Spacebase DF-9 is an interesting little sim game that tasks players with launching into a region of space, mining minerals and constructing a glorious station for a small society. This project comes from Double Fine, and it’s been an Early Access affair on Steam for at least a year now.
Over the weekend, Double Fine announced that Spacebase DF-9 was costing way more than it was bringing in. As such, the company has decided to bring it to version 1.0 by adding a tutorial, creating some in-game goals, doing a month of debugging and releasing it out of Early Access.
As you’ll read here in just a second, Double Fine has a nice takeaway from the problems that have surfaced regarding Spacebase DF-9. My takeaway? I think I’m done with the Early Access program on Steam.
Not that I think all games on the service are bad; no, that’s crazy talk. It’s that it’s become impossible to decide which will boom and which will bust these days. If Double Fine can’t support a game beyond Early Access, who can?
Here’s Double Fine’s Tim Schafer on the lesson learned on their behalf:
The biggest lesson for us here, and what we would be sure to do if we were to try early access again, is to clarify exactly what the “original promise” is at the beginning of the project for every one to see. We thought the open ended nature of the projects development was clear, but it was not clear enough, obviously.
While I’m glad that the developer has pulled something from this error, it sucks being a part of the Early Access supporters who actually wanted to see the original idea come to full fruition.
As it stands now, Spacebase DF-9 wears thin quickly with not too much to offer beyond minor simulation and some random events. This game could have been a lot more.