No Rest for the Wicked Director Says Nintendo and PlayStation Need to Embrace Early Access Releases

Can we get early access games on Switch and PS5?

Earlier this month, No Rest for the Wicked was released in early access on Steam, with a full release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S currently in the works. Apparently, things are off to a good start for the game, as Moon Studios CEO and creative director Thomas Mahler is already calling early access "one of the best decisions we could've made." Mahler went into detail about how beneficial it's been to get actual feedback from players, as opposed to testers, and how he thinks early access will become a greater standard throughout the industry. 

"I think as games become more and more complex and sophisticated, we'll see some form of Early Access happening more and more often," Mahler wrote on Twitter. "Speaking from our own experience, 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."

Making a Better Product

Mahler went on to call early access "one way to allow developers to truly perfect a product over time." While the other console makers have been slow to embrace early access, Xbox does allow it on their platform; Palworld was released on Xbox in early access back in January, and has been a massive success story since. However, Nintendo and PlayStation have been more hesitant to embrace early access games, instead waiting for a full release. Mahler feels that things are currently too restrictive, and it's going to hurt developers and players in the long run. 

"Ultimately people just want to play great games. It shouldn't matter how the game was developed, just that it was and if players can't play some great experience on your platform, you're doing your audience a disservice." 

Will PlayStation and Nintendo Embrace Early Access?

It will be interesting to see if PlayStation and Nintendo start to embrace this model more over time. In the Switch era, Nintendo has been building close relationships with indie studios; Nintendo even trusted Brace Yourself Games with making a Zelda game, something that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. If early access is something that more indie studios see as a need, it's possible we could see Nintendo embrace that model. PlayStation is a bit harder to pin down in that regard, but if both Nintendo and Xbox are doing it, chances are PlayStation will follow. 

While fans have repeatedly brought up the fact that No Rest for the Wicked could get an early access release on Xbox, Mahler noted that "it just wouldn't be smart to load more onto our plates at the moment." As such, anyone that wants to check out No Rest for the Wicked while it's in early access is going to have to do so on Steam! 

Do you think PlayStation and Nintendo should embrace early access releases on Switch and PS5? Do you think more indie studios will embrace this model? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!