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Rust will leave Early Access in February, but it's not finished yet

The multiplayer survival game Rust debuted on Steam in December 2013. Now here we are in 2018,  and wow, it's still there. Not for much longer, however, because believe it or not creator Garry Newman announced today that it will go into full release on February 8. 

Predictably, Newman said that development will continue after the 1.0 release, but the update schedule will change from weekly to monthly, to help reduce the likelihood of "rushing in features and fixes that end up breaking something else." For those who prefer to live dangerously, a "Staging Branch" of the game with daily updates will exist alongside the stable main branch. It's basically a PTR—Public Test Rust, if you like—that never goes away. 

"You can have both versions installed at the same time, so our hope is that we'll get one or two servers on the staging version that are populated all the time and help test the updates that are coming to Main at the end of the month," Newman explained. 

Despite the big step, he also very clearly wants to keep expectations under control. "Please try not to compare the game to some other finished game or some idealized version you have in your head. Compare the game now to how it was when we entered Early Access. That's the delta that we feel qualifies us to leave Early Access," he wrote. "Think of it more like we're leaving Prototyping and entering Alpha."

The full release of Rust will be a quiet affair, with no launch parties, surprise reveals, or other such shenanigans—"Business as usual" is how Newman described it—but there will be a price increase, from $20 to $35. "It sucks, it's going to cost more, but this was always the deal. And it's not like we're increasing the price to $60 without any warning," he wrote. "This is one of the main reasons we've decided to post this blog rather than quietly slipping out of Early Access, we felt like this is something you'll all want to be warned about." 

"Thanks to everyone that took the risk by buying our Early Access game. It hasn't always been the most stable, optimized, balanced experience—but we hope you don't feel like we've let you down." 

Andy Chalk

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.