Steam release on July 15

Posted June 20th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

I’m stoked to announce that the next version of RimWorld, Alpha 14, will be released on Steam Early Access on July 15, 2016. You can add it to your Steam wish list on the RimWorld Steam page. On Steam, the game will have full Workshop support, for sharing mods and scenarios. It will also support Steam Cloud.

Non-Steam users will, of course, still be able to access your DRM-free downloads as you always have. They’ll update just as before.

EDIT: For those asking whether they’ll get a Steam key, please refer to the FAQ answer about this.

Alpha 14 is a large update, since it’s been several months since Alpha 13 and we’ve had 2-3 developers working continuously. So, it’s got about 5-6 developer-months of effort in it (the original pre-Alpha for the 2013 Kickstarter had about nine developer-months). However, it is also a refinement-oriented update. I could’ve packed more mega-features in addition to the scenario system, but instead chose to focus on fixing a lot of old issues. Veteran players will notice a huge number of subtle improvements at every level, which newcomers should have an even more polished experience.

I’ve also been reworking the code to try to support modding better. Making it easier to mod the game makes it more fun to mod, which modders like, so they make more and better mods, which players like. I think it’s a powerful and often under-emphasized way of turbocharging a game community. I’m still soliciting requests in this thread: What would make the game easier to mod?

Being Early Access, we’ll continue to release new alpha versions of RimWorld with new features into the foreseeable future. We’ve already started some new mega-additions for Alpha 15. We can’t squeeze them into Alpha 14 because it’s too late and they’d introduce bugs. But momentum is good and we’re poised to leap forward in the months ahead.

I’m also going to be doing something unusual, which is trying to actively market the game. I much prefer game development work to marketing work, and so have usually followed the Field of Dreams marketing strategy (“If you build it, they will come.”) But, for something as important as the Steam release, I think it’s worth making some effort to get the word out. Wish me luck! And, if anyone has any ideas for ways to spread the word, I’d be happy to hear them in the comments here, or on the forums.

80 Responses to “Steam release on July 15”

  1. Ivan

    That is for all your hard work 😉
    About the market in, I think a really good facebook campaign would add a good amout of buyers, so its worth the cost. on the other hand for non-paid promotion, I would recommend some of the localized groups in social media, per example the rpg groups could work very well )))

  2. Ivan

    I meant thank you 🙂 Spell check (facepalm)

  3. Alex

    Yes!! Finally!! I am so happy for you and your team. Great news, guys. I wish you good luck with marketing, but this is not the matter, you know. The most important part has already been done, you already made a big change in the game world by creating it. Can’t wait to press the ‘play’ button.

  4. Mårten

    Try to get Blitzkriegsler, Sips, EnterElysium, Quill18, Avaak all do lets plays with the new version 3-4 days before it releases.

  5. Wolf

    great news! looking forward to finally buy it on steam.

    About the marketing ideas:
    ever heard about ?
    it’s a great website where people are gifting games to others. You could get some attention by doing a developer giveaway with 50 or up to thousands of copies of your game. It doesen’t cost much, and many people will notice your game! (over 900.000 users on the website)

    Hope to see you soon on steamsgifts 😀
    best regards

  6. Travis

    Making a post to the gaming subreddits will no doubt generate enthusiasm. A game like this, with an active and engaging dev team, mod support, and a vibrant community will most likely generate positive feedback. It would be worth a shot, although some subreddits probably have rules against self promotion…

  7. Mastershake

    Reddit AMA in /r/gaming or /r/pcmasterrace with a few few codes would be great. Time it to be the day before release or even better the day of. I’ve seen games really explode with this and I want this game to go to the top of the steam charts.

  8. Falcongrey

    Awesome news and excited for the release!

  9. jeremiah

    just like to say you lot are the best game devs ik of thanks for all the work you ut into this game

  10. Hey Tynan,

    First I just wanted to say you have a great game here and I want to thank you and the rest of the developers for really doing a fantastic job. Not just with the game but also in communicating with the community and developing a fantastic modding community as well 🙂

    Second, in regards to the marketing. I have been playing/recording your game for my Youtube channel and there has been a huge response to it. People are getting excited! I would suggest reaching out to larger gaming channels and trying to get the word out that way! Anyways just my two cents. Hope you have a great day and I look forward to all the future updates.

    Rough Pebble

  11. Lulloser

    CohhCarnage and Richard Hammer (the 2 that I know on twitch mostly) you could get them to play it some days early or something.
    They sometimes play it on stream and love it.

  12. jakub_


  13. Mathias M

    An idea is to contact Scott Manley. He has already played your game quite a while ago, and he has quite a huge following, and he would probably love to do a fresh look at it.

  14. Liam B

    Will player that already have the game get the game on steam free ??
    as we have already brought it

  15. Lexian2

    Hi Tynan,

    Try to contact Dennis richtarski, from rocketbeans TV. He is a huge Fan of your game, and often streams it via the German Internet TV Chanel. There is also a big community which loves the game.

    KR Lexian2

  16. Sfeza

    Will the people that bought it from your site all those years get steam keys?

  17. Tysus

    So excited to hear this Tynan! I cannot wait and will be buying it day 1!

  18. Eric

    Wonderful job getting this project to this point, kudos to you all for it and making it a great experience to play and fiddle with 🙂 good luck with it

  19. Chris

    You could try getting Youtubers involved, ask some of them to play it (or play it again). That’s actually how I initially heard of Rimworld in the first place.

  20. Lean

    Nice! It’s gets early access in steam in my birthday! what a nice gift! Looking for it already! Good Job!

  21. Tom

    I would suggest giving away five steam keys on /r/pcmasterrace or /r/gaming. This would get a lot of people interested in the game and if they don’t win they might be inclined to buy regardless

  22. Rob C

    Years later and well earned! Congrats to Tynan and the Ludeon team!

  23. John

    At my company, a several of us transferred over from Factorio to RimWorld; that might be one good FB lookalike audience to target.

    Some sort of event/promotion always gets the games media interested… having a few key journos/streamers post about the whacky emergence can be incredible, so giving them some inducement to play for X hours is effort (money) well-spent.

    Good luck! Really want to see this game flourish!

  24. I’m interested in doing an article on the game. I’ve e-mailed you about it before, but never received a reply. Feel free to touch base if you’re interested.

  25. Dafo

    Will I get a steam key since I already bought the game from your side? I hope I wont have to buy the game again (since money is a bit tight right now)

  26. S.L.


    one of the biggest marketing portals is TWITCH.

    if you can get one of the big streamers and/or some of the smaller ones that streamed rimworld in the past some access to alpha14 a couple of days before official release, that would help a lot.

    BUT BEWARE! some streamers are just dickheads and have no clue how to play and complain about bad AI and whatnot all the time.

    let your forum community chose which streamers to use.

  27. Doug

    If I already own the game, will I get a key to use on Steam?

  28. LuciusAnneas

    as someone already mentioned maybe informing the you tubers / twitch streamers that already have shown an interest in the game about the release – maybe toss them a few keys to give away on stream while you are at it

    sending keys to usual critic suspects if you havent done it already (jim sterling, yahtzee, totalbiscuit etc)

    maybe visit a stream were someone is playing the game, and answer some questions about it and it’s development

    of course all of these is rather common sense and you probably were thinking of more creative ideas -.-

    anyways – good luck with the release

  29. Silly_Little_Pet

    Congratulations on the Steam launch. As always, looking forward to playing the new version.

    I definitely second the suggestions of posting to some of the larger gaming subreddits. Rimworld is already well known and loved on niche subs like /r/basebuildinggames, but with a good title and proper post timing I think you could get a lot of exposure from slapping a post on some of the larger ones.

  30. keylord

    It’s great to see that you want to market the game, such a great game deserves a lot of success. Just be wary that even though the game is very well polished in alpha, many people have bought Early Access games in very unpolished forms, (even being warned) and feel like they may not want to buy it still in early access. This animosity is pretty noticable on some subreddits.

  31. Strumfex

    Dfinitely going to buy the game and thanks for your wonderful work and dedication . Definitely go with the youtubers and streamers , this is the future if you want some marketing. Give them some press copies and let them do the rest.

  32. Hey Tynan!

    Gotta sub to these dev blogs. Been wondering when a new update was coming out and I said to myself, “Hmm I should check the site” and lo and behold!!!

    Anywho I think it would be beneficial to reach out to some YouTubers and get the name out that way! I’ve heard steam will try to do stuff like throwing you on the front page and all that. Beyond that all I can think of is just trying to get out there.

    A good combo might be trying to get on the front page of Steam store and having YouTubers posting content to the Rimworld Steam Page! That way people will see it on the store and then can easily see gameplay/reviews right within steam!

    I’m a YouTuber and have been playing the game for a while just haven’t had a chance to get it back on my channel…but I think I will now!

    Love this game and love the techy dev wisdom you share with us so definately a game/dev company worth supporting!

    Wishing you guys the best of luck in the coming months!

  33. Factorio devs ended up providing steam keys to those who bought it before it was available on steam, and I really hope Rimworld devs will do the same.

    Otherwise it would be kind of a kick in the nuts to the most enthusiastic supporters of the game that went ahead and supported the devs by buying an alpha version before it was available on steam…

  34. Mystomex

    Twitch is a great way for advertising a game. Starting a Ludeon twitch channel and doing live streams of next builds a few days prior to release is one method of marketing. Also when ludeon isnt doing live streams the channel can host others that are paying Rimworld.

  35. LazySamurai

    Maybe “Thunderclap” is something for you? It’s a simultaneous push of your message on multiple social websites and apps. Some developers use it for their kickstarters.

    Thunderclap website

    Looking forward to the release! Good luck!

  36. Calypso

    I first spotted Rimworld on Twitch. It got me very interested, and so I will be picking it up when it releases on Steam. I’d say the approach of giving out free keys out to some Twitch or YouTube streamers should work really well for selling your game. I could definitely see a Game Grumps episode for Rimworld being excellent.

  37. Haecriver

    OMG ! 15 July ? That’s my birthday !! Thank you Tynan !!

  38. David

    We schould try getting Markiplier or Jacksepticeye attention that they schould try this game!

  39. ciditi

    Damn…. that showcase video on steam looks amazing… Great Job on the game as always. Thanks for always seeking out suggestions and ideas from the community, you’ve honed in a great development process!

  40. John Doe

    For marketing: Don’t know if you’re still looking here for suggestions, but given that there’s only 3 weeks to release, there are relatively few pre-release marketing options left.

    What I would recommend, as a consumer and developer myself, is that marketing should take place in the days leading up to and following the release. There is a critical window of about 7 days on either side for indie developed games that either make or break their fanbase, with few exceptions. The majority of my customers, I’ve found through surveys, heard about my game through the “Newly Released” section on steam, or through the main screen of the Steam loadout. Contact me through the email if you have any other questions, I’d be happy to share the details of what worked and what didn’t.

  41. 1FSTCAT

    I read Rock Paper Scissors, PCGAMER and Evilavatar. They’re all good PC gaming websites if you can get reviewed on them.

  42. Jayson

    Quickly I will state that the Twitch or Youtube Streamers are not a bad idea.

    However I’m wondering what Marketing Steam itself offers? Steam already has tons of users and sure once the game is released most of them will automatically discover the game fairly quickly. But does steam offer further marketing support? Like some sort of program or payment option to pay steam for additional advertisement of the game? Like make it pop up automatically whenever someone goes to the shop screen for a limited time. Or make the whole background of Steam shop screen a Rimworld design so not only will the game be in the shop but the whole shop menu will advertise Rimworld? I think I have seen things like that on Steam for very big or popular releases? But is that something Steam just does for itself? Or is that something the developer has to push for? I am sure you probably already know the answer or have access the information since your going to use steam and you probably had to read the ToS etc. But that would not be a bad thing to look into if the price is right.

  43. Ash

    Maybe you could post your trailer to Facebook,YouTube,twitter,etc

  44. Maybe get in contact with the guys from .
    this is a german 24/7 Twitch stream / broadcaster, on fridays they play often 2-3 hours Rimworld, the release is on a Friday, just combine it somehow ?

    for contact use the homepage or twitter:

    @GuyLikesGames is the guy who plays the game.

  45. Cas

    Simply putting it on steam as a new release tends to be marketing enough; if it appears on the front page, you’re golden!

    Incidentally, what additions (mega, normal, and mini) are we talking about..?

  46. jakub_

    give me more copies to market with

  47. John

    May I suggest a Skype interview with the youtuber Quill18. He has had Rimworld as part of his content for a long time and is a very entertaining guy who reaches a lot of viewers. He also dabbles in game design and has expressed his admiration of Rimworld many times.

  48. jakub_

    or accept your game is dead

  49. jakub_

    really? copycatting again? ugh this is annoying.

  50. Lennart

    You could ask Scott manley to make a video of a working prototype before release to elt him show of and advertise it again,just an idea in my mind many people watch his videos regulary

  51. LennartJ

    You could ask Scott manley to make a video of a working prototype before release to elt him show of and advertise it again,just an idea in my mind many people watch his videos regulary.

  52. Kenneth

    Talk about advertisement, he is going to make some serious cash, if his game gains popularity even more. Totally gunna buy it.

  53. chaosbyapenguin

    I’ve bought a ton of games that I have seen played on twitch including alpha 13 of your game. I would reach out to some streamers that you can endorse. But whenever they do a partnered stream like that they usually give away some steam keys. Think that would be great for the marketing.

    Side note. I’m not too worried about getting the steam key. The only reason I want one is for the convenience of steam. But the Drm free is fine. Just like all of my games in one place.

    Side Side note. Love the game can’t wait for 14 to come out.
    Thanks for your hard work.

  54. bob

    aww man so you mean I won’t get a steam key that’s sucks needing to pay another 30$ for the game X_X

  55. zac kiss

    I can help with marketing content if that would be of any use to you? I would do it free as it would be an honour to support a game this damn good with the best bunch of developers I know

  56. 8sync

    How much the game will cost?

  57. Zamiel Wilkinson

    Having to buy the game again is a big no. I assumed we would get it free on steam, I wont be buying it again so will I still be updated with new updates?

    If Not I feel like I’ve been scammed for being a backer…

  58. Some Guy

    Look, all you guys saying ‘oh, no, I’m being cheated, I’m probably gonna not get a steam key’, that’s not what Tynan means when he says he can’t promise keys. What he means is that he will give you a key, he just isn’t allowed to say it because Valve have asked for him to refrain from saying you’ll get a steam key, as the game isn’t currently available on Steam. Once it is, Tynan can promise keys with copies of the game if he so chooses.

    So, to recap. You’ll get a steam key. You all just missed Tynan’s rather obvious italicised hint. If, by chance, Valve change their policy regarding developers handing out generated keys, that is the only time you may not recieve a key, however, this does not include you if you purchased the game prior to November 4th, 2014 (as before this, Tynan was promising Steam keys and Valve cannot turn to him and ask that he not give people the keys, as this affects both Tynan and them negatively (people get annoyed at Valve for denying them something they were promised, people get annoyed at Tynan for promsing something he believed he could deliver, but couldn’t in the end because Valve were being precious.))

    So, now that I’m done on my little rant, apologies if I have offended anyone (although unlikely, it’s possible someone from valve sees this and gets annoyed at me, so please don’t, I’m only a voice amongst many who feel the same way, I’ve just spoken up so we can be heard) I hope this has cleared up some confusion and stops the “oh, I’m not gonna get a steam key?” and ” Tynan, you’re ripping me off” comments, because they’re like sorting through your mail, spam amongst the important information. I hope all of you take the time in future to read posts carefully and check for answers instead of just jumping to the bottom to say something that has been mentioned many times before. Please, have a little faith in Tynan also, he’s done an amazing job of creating an amazing game that never gets old and rarely goes without an update. He’s done a better job than lots of indie/early access developers and has, I believe, outstripped many and most of our expectations for the game. It’s gone in directions none of us anticipated but all wanted, all in a polished and well done way. Tynan, if you’re reading this, well done. You’ve done an amazing job and you deserve all the thanks we, as a community, the Rimworld community, can give you. You’ve exceeded our expectations, and in all honesty, Rimworld has had the amount of effort and content put into it by just yourself and your small development team, that most multi-million dollar companies put into their games, except, you’ve been focused more on making a great game as opposed to one after another, in quick succession. Having said that, if you decide to make a Rimworld 2, for whatever reason, count me, and the majority of us who play, as in. We’re all behind you, and I think I’m rambling on now, but thank you :). Back to my main point. You will 99% get a Steam key. Tynan can’t promise it because Valve don’t want him to promise it, even though he can follow through. Please stop with the ‘give me a steam key’ comments, They’re not helpful, they’re not needed, leave the comments for game discussion/suggestion/everything else. I hope I’ve clarified some stuff, and I hope those of you who have commented things like that are not offended by this, but in future, please read the comments before posting, as you’ll find your question has probably been asked. Some of you have posted directly below someone else, which says to me you haven’t read anything. Anyway, Sorry for the excessively long comment.

  59. Lucht

    @Zamiel Wilkinson
    It says in the 2nd paragraph that you will still have access to your downloads and they will update just as before. So nothing changes for you and you have not been scammed. Try reading instead of going into full drama queen mode.

  60. Kevin

    I honestly don’t mind if I don’t get a key. I love this game so much, I’m willing to buy it a second time just to support the team.

  61. Try and give a copy to the top streamers. if some of the bigger ones play it, it could have stardew valley-effect.

  62. ReverendPanda

    Reach out to twitch streamer Cohh, he as greatly enjoyed your game in the past, maybe he could do a release day stream for the Steam Release.

  63. rexx

    your twitter is a thing i follow an a good way to keep up the marketing 😀 id definately reblog to my five followers lol, but thats still five people that wouldnt have learned about RW normally

  64. Keen

    Will some sort of alternative automatic mod handling system be introduces for non-steam players, like in game interface or mod updating launcher? If not you should take a look at factorio newest release to take some inspiration.

  65. Cas

    Stardew valley is a good game, which means that advertising will happen by itself (twitch, youtube, steam front page, word-of-mouth, whatever). Rimworld is a great game, which means that Tynan doesn’t have anything to worry about in terms of advertising:)

  66. Cyn

    In terms of marketing, there is a company called Keymailer. It gives game keys to recognised active Youtubers for them to create videos – and the company itself is run by Youtubers too. Not 100% sure if it would be well-suited to a game like this, but it might be worth investigating 🙂

  67. Hawksquill

    Congratulations on the steam release. So excited for you and can’t wait to see what the bigger gaming community make of your fantastic game.

    Whenever I’m helping a new business launch these are the main channels & methods I use. Hope you find something useful in here and feel free to email me if you need more information.

    Free stuff
    Youtube (get top gaming channels to do a play through / review)
    Twitch (same)
    Reviews on gaming websites

    Paid stuff
    Facebook ads(retarget website visitors then build a lookalike audience and market to them with video). This works even though the algorithm has just changed. Consider giving away free keys, running a kind of flash/opening sale etc. You can also try targeting influencers (like people who work at a specific company etc).

    Good luck!

  68. hey Tynan the new update sounds great and i cant wait to play it.

    a lot of people are suggesting youtube as a form of marketing and i would agree i actually found out a brought this game because of sips (who is a youtuber previously played the game) personally i would send it a handful of youtubers who have a fan base that would be interested in the game. personally iv’e seen this mistake quite a bit where developers just send there game to the youtuber with the most subscribers and don’t put into account whether

    A) the youtuber in question will enjoy the game enough to play it on their channel

    B) whether the fan base of the youtuber will enjoy the same also (if the youtuber likes it then generally the fan base will too)

    i would be looking for ones who play hardcore survival games mainly or other games similar to rimworld other people to watch out for are ones who would generally try out indie games because the fan base would generally be more open to trying them out more

    (personally i would love it if a copy where sent to sips and sjin both of them play similar games and i thing its a good shot. i put the link of both channels in the website thingy) i think trying to get on the front page of steam is a really good way of going too i’m not sure how you do that though 🙁

    i hope that helped a little and wish you the best in it

    oh really quickly a idea i had for the game is having broken bones and sprained muscles ( or something like it )

    oh and i picked up your book recently and i’m loving it great stuff 🙂

  69. jay_rab

    Jay here, indie community manager on steam. Something that I cant stress enough is that you will need to engage your steam forums, you can not expect the community on steam to jump into your forums here so you need to take the effort to engage them on their medium of choice. You already made the smart move to open up your community hub and store page now you need to focus on the traffic that is coming to your forums so that others see you as being active otherwise your going to get the stigma of people assuming because you are not there that you arent doing anything.

  70. Céline Sauvé

    Meep… Just sunk in that “Alpha 14, will be released on Steam Early Access on July 15, 2016″… So there goes my current Colony.

    If we don’t die from wildlife again, that is. XD

  71. Hassie

    In regards to marketing your game, I believe you already have a system in place to advertise for free or very cheap. There are several streamers on Twitch that have played your game in the recent past, and one of them, played it nearly every day for several hours, for a couple weeks after Alpha 13 was released. He talked your game up and seems to love it, and introduced thousands of people to the game in that time span.

    I do not know if you have had much communication with any of the streamers on Twitch, or Youtube, but they have the eyes, ears and hearts of millions upon millions of gamers, and nearly every person that watches them, is the people you would want to know about the game. For me and most of my friends, we see and experience games first when we see our favorite streamers or Youtubers play them, and based on how many views and subscribers they have, we are not alone.


  72. Zloybarin

    Your early acsess game is my last Hope for early-disappointment 2 years since @DAYZ and [email protected] =)))

    LIKE your work!! will spend few $$ on steam sale ARRRRGGGGHH!!!! =)))

  73. I wonder when

    I’m curious if/when gasses will be added. A key card machine would also make door restrictions more seamless in my mind, introduce a possibility to add theft in the game. Toxic gas from decomposing bodies is a classic feature in dwarf fortress.

  74. sealy

    Honestly, all you have to do is give a copy of your game to some youtubers…kids eat that up like candy.

    Your game will do well. The game itself is in great shape. I’ve been playing it since kickstarter.

    Goodluck man!

  75. D4nlo

    great game so far! please give “press-keys” to some streamers. that would be a big chance to publish this game. would like to see more german streamers playing this beautiful game 🙂


  76. Joshua Tungate

    I’ve always wanted to play this game, but I wanted to wait for it to, hopefully, come to steam because I suck at installing mods. When I saw it’s coming out on the 15th I flipped out. I am so excited! You guys have literally made the most exciting game I’ve seen in a long time, thank you so much!

  77. David Consorti

    This is awesome! Almost 3 years i been waiting :). I am so happy and so proud I supported this game and its developers! Can’t wait for my key.

  78. Daniel Bassingthwaighte

    Man, i’m so proud to have supported a game that is probably the most addictive, challenging, and rewarding game i have ever played. Seriously, keep up the good work!

  79. Nen

    do you think you could give a discount to those you already bought the game but wouldn’t be able to get a steam code.

  80. SaKenyi

    I can’t believe that after all this long time the biggest step has finally come. The steam release.

    I’m absolutely stoked to see this beauty go on steam and blow the minds of all those poor sods that were unfortunate enough not to find out about it. I’m sure that this’ll sell like hotcakes, since it’s been one of the few games where the developers have given it their all and decided to put love and care in lieu of quick sales and cheap money. And look at it now. A masterpiece in its own right, a full, living game that creates stories with each little event, each playthrough, each place you pick.

    I want to give a warm round of applause for all the devs involved. You created something that’s fantastic. Now lets see how high steam will shoot it into greatness.