Was Planetary Anihilators the final nail in the coffin for Early Access ?

NuclearKangaroo

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Zontar said:
And if it was another funding campaign, that would be an argument. But for an actual store, it's not.
alright, how else can they sell the game to the people that didnt participate on the kickstarter and NOT screw over their backers?


Zontar said:
the announcement for the game claimed it would be the price range. I wouldn't really be as ticked about that if he (the dev) at least gave a reason for the difference between what he said the price would be and what it was.
fromt what i understand the game will be more expensive on release

Zontar said:
Wait, is this one a comment for or against GC3 being 100$? And is against, why is GC3 being wrong by selling for 100$ but PA not for selling at 120$ when it was Alpha?
again, backers, what would you feel if you backed the game for 120 dollars to have early alpha access and then a few weeks later they sold the game on early access for 60 bucks?
 

Deadcyde

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I don't do early access, no matter how much i want the game. Basically I'm paying to be a beta tester. No. That's their job, they are supposed to quality assure it. Otherwise I am a consumer, not an investor. I'm aware of how weird that sounds but basically it works out like this. I want to buy a complete game. Not a half finished one.

I won't allow them to hold gaming hostage. If they want my money they can damn well work for it.
 

Zontar

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NuclearKangaroo said:
alright, how else can they sell the game to the people that didnt participate on the kickstarter and NOT screw over their backers?
Seeing the product in question finished and brought to market is the goal of the backers, as long as that is what happens they are not being screwed over.


fromt what i understand the game will be more expensive on release
That is also what I've heard, and it only compounds the issue for it.

again, backers, what would you feel if you backed the game for 120 dollars to have early alpha access and then a few weeks later they sold the game on early access for 60 bucks?
Well, as long as the game gets an actual release, they shouldn't feel anything other then be happy the project worked. Though what you are describing couldn't be the case as PA came to Steam months after the Kickstarter ended.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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NuclearKangaroo said:
[

Zontar said:
Wait, is this one a comment for or against GC3 being 100$? And is against, why is GC3 being wrong by selling for 100$ but PA not for selling at 120$ when it was Alpha?
again, backers, what would you feel if you backed the game for 120 dollars to have early alpha access and then a few weeks later they sold the game on early access for 60 bucks?
Ignore him, I've spent several posts pounding into him that game Devs shouldn't screw over their most devoted customers 'because reasons.'

Ironically he could have made a decent point if he had chosen better examples instead of:

Planetary Annihilation (which like Wasteland 2 has the issue of Kickstarter backers that predated Early Access)

Gal Civ 3 (he has a point there, minus the whole 'getting all four expansions + whatever DLC also comes + Artbook/OST/other goodies + naming a star')

DayZ (which has the Dev explicitly stating you shouldn't get the game and whose price will increase as it gets closer to launch)
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Zontar said:
Seeing the product in question finished and brought to market is the goal of the backers, as long as that is what happens they are not being screwed over.
id feel screwed over, i guess uber doesnt want to deal with customers like me, a 120 dollar price shouldnt really piss off anybody, dont like the price? dont buy it at this point the game doesnt need extra funding you are just paying premium for a backdoor ticket to the concert

but if you charge less than that, you piss off everyone who paid extra specifically to participate on the alpha, and legitimately so, they cant even ask for a refund because hell you need the money


Zontar said:
That is also what I've heard, and it only compounds the issue for it.
how?

Zontar said:
Well, as long as the game gets an actual release, they shouldn't feel anything other then be happy the project worked. Though what you are describing couldn't be the case as PA came to Steam months after the Kickstarter ended.
what im describing IS the case, PA came to steam months after the kickstarter for those who wanted to play early and didnt participate on the kickstarter for whatever reason, the game in this case isnt on Early Access seeking funds, but allowing gamers to have an Early Access to the game, some people are like that, some people want to play a game early even if its not finished, thats how things are plus what you are describing are the minority of early access games, most of them either ask less money than the future retail price or the same amount
 

Zontar

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NuclearKangaroo said:
id feel screwed over, i guess uber doesnt want to deal with customers like me, a 120 dollar price shouldnt really piss off anybody, dont like the price? dont buy it at this point the game doesnt need extra funding you are just paying premium for a backdoor ticket to the concert
It's not the price, it's the principle. If it had just been PA I wouldn't be that upset, but it's a trend now. If the devs didn't want a backlash, they shouldn't have brought it to Steam at all. It was a catch twenty two of either pissing off Kickstarter (assuming that argument actually actually holds water) or, as was the case, pissing off Steam users.[/quote]


Simple, the Alpha release was twice as expensive as the originally claimed price would be, and the price is only going to go up. I wasn't an act done because the dev needs money, the mind-bogglingly long time DayZ spent as the #1 most selling Steam game shows that.

what im describing IS the case, PA came to steam months after the kickstarter for those who wanted to play early and didnt participate on the kickstarter for whatever reason, the game in this case isnt on Early Access seeking funds, but allowing gamers to have an Early Access to the game, some people are like that, some people want to play a game early even if its not finished, thats how things are plus what you are describing are the minority of early access games, most of them either ask less money than the future retail price or the same amount
The Kickstarter was to get it to exist, something that, even IF the game got all the funding in supposedly needed, was not assured. It didn't come to Steam until after the Alpha was already open. And yes, it's the minority doing it, but the ones doing it are the big name ones which don't need to use it to get more funding and it's already become a trend. The worst part is, it's working. You really think that will how often this has worked out financially one of the big publishers won't use the same technique to make a game using old IP with a strong fan base to get more money then they'd ever need before even putting out an Alpha level product? This is about more then just one or two companies doing unjustifiable practices (and yes, the Kickstarter argument is not a valid argument because of the very nature of Kickstarter), it's about the fact that a new trend has begun that is already making games more expensive then they can justify being in an age where game prices are going up faster then the market can handle.

I don't know what the industry will look like when the bubble does burst, but Uber is one of the indies which will not survive it, if they last long enough to even see it.
 

Sarge034

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Summerstorm said:
Or you could say: "Hm, likely good, would buy later - when it's done and out" - so you don't help them... If they don't get enough money to make it then, clearly not enough people wanted to invest in it - and wanted to get it later (or never) - no shame in that. That is the risk of trying to do free developement with such a system.
And therein lies the fallacy. You said yourself that the consumer would, and I quote, "buy later - when it's done and out". This is an investment. It's not that there wasn't a demand but perhaps that consumer didn't want to give their money away without an assurance that they would actually get a game. I see that as being a smart consumer move. There is absolutely no consumer protection in kickstarter or kickstarter like programs because the money is considered a gift, not an investment. You are a backer, not an investor. You get dinky tier gifts, not stock.

I would be much more supportive of a system where you could essentially pre-order the game with specific details of what you were going to get and if the company didn't deliver you would get a refund. You could in a sense make it a legally binding contract, but these indie folks would never jump for that because then there would be some accountability...
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Zontar said:
It's not the price, it's the principle. If it had just been PA I wouldn't be that upset, but it's a trend now. If the devs didn't want a backlash, they shouldn't have brought it to Steam at all. It was a catch twenty two of either pissing off Kickstarter (assuming that argument actually actually holds water) or, as was the case, pissing off Steam users.
heres the difference, only the rage of the kickstart backers is justified, because steam users can simply, you know, NOT BUY the game

backers want the game to be made, but some of them also want to play that game early, therefore if tthey knock down the price they are screwing over those people

also what principle? "they shouldnt sell incomplete games early at premium price"? again how is this a problem? they are giving you the OPTION to play the game early, thats all, you can take it, or not, you can wait until the game is finished, like with any other release

Zontar said:
Simple, the Alpha release was twice as expensive as the originally claimed price would be, and the price is only going to go up. I wasn't an act done because the dev needs money, the mind-bogglingly long time DayZ spent as the #1 most selling Steam game shows that.
its been known for a gooooood while know that the game is going to be more expensive on release, the dev stated plainly and clear on the sotre page to not buy the game yet as it is incomplete, theres nothing wrong with the things the DAYZ devs are doing


Zontar said:
The Kickstarter was to get it to exist, something that, even IF the game got all the funding in supposedly needed, was not assured. It didn't come to Steam until after the Alpha was already open. And yes, it's the minority doing it, but the ones doing it are the big name ones which don't need to use it to get more funding and it's already become a trend. The worst part is, it's working. You really think that will how often this has worked out financially one of the big publishers won't use the same technique to make a game using old IP with a strong fan base to get more money then they'd ever need before even putting out an Alpha level product? This is about more then just one or two companies doing unjustifiable practices (and yes, the Kickstarter argument is not a valid argument because of the very nature of Kickstarter), it's about the fact that a new trend has begun that is already making games more expensive then they can justify being in an age where game prices are going up faster then the market can handle.

I don't know what the industry will look like when the bubble does burst, but Uber is one of the indies which will not survive it, if they last long enough to even see it.
"The worst part is, it's working."

*checks steam*

as of the time of writing galactic civilizations 3 is on the position 46 of the best selling games on steam, wasteland 73, planetary annihilation 93, barely making it within the top 100, none of those games appear on the most played list

DAYZ is the only exception and we already talked about how its actually cheaper than its future full release

depite these games being "big name games" according to you heres a list of other early access games that are higher on the best selling list than the best selling game of your "big name games":

-Rust
-Kerbal Space Program(on sale)
-Space Engineers
-7 Days to Die
-Pixel Piracy
-Starbound
-Plague Inc. Evolved
-Planet Explorers
-Project Zomboid


so, no, its not working, did you make any actual research?

please explain why being a kickstarter game is not a justification to not screw over your backers, how is selling an alpha invitation for 120 bucks and then knocking down the price to 60 or less not screwing over the people who paid premium
 

Zeh Don

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Being as the thread title can't even get the title of the game correct, I knew this thread was going to be a treat!

Zontar said:
And if it was another funding campaign, that would be an argument. But for an actual store, it's not... and yes, the Kickstarter argument is not a valid argument because of the very nature of Kickstarter)...
You can't just say that it's not an argument, and move on, without actually explaining why it's not an argument. Pricing the different early access versions the same everywhere is called respecting your customers and early supporters. As a Kickstarter supporter of Planetary Annihilation myself, I wouldn't have had it any other way. On Kickstarter, they sold early access to the game. If the same early access had of been cheaper elsewhere in comparison to Kickstarter, I'd have asked for my money back. I paid for a finished copy of the game and early access to development builds of that game - why is someone else getting the same thing cheaper and earlier when they've bought it much later than myself, after I've assumed the risk by pledging funds earlier in the process?

Further to your point, unlike Minecraft - which actually did increase in price as development rolled on - you'll find PA cheaper today on Steam than it was during the previous portion of the development cycle. The price has decreased several times, actually. I know this, because I've bought several copies for friends. Once the game is finished, the price will be the release price. This respects the Kickstarter backers, and ensuring customers are treated the same everywhere, rather than leaving some out in the cold. No one is forcing you to buy an expensive "early access" version of a game, especially when you can simply wait for the game to be released and priced for significantly less. Your issues seem woefully unjustified.

Also, your developer doom-saying with relation to "early access" is, frankly, embarrassing. Kickstarter has successfully provided the alternative funding methods that the greatest developers of yesteryear were crying out for when EA and Activision were ravaging the industry. Warren Spectre, Richard Garriot, Marc LeBlanc, Hal Barwood - they would have killed for this type of funding method up to even ten years ago.
Games prices globally have largely remained static for years, and publishers are spending hundreds of millions to compete in the AAA space. Risk adverse is too soft a term for the aversion to originality that is plaguing this industry as a result of these two factors. And yet, here's early access - getting funding directly from the fans, who are literally throwing money at developers to get the titles that publishers simply will not fund.
What bubble do you think exists in this early access space? How was it created? Exactly how is this space making games more expensive then can be justified?

Your post can summised as:
"Kickstarter argument is terrible because.
Games are more expensive because early access because.
There is a bubble because.
It will burst because and hurt developers because.
"
What are you talking about? You're throwing terms around, and none of it makes any sense whatsoever.
 

Zontar

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NuclearKangaroo said:
People who backed the game on Kickstarter did not pay a premium, did not invest, and are not owed anything in terms of special treatment. As Sager pointed out, Kickstarter is not an investment, it's a donation, a donation made to try and get a project off the ground. those tiered options are just a gift the devs send back.

Steam is a store. People can say what they will about it, but Steam, even Early Access, is just a store. You aren't trying to get a project off the ground, you're just buying a product. These are two wholly different and at times incompatible functions. Having an item brought onto the market at market value is not screwing people who gave glorified donations. If someone who was a backer feels bad, that's on them, they should have looked at what Kickstarter has stated their own purpose is.

And you may have a point about where the numbers of sales are now, but when they came out PA and Wasteland 2 where in the top 10 longer then either had any justification being.

As for DayZ, the price may have been announced some time ago, but I use the original announcement as my point of contention. I honestly wouldn't care if the dev at least gave a reason for the change.
 

Zontar

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Zeh Don said:
I already explained why the Kickstarter argument is not one, I just don't want to do it for a 50th time in this thread.

And they didn't 'sell' "early access to the game", they had it as a tiered reward for your donation. A gift in return for monetary support. You where buying nothing, they where selling nothing.

The fact of the matter is, when you get to the core of the issue, using the practices of a donation service on an actual store.

And you can bring up Minecraft all you want, at lest the core gameplay was available right from the start and development could be cut off at any time and the game could still be considered "finished". Not the case with PA. And hell, the cost difference is also amazing. Where Minecraft went from being 10$ to eventually 30$, PA went from being 120$ to eventually 50$ (retail version 4 months late and counting), and during much of that time it was borderline unplayable. False equivalency.

Though I could be wrong, I'll entertain that idea. I'm still pissed off that the price of games in my country just rose this month, and this was already a pissoff, and then there was the disaster with X:Rebirth which killed my favorite franchise. I'll admit I could be wrong.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Zontar said:
NuclearKangaroo said:
People who backed the game on Kickstarter did not pay a premium, did not invest, and are not owed anything in terms of special treatment. As Sager pointed out, Kickstarter is not an investment, it's a donation, a donation made to try and get a project off the ground. those tiered options are just a gift the devs send back.

Steam is a store. People can say what they will about it, but Steam, even Early Access, is just a store. You aren't trying to get a project off the ground, you're just buying a product. These are two wholly different and at times incompatible functions. Having an item brought onto the market at market value is not screwing people who gave glorified donations. If someone who was a backer feels bad, that's on them, they should have looked at what Kickstarter has stated their own purpose is.

And you may have a point about where the numbers of sales are now, but when they came out PA and Wasteland 2 where in the top 10 longer then either had any justification being.

As for DayZ, the price may have been announced some time ago, but I use the original announcement as my point of contention. I honestly wouldn't care if the dev at least gave a reason for the change.
its up to the developer what to make of the money backers gave to them, is it a donation? is it an investment? is it a sign of trust? thats up to them, nowhere in here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/hello?ref=footer

says kickstarter is a donation, you fund projects on kickstarter, but thats not the same as a donation


steam is a store, and the people selling stuff there have the right to charge as much as they want for their products, so your argument is undefendable even there, and what these devs are selling is a commodity, something meant for enthusiasts, people who want early access to PA, W2 or GC3, they have their reasons to charge that amount, some more legitimate than others in my opinion

and as ive clearly shown this pricing clearly doesnt work, with tons of less known games selling much more than these games,i mean who the hell has heard of planet explorers?! what the hell is that!? (i do admit it looks nice) but still it has sold a reasonable amount of copies ever since it appeared on the store out of nowhere. how do i know this? download the steam enhanced addon for firefox/chrome, visit the store page of planet explorers, there is shows you the game had, at its peak, 1943 players, thats more than W2 at its peak (1188) and MUUUUCCCHHH more than GC3 at its peak (158), only PA has had more players at its peak (2613), but then again that game has gone on sale before so we dont know if it reached that peak while it still was priced at 120 dollars

so there isnt even a bubble to be burst as you said earlier, this isnt a trend, the vast mayority of early access games arent doing this because, hell people arent stupid they know they can wait for a cheaper, complete game. most early access games try to combat this by making their game cheaper on early access than it will be when it hits a full release, or by adding perks

also DAYZ is getting bigger than they initially expected, bigger game, more expensive, that simple
 

CommanderL

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Two of my favourite games at the monment are still considered to be in alhpa one is robocraft an another is kenshi they are both amazing fun and I look forward to every up date with great joy
 

RandV80

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This weeks Jimquisition could be loosely related to this topic, but where I agreed with Jim there this is where I draw the line. Simply put, a little bit of consumer awareness and a touch of maturity wouldn't hurt here. If a game isn't in your price range, then don't buy it. If you see a game you're not interested in at a ridiculous price, it doesn't mean the cost of every game is going to skyrocket.

With early access, rather than calling it 'buyer beware' I look at this method as 'hardcore enthusiasts only'. Now that's a bit of a misnomer, since PS and Xbox console gamers have created an environment where everyone who plays it is a 'hardcore' gamer, which in my opinion would actually be the misnomer. So anyways a couple questions. Do you like to not only place PC games but dabble a little in their development? Maybe you work on your own mods or do a little bit of your own development. Or maybe this is a game you think you will really really like and can see yourself playing it for the next year+. Or putting your money where your mouth is, would you drop $100+ to support a franchise you really want to see brought back? If the answer to those is no, then for the love of god stay away from early access. Why the hell would you even want to jump in now? Like personally I'm really looking forward to Galactic Civilization 3, I'm a huge fan of 4x games. But I expect I'll get 100-200 hours out of it, so I'm not about to waste those hours playing an early incomplete version of it. I'll leave that job to people that are far more dedicated/enthusiastic than me.

Maybe it's just me but I kind of see this as a carry over from the console publisher nonsense that Jim likes to rag on about, building up hype and marketing to get gamers to must have it before it's even released, hopefully giving them a pre-order purchase. They try to create an attitude/market where the first 4 weeks (or however many) of release is all that matters, and if you haven't gotten the game by then it doesn't matter. With many PC game companies though, like Stardock, they're looking at a much broader sales window where they will support and sell a game over a period of 1-3 years.

Galactic Civilization 2 was released Feb 2006. I was on board early one, and six months after release they were still releasing patches that eventually wasn't about fixing bugs but adding more content. A year later, an expansion pack that followed the same level of support. Another year and a bit after that, a second expansion pack improving the game even more. Think about that for a minute, around 2.5 years of development and support for this one game after release. Really just think about it, is it really a bad thing if they open up an early window 3 or so months before the official release?
 

ResonanceSD

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We can only hope so. Early Access is just a complete cancer on Steam, and needs to be done away with. You gain absolutely nothing from playing an unfinished copy of a game, other than paying for the privilege of being a Beta Tester.

Vivi22 said:
People who are interested in a game get to help fund it's development, and play it before final release, and the people developing the game get much needed funds to devote to full time development.

Kickstarter's gaming section exists for this reason alone. Valve is losing the market position as operating a storefront for high quality games when nearly every EA title is mediocre (at best).
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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ResonanceSD said:
We can only hope so. Early Access is just a complete cancer on Steam, and needs to be done away with. You gain absolutely nothing from playing an unfinished copy of a game, other than paying for the privilege of being a Beta Tester.

Vivi22 said:
People who are interested in a game get to help fund it's development, and play it before final release, and the people developing the game get much needed funds to devote to full time development.

Kickstarter's gaming section exists for this reason alone. Valve is losing the market position as operating a storefront for high quality games when nearly every EA title is mediocre (at best).
So what? Alpha's and the like get cut off from one of the most effective and easy (for both Devs and customers) ways of updating and installing the game?
 

Amir Kondori

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Man, you are so, so wrong on this. First of all, it is Planetary Annihilation and the game was Kickstarted. In order to get alpha/beta access you had to pledge at a certain level, I think something like $89.99, so to keep it fair for those backers, who made the project possible in the first place, they made Early Access the same price.

Like it or not Early Access is here to stay. A lot of people LIKE to be involved in a game early, and give feedback that gets incorporated into the game, and grow with the game. Second of all for smaller teams and indie developers it helps them finance the development and hopefully lead to a better, more polished game at launch.

I know a lot of people don't like it but if you don't like it do not buy it. You do not have to buy any games marked "Early Access". They are plainly marked and clearly state that they are not complete.

I frankly like Early Access, though I am careful when buying into an Early Access title.

It is here for the long haul!
 

Amir Kondori

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Ed130 The Vanguard said:
ResonanceSD said:
We can only hope so. Early Access is just a complete cancer on Steam, and needs to be done away with. You gain absolutely nothing from playing an unfinished copy of a game, other than paying for the privilege of being a Beta Tester.

Vivi22 said:
People who are interested in a game get to help fund it's development, and play it before final release, and the people developing the game get much needed funds to devote to full time development.

Kickstarter's gaming section exists for this reason alone. Valve is losing the market position as operating a storefront for high quality games when nearly every EA title is mediocre (at best).
So what? Alpha's and the like get cut off from one of the most effective and easy (for both Devs and customers) ways of updating and installing the game?
If it was up to Vivi22 yes. I don't know why people just don't buy the Early Access games and instead wait until they get a version 1.0 release. It is very easy to ignore Early Access if you want to.

They great thing is that the grousers and complainers, though vocal, have no sway over Valve in this matter, the majority has spoken, on both developer side and user side, and Early Access is here to stay.

Why? 4 out of the top ten sellers on Steam right now are Early Access titles. All 4 are indie titles.

If AAA games were doing it then I would be more hesitant, but even then might support it. But really this is for the indies, and just gives them another way to develop and release really polished, awesome games. Everyone wins.
 

Amir Kondori

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shrekfan246 said:
I doubt it, mostly because Early Access has been digging its grave for a long time with the complete lack of oversight on the developers putting out their unfinished games.

GalCiv III isn't even in the top 30 sellers on Steam at the moment (it's at 31, at least if the list is organized chronologically as it should be, which is just above things like Counter-Strike: Source and Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition). So I'd say most people have a good enough hand on their wallets to avoid something being sold at $100. I mean, it arguably offers an incentive in the way of providing all future expansions as well, but yeah, it's Early Access, it's going to be a long time until the base game is even out.

And DayZ is being sold at half the price of a normal AAA game. I would struggle a bit to say this is now a "standard" practice. Three games, four if you're making a stretch, hardly makes it a "standard". It's not a good practice, but I can't imagine people are going to support $100 USD games in enough numbers for it to become a viable asking price. And if they do, well, then there isn't really anything you or I can do about it, unfortunately.
Galciv III is actually sitting at 28, which for an Early Access game selling for $99 is amazing. Early access is here to stay, and that is a good thing, I promise. In 5 years people won't even question it. As long as the games get final releases people will be happy with the system.
 

Idlemessiah

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Bernzz said:
The huge price of the Planetary Annihilation Early Access was to equal the costs of the tiers of their Kickstarter, so that the people who paid extra to be in the alpha/beta in the Kickstarter wouldn't feel ripped off if random people on Steam got into it cheaper. Once I knew that backstory, I saw no problem with the price. Waiting until it's released before I buy it anyway, like with anything that's Early Access.
I remember the devs also saying that the high price was to artificially limit the size of the player base. This meant that they had a manageable testing pool in alpha which they could grow at a controlled rate by lowering the price as more stable versions of the game were released which could cope with a larger number of players.
Basically if you didn't want to pay the huge alpha price you wait for it to go down.