Stardew Valley: Concerned Ape reveals 1.6 update release date on PC on game's 8th anniversary

Stardew Valley: Concerned Ape reveals 1.6 update release date on PC on game's 8th anniversary

Stardew Valley, one of the most successful independent games of all time, is getting a major update eight years after its release.

Players can expect a trove of new content when update 1.6 arrives on PC on March 19, with consoles and mobiles to follow.

In Stardew Valley, you can fulfil your dream of quitting the rat race for the serene countryside. Taking over your late grandfather’s farm, you’ll spend your days planting crops, fishing, and mining, while also befriending local townsfolk.

The game has steadily added new things to do since its release across five substantial content updates, from a multiplayer mode to new locations. Next up, update number six is widely expected to deliver new festivals, hats for pets, a new farm layout, support for eight-player multiplayer, and a highly anticipated item called the Iridium Scythe. The latter is a tool for mining a rare purple mineral called Iridium.

There could also be more content for those who chose to take the JojaMart route. Early in the game, players face an ethical dilemma: Do they support the local community centre or give their cash to the corporate overlord, JojaMart? It’s kind of like shopping at Amazon or Tesco over your local grocery store; the chances are it will push the little guy out of business, but it’s just so convenient.

In update 1.6, those who chose the dark side may get more late-game quests and stories, similar to what Community Center players enjoy. Some players have speculated that JojaMart may even establish a presence on Ginger Island, a tropical paradise in an archipelago.

Nowadays, it’s pretty common for games to keep expanding with the help of new content. Take Minecraft: the biggest game of all time regularly pumps out expansions to keep players returning. Then there are live-service phenomenons including Fortnite and Destiny 2, which have changed the nature of gaming through a model built on seasonal events and updates.

Branching out from its humble beginnings, Stardew Valley is now a legitimate franchise in its own right. The game’s online store is stocked with official merchandise, including T-shirts, hoodies, phone cases — and even a board game. Announcing the new update on Monday (February 26), the game’s creator Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone said an official cookbook is coming soon and a concert tour is under way.

The developer has been teasing the update for more than a year but has yet to reveal all of its contents.

Barone also revealed that Stardew Valley has sold 30 million copies. That’s an astounding milestone for a tiny independent game, albeit one that has had an outsized influence on the wider gaming sphere.

Despite numerous copycats, including an entire cottage industry of chilled-out cosy games, Stardew Valley continues to draw players to Pelican Town.