In a recently updated Steam Early Access FAQ, Valve now warns consumers that some titles may not see completion and in-development games should be purchased to their discretion.
"Its up to the developer to determine when they are ready to 'release'. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses," the updated FAQ states. "You should be aware that some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state."
The last line of the statement previously stated that If the release date is known, it will be listed on the store page for the game, in the upper-right corner under the game's branding image."
Doug Lombardi, the director of marketing, told GamesBeat the changes to the FAQ were made because it was "apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles" and are "intended to help set customer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game."
Steam removed Earth: Year 2066 from Early Access in May, offering refunds to gamers who paid the $19.99 cost. The game launched in April and was flagged in Steam's forums as amateurish, ugly and broken. Developer Killing Day Studios was accused of lifting artwork from other sources and deleting negative feedback from the game's Steam page. Last month, development on a city management game called Towns was abandoned by the developer. The title launched on Steam as an in-development title in 2012 before the launch of the Early Access program.