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Satisfactory is headed to Steam Early Access

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The co-op factory building game Satisfactory (opens in new tab) debuted on the Epic Games Store last year and did quite well (opens in new tab) for itself, despite being a relatively niche game about industrial-scale manufacturing on an alien world. There was a bit of grumbling about Epic exclusivity, but the developers dismissed it as coming from "a loud minority (opens in new tab)," and praised Epic for "trying to do something for game developers to make it better for them, so we can deliver better quality of products."

But as with all Epic exclusives (as far as I know, anyway), it's a timed thing, and today the studio announced that Satisfactory is "coming soon" to Steam Early Access (opens in new tab). A date and pricing haven't been set, although I imagine that the $30 price on EGS will hold, but it's available now for wishlisting. 

The Steam announcement comes alongside the release of Satisfactory Update 3 (opens in new tab), the "most significant" update to the game so far, which among other things adds pipes and fluids to the game. Pipes will require more maintenance than conveyor belts and will be susceptible to the effects of gravity, thus requiring pumps to keep things flowing.

For factories generating more resources than can be effectively used, there's also a new Anti-Waste Effort for Stress-testing of Materials on Exoplanets Bonus Program—an A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Sink—that will destroy everything sunk into it in exchange for coupons that can be spent in the Awesome Shop. A new, more challenging starting area has been added, new Hypertubes will help you get around, there are new structures and wall attachments to play with, statues—"incredibly expensive and highly fashionable"—to decorate you factory with, new crouching and sliding movement options, and quite a bit more. 

Along with the usual fixes, adjustments, and performance improvements, the new update also makes "a total rebalance of the game," which Coffee Stain said was an unavoidable byproduct of pipes and the passage of time.

"The introduction of pipes to Satisfactory was bound to mess with existing factories and the balancing of the game," the studio wrote. "So, with the decision to add pipes, we also decided that we might as well go all-in and fix some of the balancing issues that had been lurking behind various corners for a while."

Satisfactory Update 3 is available in the Experimental build of the game, which is listed and installed separate from the Early Access build on the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab): If you own it, you'll see both in your EGS library.

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.