Stardew Valley is all about sinking into the relaxing rhythms of country life. It's come a long way since it first released back in 2016 but, even after 5 years, it still remains one of the best farming sims on PC. The wholesome vibe that Stardew Valley exudes isn't just from the game itself: developer ConcernedApe has been tending to his game like a beloved family farm over the years, and grown a loyal and friendly fan base.
Stardew Valley fans have been blessed with a number of big updates over the years, including Stardew Valley's multiplayer farming with four new farm layouts, the 1.4 'Everything Update' that spruced up almost every feature of the game, and the most recent 1.5 update which added a bumper crop of features and endgame content to the game, the biggest since launch.
The impressive 1.5 update was released at the end of 2020, but ConcernedApe has hinted that there will be more surprises in store for fans in 2021. Together with a thriving mod community, Stardew Valley's growth is coming nicely.
So, how is Stardew Valley right now?
Stardew Valley is currently in a great place. With the recent 1.5 update there's no better time to jump into farming life, even if you've not booted up your save for years. It's the same story when you look at the numbers. ConcernedApe tweeted back in January that the game had sold 10 million copies, so it seems that Stardew Valley is doing very well for itself.
Stardew Valley has sold over 10 million copies. It's strange & amazing to think back to when I was making this game in my bedroom w/ no clue if anyone would like it. Only 4 years ago! To everyone who has played this game, supported it, and made all of this possible: Thank you!!January 23, 2020
What's been happening recently?
Stardew Valley is relatively quiet in terms of activity, with ConcernedApe releasing a big content update once a year. These updates are worth the wait and always arrive bursting with new features, farms, crops, and in-game events. The most recent update released last December so here's a short breakdown of the most exciting things that were included:
- New beach farm. A big new farm layout with a calming beach. Definitely not a farm for the faint-hearted, as sprinklers don't work on its sandy soil making growing crops more difficult.
- Advanced Game Options. These include the option to spawn monsters on your farm, a choice of new community centres, and more.
- Local split-screen co-op. Think of the farming possibilities with three other friends by your side.
- Endgame content. ConcernedApe has added a bunch of new features to Pelican Town's community, including characters, story events, quests, and special end game content.
- Ducks can now swim. An important feature fans have been waiting years for.
Are the players happy?
Stardew Valley's fans are a positive bunch, and in the four years since the game's release, there's been little to no drama. ConcernedApe has a particular knack for listening to what the community would like and including it in the bulky updates (or smaller patches during the year) making for a very happy bunch.
This sentiment is echoed in Stardew's modding community who have created a great number of Stardew Valley mods. There's the Stardew Valley Expanded mod that completely revamps the game by adding new characters, crops, locations, and events. Some of my personal favourites include the Stardew Valley mobile phone mod, the mod that swaps out combat for cuddles, one that adds an Animal Crossing-style aquarium, and a hardcore mod that amps up the game's challenge.
I don't mind at all, I love that there's a huge modding community around the game... but I just want it to be clear what's vanilla and what's a mod. Especially in this case because I don't want people to think I was boasting about myself in my own gameDecember 27, 2020
The modding scene is thriving, and has full support from ConcernedApe who even kindly gives some of the bigger modders access to the updates early so they can adjust their mod in time for when it releases.
When is the next big update happening?
Since an update was released recently, it will be a while before Stardew Valley gets another one. The 1.5 update had plenty of new stuff to do so it should keep players busy for a while.
ConcernedApe has said that he's looking to expand into other projects including two new games set in the same world as Stardew Valley. But don't get too excited, he later asked everyone to please calm down because of the hype, explaining that he wants to make whatever fame comes naturally to him without the pressure.
I see this is blowing up and there are articles coming out, etc.... all I ask is please don't get too hyped at this stage. I want to avoid too much hype or speculation. I'd like to just make whatever game comes naturally to me without too much pressure or expectation.February 11, 2020