Early Adoption Program
The Early Adoption Program originated in a promotion by Mindscape, who gave away 250 copies of Creatures prior to its official US release in July 1997 (see history). This program was revamped for Creatures 2, the idea being that the 75 members of the EAP would receive two free advance copies of the game, two norndolls and a mystery gift, in exchange for writing reports on the game. The program was scheduled to begin in July 1998.
Unfortunately, Mindscape discovered that it is far easier to release a game early when it has already been released elsewhere. Like most heavily-anticipated games, Creatures 2 was not close to release quality at the point at which the EAP was scheduled to start, and therefore the program was pushed back - eventually to a point where those in the program got their copies after the game was made generally available. In the end, most recieved their copies several weeks after the release date, leading some to dub it the Late Adoption Program.
- The crux of the problem was that early user feedback was needed, just like in any game, to identify bugs and weaknesses. But Mindscape, which ran the "Early" Adoption Program, didn't choose people to involve until a week after C2 had already been shipped. Worse yet, they selected almost none of the people that Cyberlife guaranteed outright would have an early copy of the game.
- (Am I bitter that I wasn't part of the EAP? Heck yeah; I should have been part of it in June, the very latest the EAP should have shipped. I was promised no less by Cyberlife. And on an equally personal note, it bothered me no end that Mindscape didn't have the decency to get my site's URL right, much less to ever correct it.) -- LummoxJR
Ultimately, the second EAP probably achieved nothing but erosion of the goodwill in the community, although given many of the people involved believed Creatures 2 contained significant flaws upon release, some loss of goodwill would have been inevitable. The program was not repeated for Creatures 3 or subsequent updates to Creatures 2; instead, a smaller number of users were selected as a private beta-testing group.