Stardew Valley

We reported not long ago that Stardew Valley, a life-sim role-playing game focused on farming (in the same vein as Harvest Moon), recently surpassed the 10 million units sold milestone. Now available on all of the big home consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) as well as both Windows PC and Mobile platforms (iOS and Android), Stardew Valley has kept sale strong since its initial 2016 release with a steady stream of content updates and by bringing the game to new platforms.

Eric Barone recently took to Twitter to answer a question from a fan regarding what’s coming up next, and he had this to say:

With its current level of success, it’s no wonder that the game’s sole developer, Eric Barone, has turned his sights toward the future. Selling 10 million units is a huge milestone for an indie game, much less one with only one developer and that has been mostly self-published.

This guarantees two things: Whatever comes next from Barone will have a larger development budget than Stardew Valley did (which took Eric four years to finish), and whatever comes next will be held to the same high standard that Stardew Valley set.

Stardew Valley Dock
Stardew Valley set the bar high for whatever creator Eric Barone decides to do next.

Barone, however, cautions against those high expectations, asking fans to avoid over-hyping or over-speculating on his latest projects. His focus is on letting his next projects “come naturally” and making more games that he himself would enjoy playing.

Well, that, and sharing his art and ideas with the world. One way or the other, he was clear on this much: He’s not setting out to create the next indie smash hit. If it happens, it happens, but it’s not his focus:

Stardew Valley Fishing
Barone cautions fans to hold off on their expectations. His goal is to make a fun game, and nothing else.

We commend his commitment to the craft rather than to sales alone (we will always argue a good product sells itself), and we remain curious what the nature of both of these games will be. The idea of a non-farming game set in the Stardew Valley universe is intriguing enough, having been previously teased by Barone back in 2017. There are myriad possibilities for this new title.

Will this new title be a simulation game that breaks from its farming-centric Harvest Moon inspiration? Maybe something along the lines of a life-sim ala Animal Crossing? Or will the genre dramatically shift away from its sim roots altogether?

Unfortunately, the second title is but a minute tease which lacks any subsequent details. Only its general existence has been confirmed, and the final product could take virtually any form. Still, that Barone is already hard at work formulating the future of the Stardew Valley universe, and his own future as an independent game developer, is cause for no small amount of excitement. Without theorizing too much, we’re eager to see what comes next.

Jack of all trades, master of some. Founder and resident do-everything for The Game Manual.

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