Valve's Early Access store eliminates the need for a publisher, at least according to DayZ developer Dean Hall.
The platform allows studios to sell unfinished games with the aim of funding their full development.
Hall feels that consumers are serving the role of a publisher, paying for a title's development and marketing it prior to being finished.
Hall has had success with the concept – his zombie title DayZ has sold over 1.7m units to date, despite being unfinished and having no marketing.
Players helped push the game via countless YouTube videos of them playing the title.
The concept of Early Access actually removes the need for a publisher in a traditional sense when combined with digital distribution,” he explained. The community becomes your publisher, distributor, and marketer – far larger, more powerful, and quicker than any publisher in the world. And they work for free.
As a result of this, I hope publishers will look at how they fit in to this new paradigm and look to fill the gaps and solve the problems that Early Access has.
Console manufacturers have already started with this, pushing this new generation of consoles more towards supporting innovation in their new titles and wanting the next Minecraft or DayZ to appear on their consoles.”