Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game arrived on Steam Early Access on January 15, 2014, after numerous publishers turned it down and after a failed Kickstarter campaign. Yet in just its first week on Steam, the game earned over $1 million in combined sales between Steam and Bugbear's own site. In comparison, the failed Kickstarter campaign was seeking $350,000 and reached just $81,772.
There's been a lot of debate about the validity of Steam Early Access, with some people wondering why gamers should now have to essentially pay to beta test when such things used to be free. But Next Car Game is just one game in a string of Steam Early Access success stories over the past two months, following Rust and DayZ, both of which had reported great sales numbers in its opening weeks. So whether you are for or against Steam Early Access, get used to it – it seems Early Access is now the future of PC game development, for better or worse.
Source: Press Release via Joystiq