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Preorders and Early Access for Indie Games

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What makes you want to preorder or get early access to a game if an established brand is not attached (i.e. an indie game)?

What business and legal aspects need to be considered in doing such offers?

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A good demo and a discount.

Two examples that spring to mind immediately are Mount & Blade, and MineCraft. Both of these allowed you to try a free (limited) version before paying anything, and offered a lower price if you pre-ordered or bought during the beta.

As for the second part, I have no idea.

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