Category: Starbound

EA Losing and Starbound Beta Soon

EA Losing Millions

Sources in the industry say that EA has lost $273 million this quarter (hope you speak German). While one may see this as bad, and on paper it is, keep in mind that money spent on things like advertising for games (this quarter saw advertising for their new sports titles, Battlefield 4, among others) are realized instantly, it can take several months for games to realize their potential value and make up the return on investment. Seems strange that they’d lose money in the quarters that they release their big titles, but with AAA studios and the advertising and promotional budgets their titles are given, it’s not completely surprising.

On the flip side of the coin – that doesn’t mean they’re not feeling the pressure. The upcoming game Command and Conquer has been axed and the developer studio Victory Games is closing. Pandemic Studios, founded in 1998, was purchased by EA in 2007 and closed in 2009. Bright Light Studios founded in 2008 closed it’s doors in 2012. Danger Close, Black Box Games, EA Phenomic, and others – and that’s just since 2009. It’s kind of what you get when you focus on quantity over quality. That being said, most of the developers from these studios merge with larger studios or move on to greener pastures.

Starbound Beta Soon

On the indie side of gaming – Starbound developers Chucklefish have announced that beta for the game is just around the corner. They’ve made a blog post on their website outlining the three stages they foresee the beta going through. Stage 1 is basically “alpha” in the most common terms – they suggest not playing during this period of the beta if you don’t like encountering bugs, having characters and worlds wiped by frequent patches and updates, and if you don’t want any “spoilers” before the game is fully released. There won’t be any major questlines through the game’s storyline and the game engine will lack polish and could run poorly on slower machines. Stage 2 is a more polished stage, but just barely. It will be more optimized and the feedback from slower computers will be vital for the game’s final performance. The major questlines still won’t be in yet but the sandbox aspect of the game will be close to complete. During the third and final phase (Stage 3) before release, it will be mainly about finishing it up, polishing the game, and prepping for it’s official release. They’ve also outlined that their plans for future post-release content and updates is going to be around a year’s worth. Obviously you shouldn’t feel entitled to any additional content, but this is more than we got after Terraria and obviously less than we got (and continue to get) with Minecraft.

Who all is planning on playing Starbound during the beta?

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Starbound Preorder Now Live

Starbound Preorder

The Starbound preorder has launched and you can now pick up a copy of the game (to be released sometime soon) and get in on the beta (also to be around the corner). There are several “tiers” of backing the game – sort of like with Kickstarter. You buy a specific preorder and you can contribute a larger amount to the game for additional goodies.  The basic preorder is $15 and will net you a copy of the game and a Steam key when it launches as well as a beta invite and a copy of the soundtrack (something like 66 tracks!). There’s also a “Buy 4-Pack” option for $45 (a 25% discount) so you can be generous and gift copies to your friends. Then there’s the Silver Tier for $20 which gives the same rewards + a “donor” badge for their forums. The Gold tier for $45 which gives you all of the above and a different forum badge and you get to name an NPC (keep in mind just how many names will be in the random procedural generation). The Diamond tier gets your name in the credits for $75. The Platinum tier lets you design a hat to be used in the game for $500, the Solarium tier for $1000 lets you design a weapon, and the Impervium tier nets you a statue of yourself to be used in-game.

Starbound Preorder Levels

PixelSilverGoldDiamondPlatinumSolariumImpervium
$15$20$45$75$500$1000$2000

All in-all pretty standard Kickstarter-style stuff here. I’m going to be grabbing myself an early copy so I can get in on the Beta. If you haven’t heard much about it – I’d suggest checking out some of the Starbound dev’s Youtube videos.

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Starbound Soon

Starbound

There’s likely a game approaching completion that I’ve been waiting on for a while now. Starbound’s lead dev Tiyuri tweeted asking about reasonable preorder prices. He also tweeted about a week ago asking about distribution methods (aside from Steam as it’s already confirmed the game will be on Steam).

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