No Rest For The Wicked: Was Early Access Worth It?! The Developers Speak

A week after its release, Moon Studios already believed that Early Access was the best option for No Rest for the Wicked.



One of the most interesting publications of the month arrived as Early Access. The creators of Ori-saga surprised us by choosing this commercial format with their new game, No Rest for the Wicked. Although it is not a company used to big productions, they have a successful enough history to try non-traditional style publications.

The director of Moon Studios called this decision the “best decisions we could’ve made”, saying that within a week, they could see their game benefiting from early access.

He then called on Sony and Nintendo to open the door to such a commercial format on their consoles.


No Rest for the Wicked will be a better game thanks to Early Access


Thomas Mahler started with the criticism: “I see some people are still irked about why games like Wicked, Hades 2, Larian’s new game, etc. launch into Early Access even if the studio ‘should have the funds to finish the game and release it then ‘. But that’s looking at a complex problem through a way too simple lens. (…) There is just no way we could have ever shipped Wicked 1.0 without being able to see all the data we’re seeing now and getting all the feedback from users. And I mean actual users, not a Focus Testing Group. Even if we’d have 2-3 times the staff, it would have been quite simply impossible, the product is just way too complex of a beast to reasonably expect that.”

As the studio director explained, this kind of strategy would have been good even for historical games. “Imagine Dark Souls 1 would’ve been in Early Access – Instead of From rushing to ship a boxed product in a somewhat unfinished state, they probably would’ve been able to look at the second half of that game and still fully form and polish the less polished areas like Lost Izalith, etc. ‘You could just do that through updates and DLC!’ I hear you say – No, often times you couldn’t.”

“Shipping games is always incredibly difficult and stressful and most of the time it means making quite drastic compromises, especially if your product is trying to accomplish something new.”

Finally, the studio director ended his speech with a message for players and companies. “So, even if you dislike the idea of Early Access: It’s one way to allow developers to truly perfect a product over time, so please try to understand that there’s value in that.”

In a follow-up post, Mahler stated PlayStation and Nintendo need to “embrace” early access.

“The industry is just changing at a rapid pace and holding on to things that were the norm 5-10 years ago is too restrictive,” he said.

With its Souls-style gameplay, No Rest for the Wicked seems to be on the right track. The release got off to a bit of a bumpy start, but updates have already arrived to fix the more glaring issues. The game currently has a 72% positive rating on Steam. It seems to be on an upward trajectory as it reached this value after starting with only 58% upvotes when it was released a week ago.

Source: Eurogamer

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"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

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