As far as indie games go, very few manage to capture the public eye and stay a favorite for many gamers. Hyper Light Drifter was a highly aesthetic artsy game with fun gameplay, Undertale a simple bullet hell pixel game with a captivating and heartwarming story, and there are many, many more that have momentarily captured the minds and hearts of gamers. However, very few have as much longevity as Stardew Valley has managed to keep. Many indie games enjoy a few months of popularity and public viewing, then have exhausted their potential and dwindle, as is the pattern of many static games– that is, games that release without a future of updates, online play, or DLC to keep it going.
Unlike most indie games, however, Stardew Valley is not a static game, which is where a majority of the love from fans comes from. It received a much needed boost in awareness and popularity by releasing for consoles in December, many months after it’s initial PC release, but while this gathered many players back and added more to the player base, it is the community and the promise of updates that truly keeps Stardew Valley going in the long run. Nexus Mods has created a section to hold Stardew Valley mods, prominent YouTubers and Twitch streamers have played the game episodically, and almost everyone who has seen or played the game is waiting anxiously for the long awaited multiplayer update. And while we haven’t seen the multiplayer update on the horizon yet, Stardew Valley is still updating and adding other features to entire players back to the game, including new marriage options, new farms and farm buildings, new ways to make artisan goods, and an entire secondary storyline following the completion of the main story.
Stardew Valley is a game that keeps giving to its players, and when the giving stalls out, the modders and players keep the conversation going. With any luck, even if the multiplayer update doesn’t hit for another year, ConcernedApe will keep us players satisfied with periodic updates, and I can find more and more content in this game to love for years to come.