The realm of Early Access seems to be rapidly expanding. With unfinished games now available for download on both Steam and GOG, it now appears that Google is integrating its own version of Early Access.
According to a recent Google+ post by Android Developers, Google will soon be making “improvements to beta tests and app discovery on Google Play.” In addition to new “open beta” apps appearing in the Play search results, users will be able to send developers private feedback on their product.
Perhaps the most striking addition with be the introduction of “Google Play Early Access”, which will show “a hand-picked group of promising open betas that haven’t gone into production yet.”
In January, GOG launched their new ‘In Development’ scheme. Much like Steam’s Early Access, this is an opportunity for games that are still in the works to reach wider audiences, with feedback helping to shape the final product. GOG mentioned that they would be “hand-picking only the games [they] can truly stand behind,” which seems to be a route Google is taking too with its own Early Access model.
You can read the full Google+ post here.
Google have also enhanced how they select apps in key locations such as India and Brazil, in order to “better showcase apps that are more relevant locally and apps made by local developers.”