out there thinks that’s the next big genre boom following battle royale’s genre boom. Every publisher thinks they have the tweaks and ideas that’ll make that one game that’ll catch like wild fire, the same way Fortnite did with the battle royale idea that was around for a while before they finally cracked the glass ceiling of success.

    Sad thing is, I don’t think any survival game is ever going to get there. The genre always seemed interesting and fun to me, but whenever I play one, it’s not fun at all. And I don’t know if it ever will be. But damn they keep trying!

  17. No story
    No voiceover
    No lines
    No hiring people to do Animations
    No design of complex structure
    No complex coding.

  18. Beyond being easy to develop
    They all suck.

    So aspiring developer plays said shitty game, then finds 10’s of 100’s of flaws, and decides they can do better.
    With the blazing motivation of self confidence, they make the 20th indie survival crafting title this year.

    How ever this does imply they are getting better over time. And truth be told they are. Starting from one or two pot luck amazing titles, then the leech underbelly emulation titles, now to fully fleshed genuine indie titles. Wont be long til the games have a high enough standard that they become generally great games.

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