Steam release moved to 2016

Posted July 3rd, 2015 by Tynan Sylvester

So after some great conversations about the Steam release and some more thought, I’ve decided to hold off on the Steam release until next year.

Originally, I wanted to get the Steam release out so you would all have access to Steam features and automatic updates while I was on break. To alleviate concerns about me not being around for my break, I thought I’d write a blog post describing the exact state of the game and where development was heading. The idea was that anyone could read it and decide for themselves whether they wanted to buy the game or not.

However, on further discussion it seems like a risk. These days, people assume a lot about a developer and their process very quickly, and a lot of it can be negative. A lot of people have been burned. So no matter how much I communicate, a lot of those messages won’t be read, understood, or even believed. I hope I’ve built up some trust among RimWorld players by my actions in the past – but with a Steam release come a lot of new players who don’t know me from a hole in the wall. My fear is that misunderstandings and accusations around me taking a break soon after release would taint what I think will be an otherwise strong release on Steam.

The benefit of pushing to Steam now doesn’t seem worth it. Steam Workshop is nice, but a lot of people don’t use it even when they have the option. Automatic updates are cool, but there’s not much point when the game isn’t being updated because the developer is on break. We already have a well-working release system that’s served us all well for almost two years. So there’s just no great hurry there that outweighs the risks.

I’m sorry for the confusion on this and I hope this isn’t letting anyone down too much. Of course, the game itself will be the same either way (in fact, we might get more content out in the near term because of time saved from Steam release hassles). I also really appreciate everyone who took the time to write out a full set of thoughts on this topic. You’re not just giving me two-line low-effort responses; you’re giving me entire essays, and it’s really useful. I am listening and learning from you guys all the time.

In other news, Piotr Walczak, Polish coding prodigy has rejoined me after his school year. You may remember him as the guy who wrote the original code for the health system last summer. Having him around should help increase development speed.

Alpha11b is approaching final testing. It’s a massive bugfixing, tuning, and adjusting release, with hundreds of bugfixes and many balance changes and other small improvements. It’s also compatible with Alpha 11 saves! So look for that to come out soon.

40 Responses to “Steam release moved to 2016”

  1. Joe

    Rock on Tynan. Love the game and I totally understand the decision.

  2. Jamiesauce12

    I think that you’re making the right decision, don’t think you’re letting us down, keeping it from steam is probably a really good idea.

  3. Piet.Lu

    Definitely the right decision. Time pressure influences the level of quality too much.
    This game has got very high potential. It would be a big disgrace to waste it only because Steam customers give bad reputations due to not that fast updates they know from other games.

  4. Mr Wise

    Hello Tynan,

    Thank you very much for clarification in regard to the release. However, I still would like to know if I buy the game now will I be able to get a steam key next year as well? How is the procedure in that case?

    I saw many let’s play and would like to try the game by myself but I also would like to be assured to have the game in my steam library sooner or later.

    Last but not least: take the time you need. Nowadays it is hard to find enough time for oneself, always driven by demands and supplies. The good think to be a self-employed person is that you can decide when you want to take the time and for how long. Therefore, if you have enough resources than take the time need and enjoy.

    Thank you

  5. Your communication is the best! We will support you no matter what you decide.

  6. Nice Save

    Make sure and post when you go on your break – I keep coming back into Rimworld only to find the game is updated a few days later, or it’s only just updated and my favourite mods haven’t caught up. Knowing there won’t be an update soon would let me get back into the game properly, knowing that such interruptions won’t be coming up.

    I can also see a long time at the same version being a good thing for the modding scene, for similar reasons – more time to build giant mods without the risk that your work will become obsolete before it releases or soon after.

  7. Kalshion

    Can’t say I’m surprised that you want to play it safe, heck I would; the steam community loves to make assumptions about developers, and since this game is still a work in progress (I think?) many would assume negatively.

    Keep up with the communications! 😀

  8. Teal

    This is a good decision, Tynan.

    I was thinking about this when I saw you post that you were going to release and take a break, I think it would have caused you some PR issues.

    Take your well deserved break, come back to it when you’re ready, release on Steam, and be there for the influx of new people.

    That’s a win for everyone.

    Thanks for the great game.

  9. FalconGrey

    To be honest, I think pushing the development back is the best news. Taking a break after a release like that is suicide for the game in my opinion.

    Though I feel the game could handle the stress of release, I think it would do better on a release with a little more polish because it is the ‘pretty, shiny, ooooh!’ that the ‘trolls’ tend to look at, not the full and satisfying game that you developed.

    On a personal note, I was feeling a bit disheartened when you announced the Steam release. Though the feeling was sourced from a bit of selfishness I admit. I had finally broke down and bought the game through your site because I was tired of waiting for the Steam release. About a week later you announced the release. So on the selfish note, also happy it was pushed back so I could feel the money was well spent in the case of needing to re-purchase the game again for the Steam edition. (Hoping some spare key some place finds my account though…)

  10. wedge

    Nooo!! Release it on Early Access after your break! The game is awesome already in its current state! Come on!

  11. STING

    Very sad to hear, but I understand your reasoning.
    I have been waiting for quite a while to buy RimWorld until it gets released on Steam, since buying it now will not get you a future Steam key.

  12. Starlight

    I think this is a good decision for a great game.

    Steam users do tend to be impatient. And the way to release any game / product which people have learnt the hard way is to scale it up.

    Hence, the best way is for Tynan to come back from the break rejuvenated – then make the game available on Early Access (with a note explaining whatever is the current development plan at the time).

    A few months in Early Access can be used to resolve Steam specific issues, and any bugs found as a result of the wider user base.

    I think all (rimworld, tynan, and the community) will benefit from this.

  13. mussi

    Great news, Tynan! This is the right decision at the present moment, I’m glad you took it.

    You also released Alpha11b with all those bugfixes, so you should really take your time and enjoy the break.

  14. Pete

    Can we find out why the subreddit for Rimworld was taken private for a short time? It seems to be a poor move to do so.

  15. Pete – As the description noted, the subreddit was made private as part of the site-wide protest against Reddit admins’ recent behavior (along with some hundreds of other subreddits).

  16. Eric

    I kickedstarted this game a long time ago. I loved every second I’ve played. Regardless of when you’re going on steam you’ve given me 10x the amount of enjoyment I expected. Rimworld is an A+ title to me and I can’t wait to see what in store.

  17. Björn

    Seems like the smart thing to do, but there is one problem. If you want to have Rimworld on steam, there is no way to buy the game at the moment, since steam-key is not guaranteed. Will probably put a dent in the sales numbers. Alot of people will probably play pirate-versions while waiting for the steam-release.
    If steam-keys could be guaranteed, everything would perfectly fine =D But I guess thats up to valve?

  18. Poff

    You did the right thing, Tynan. Your game is already famous and having good community on it. Keep it up and the time will come.

  19. Mel

    aww, I was waiting for the game to be released on steam before buying it 🙁

  20. MaGicBush

    Good to hear! I think it was in best interest for you and us to wait :). So is Alpha 11B the last update before your break, or will we get another?

  21. MaGicBush – Piotr and I are hard at work on Alpha 12. The changelog shows the progress daily.

  22. MathGeek

    I have been watching this game for about 4 months. It makes me sad to hear that you are pushing off the steam release, even if my reasoning is selfish. It made me sad because that means I have to wait for a steam sale even longer before I can buy it. I have to wait on it because I don’t have the money to purchase the game.

  23. Kathlien

    I have been following this game since seeing Arumba’s lets plays on You Tube, for quite sometime now. I am also a Steam user and was happy when I heard you were going to have your game up on Steam, until now. 2016 really? o.O I run all the games I play through Steam, its nice and easy for me too do so. Click buy, Install and 5 minutes later playing. If I want it off its a simple click of the button. If I want the game back, another simple click of the button.I have played Lichdom:Battlemage, Banished, Planet Explorers, Savage Lands, Starforge and a host of other games all on Early Access.In every case the Steam community was highly supportive of the devloper, even when they would take a break. Yes you would have an idiot wander in now and then but they were few and far between. You made a mistake, Steam was the way too go…

  24. lfaoanl

    I’ve followed you since the beginning of 2015, and watched a lot of videos of the game. I really want to buy the game, but unfortunately I don’t have a Stripe nor a Paypal account. I’m really looking forward to the Steam release. I can understand why you want to wait with the Steam release, but keep in mind, and I think I’m not the only one who wants this game but can’t simply buy it via these methods.

  25. Neil

    Completely support you 100% on deciding not to release on steam this year. Rimworld has come a long way and best to give it the launch it deserves on steam when you’re fully rested 🙂 Not worth getting burned out and/or introducing bugs into the game either if you need the time off (speaking from one Software Developer to another :))

    I appreciate how well you’ve communicated all the news and upcoming features; you’re a role model for others.

    Again, thanks for all the hard work and keeping us in the loop!

  26. Ivellios


    Thanks for all your hard work, and you do deserve a break. I’m glad you’ve decided to hold off on Steam for the time being. It would have been convenient for me, but I agree with what has been said, especially with EA.

    I am also one of those that’s been burned before. While I’m not stand-offish or “EA never again!” I do spend a bit of time checking update frequency and how active the Dev is with the community.

    I’ve spent many hours playing RimWorld. I do hope after your break, you’re renewed and do come up with some new things for RW. Either way, you’ve reached an important milestone. Looking forward to Alpha 12.

  27. Alex

    well as a guy who only can buy games from steam (im from mexico and paypal suks, i hate them) im very very VERY sad, i been watting this game on steam for almost a year.

    I cant buy it otherwise, So PLEASE if its not on steam at leat PUT MORE BUY OPTIONS PLEASE!!!


    Im not gonna discuss your descicion, its your game and you should do the best for it, but please think on us T.T

  28. Enzo

    My english isn’t good enough to tell you all I want to but you rock. This game is pretty amazing. I’m waiting for it on Steam to buy it but I’ve played a lot already.

    And : I LOVE IT.

    Take a good break and continue to make me dream of a perfect gestion game.

    Good job Sir !

  29. Alex

    I do agree with your decision somewhat, while yes everyone on steam will expect you to put updates out quickly on early access and get it out as fast as possible, steam would help generate income for the game and for you as well so there are ups and downs on that, but its your decision.

  30. rakkaus

    Hi Tynan,

    Well, my point of view and suggestions about steam release are:

    1 – Game is complete enough for EA but not for full release.

    2 – Many people really want to play the game but are definitely waiting to arrive at steam.

    3 – Taking a break should happen right now and for a very short period.

    4 – After break, put Rimworld on EA and change the pace of updates to once every 2 weeks. No matter how “small” they would be. Have the first update ready to hit one week after the drop on EA.

    5 – Keep going through alphas this way until you build enough foundation to call it a “complete game experience”

    6 – Your well known reputation and fanbase here will insure that the EA phase will be well recognized for what it is worth for. The ones that have “EA traumas” doesn’t matter!

    7 – Being part of EA and then going 1.0 will multiply the attention Rimworld gets and will also extend the opportunities to sell it.

    8 – Promise to yourself that the remaining of popular requests from the community are ready the day game goes 1.0, or it will be a disapointment for too many people which can affect Ludeon reputation worldwide and you don’t deserve that. That includes among others: Water handling, coherent techtree with more advanced stuff for end-game, relationship system to allow stories to develop, improved graphics and last but not least, travelling through the world, which allow things as nomading for a better place to settle or visiting other colonies (to raid it probably). I myself had already suggested this but i think it would be pretty awesome to have at some point (really into the future and probably as a DLC) a multiplayer were one plays the game while the other is the “god”, that would make Rimworld absurdly unique and would totally make it skyrocket sells because there is no possible way it would not reach top audience on twitch.

    Hope it all goes well for you. (y)

  31. […] donc via son blog qu’il détaille sa décision sur le report du […]

  32. Moonpih

    I personally wished it was coming to steam this summer, really want the game but my funds are only on my steam wallet, so i guess im gonna have to find something else till then.

  33. Cody Gross

    Dear Tynan,

    I agree with you on this decision, simply because it’s your choice and your game. The steam release would cause a bunch of people to be able to access the game, and some of those people are haters even though they like the game they would put a bad review.

  34. I think it’s best to push the release date to what you’ve decided Tynan (2016). 😀

  35. Kieron

    If RimWorld was to be put on steam would everyone that owns the game now receive a steam key? whats the deal with it?

  36. Kieron please see the FAQ.

  37. Antera

    I am disappointed that game is not coming on steam. EA would have been fine…

  38. Percy

    Hey Tynan,

    How dare you take a break from breaking the mods I love to use sooo much!!!

    Joking aside, a break from development, aside from charging your own batteries, will also give modders a bit of time to finish their mods and even experiment on a stable version for a longer period of time, without the fear of a new update breaking their mods.

    So keep on rocking and enjoy your future vacation!

  39. Creeper_Lord

    I believe it is the right decision I have been following rimworld for a while but never bought it as I wanted to get it on steam so yes im kinda annoyed about this decision but it is what it is

    and enjoy you vacation

  40. Anarelion

    Guys, consider that before the break, he is going to leave the game in a stable state. That would mean that awesome mods can grow in the meantime without fear of platform changing 🙂