Players of Ascent: The Space Game have no doubt grown accustomed to the game being in early access, along with approximately every other title. Now the indie sandbox MMORPG is moving out of early access and into the waters of launch; if you’ve been leery about jumping into the game while it’s still not in a launch state, now is the time to step in and start playing — especially if you like your sandboxes to be more in the “let’s work together to shape a potentially unfriendly world” vein rather than “let’s shoot one another because there’s no rule against it.”
What prompts the launch? Two facts: completion and money. A post on the game’s official forums on the state of the game reveals that the game is in a very good place, but the company is struggling. “There is no chance the company will fold or the game will end (I still run it on a test server at home and it’s fine. I could operate it for you with NO income),” solo developer James Hicks writes, “but there is also no chance I will be 100% full time on the game any more in May or June if we can’t FINALLY get some press traction and make some significant sales.”
“I am not getting paid anymore, and I’m personally almost out of money. I’m in the red, if you add it all up, probably not what where you want to be a few months before your 40th birthday, but as I said to a colleague in the middle of an all night coding binge: “I would rather go bust making something special, than get rich developing something ‘meh’.”
And I think that just about sums up the Fluffy Kitten Studios philosophy, for now. The company is not in great shape. Sales until now have slowed to a crawl. I think people are thoroughly sick of buying early access games in general, and Steam is now absolutely flooded with indie titles all vying for the same market. The number of games has grown at a pace that leaves the market growth for dead, and the vast majority of our potential playerbase has still never heard of us.”
So if you like the philosophies at work in the game, there’s all the more reason to pick up the title in launch.
Want more context for the game? We spoke to Ascent’s James Hicks last fall on the Massively OP podcast, and MOP’s MJ streamed the game itself.
Ascent Flies out of Early Access!
The largest space game ever made, now available!
April 11, 2016 – After three years of development and one year in Early Access, Ascent: The Space Game is finally launching, with a completely new UI and a fresh graphical update. Explore over 270 billion stars and over 1 trillion planets. Mine resources, build colonies, participate in galactic politics, and return civilization to space. It is now available on Steam.
Humanity has all but collapsed into starvation, disease and chaos. In Ascent it is up to players to band together, end the suffering, recover the lost fragments of technology, and rebuild civilisation in their own image.
Ascent’s feature list is as large as its immense scope:
- A huge 270,000,000,000 star system galaxy with over a trillion unique planets to explore
- A deep exploration game, allowing players to make a full career from discovery of planets and asteroids
- A huge city-builder game, scaling up to over 100,000 structures in the largest player made Colonies and Starbases
- A deep in-game economy encompassing markets operated by players at their colonies, recruitable NPC pilot traders and a large central NPC economy to maintain balance
- Player made jump gates – a huge community driven megaproject
- A single player Combat campaign
- Multi-player Co Op combat against pirate ambushes
- An industrialist campaign that encompasses the major industrialist features (trading, building, research etc)
- A deep system of research and technology, enhancing all aspects of the game
- The most interactive and fun system of asteroid mining yet
- Player driven politics, complete with a functioning galactic senate, president, and planetary mayors.