Ambitious sci-fi MMO Seed will launch a 'narrative prequel' alpha next year

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It's been more than a year since we last looked at Seed (opens in new tab), "a hugely ambitious in-development MMO that echoes EVE Online, Rimworld and The Sims." Work has been continuing, though, and developer Klang has now announced that closed alpha testing will begin next year in a "narrative prequel" called Seed Pioneers.

Seed is an interstellar colonization game set in the distant future, long after Earth's ability to support human life has been tapped out. Players will work together to rebuild society on a new world similar to Earth (which we hopefully won't screw up quite so badly, quite so quickly) in a "persistent and continuous" simulation on a single shard.

When we previewed it (opens in new tab) in late 2017, Klang said it hoped to begin beta testing in late 2018; instead, Seed Pioneers will, if all goes according to plan, kick off in 2020, with "a select number of people from the Seed community." The prequel also sets up the story behind the main game, filling in the details with information on the planet Avesta, why you're going there, what's expected when you arrive, and what sort of technology you'll have at hand to help you get the job done.

Casting alpha testers as "pioneers" in Seed's fiction is an interestingly meta approach to alpha testing: You're among the very first to enter this brave new world, you're breaking ground for others to follow, things are bound to go wrong, and you'll probably die prematurely. (Hopefully not that last one, though—remember, thorough testing is important but not to the detriment of your health and well-being.) If that sounds like the life for you, you can sign up for more at seed-pioneers.io (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.