Is The Xbox One Game Preview Programme A Good Thing?

I’ve purchased one or two games through the Xbox One’s Game Preview programme. I’ve also played one or two of the free to play games. I very much enjoyed Happy Dungeons. I liked The Long Dark and I had a great time with Sheltered. I’m even looking forward to getting my hands on recently announced Game Previews, like DayZ and Conan Exiles. But one game is kind of turning me off of the the Game Preview programme. That game is ARK.

ARK was one of the original games to enter the programme. At the time, it was relatively basic, at least when you compare it to what it has slowly become. But now, not only is the game significantly larger – it’s even got DLC in the form of Scorched Earth. I mean, should a game that’s technically ‘not finished’ be getting DLC? Shouldn’t they be focusing their efforts on finishing the game?

Granted, there’s very little difference between a game in the Game Preview programme and a game on the general Store. With ARK, there was a difference until quite recently – when they released Achievements for the game. But in general, the only difference is that in the Game Preview programme, you’re told to expect issues with the game. Whereas in the Store, you expect the finished product. Sometimes that’s what you get, other times it isn’t.

A time limit for Game Previews?

Personally, I think that the Game Preview programme is a good thing. Sure, ARK should probably be released as a ‘full game’. There’s only a certain length of time that you can get away with telling players to expect issues. At some point, the game should be finished. That being said, The Long Dark is still in the Game Preview programme, and that’s been there just as long as ARK – at least Studio Wildcard are making big changes to ARK as the game progresses and… evolves.

I think that I walk a fine line, when it comes to the Game Preview programme. For me, I like the idea of having early access to games. I’d much rather play a game that’s slightly buggy a few months before general release. Rather than have to wait for the game to be stocked in-store. That being said, I don’t want to play a game that’s so broken that it’ll put me off of the title for good. I didn’t find that with ARK, and I haven’t found that with any of the Game Preview programme games so far – but I’m sure I will.

But what do you think? Do you like the Xbox One’s Game Preview programme, or do you avoid it? OR do you play on the PS4 and wish it had something similar? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Simon

    How do you get into the Xbox One Preview Programme please? I can’t seem to find a definitive answer anywhere 🙁

    • So the Game Preview is something anyone can do – you can find them in the Store.

      For the Preview Programme, which lets you preview updates and new features, you have to be invited / recommended for invitation by either Xbox or someone who’s currently in the Preview Programme. Hope that helps!

      • Simon

        Great, thanks for the info, appreciate that.

        Totally agree on what you’ve said too. How can an Early Access game possibly have DLC?! Surely devs should be working on fully releasing first?! Especially as some people have paid on Steam haven’t they? People have complained about Day 1 DLC in the past, wonder what their views are on pre-Day 1 DLC!

        I have both PS4 and Xbox One. I will certainly be trying out some of the preview games and seeing if I can get on the Preview/Insider Programme…somehow! I’d love to see similar on PS4. I think Sony could learn a lot from MS on things like this and EA Access etc. Yet they claim they’re “for the gamers” ha!

        • Daniel Lawson

          the Xbox One and PC versions of the game are running the same base code so when they release stuff for the PC it’s easy for them to port that over. I don’t think it’s a problem since the DLC is helping to develop the game further.

  • Simon

    How do you get into the Xbox One Preview Programme please? I can’t seem to find a definitive answer anywhere 🙁

    • So the Game Preview is something anyone can do – you can find them in the Store.

      For the Preview Programme, which lets you preview updates and new features, you have to be invited / recommended for invitation by either Xbox or someone who’s currently in the Preview Programme. Hope that helps!

      • Simon

        Great, thanks for the info, appreciate that.

        Totally agree on what you’ve said too. How can an Early Access game possibly have DLC?! Surely devs should be working on fully releasing first?! Especially as some people have paid on Steam haven’t they? People have complained about Day 1 DLC in the past, wonder what their views are on pre-Day 1 DLC!

        I have both PS4 and Xbox One. I will certainly be trying out some of the preview games and seeing if I can get on the Preview/Insider Programme…somehow! I’d love to see similar on PS4. I think Sony could learn a lot from MS on things like this and EA Access etc. Yet they claim they’re “for the gamers” ha!

        • Daniel Lawson

          the Xbox One and PC versions of the game are running the same base code so when they release stuff for the PC it’s easy for them to port that over. I don’t think it’s a problem since the DLC is helping to develop the game further.