In 2016, game developer ConcernedApe took matters in its own hands and released the simulation role-playing game that it felt Harvest Moon wasn't fully delivering. The story of Stardew Valley's success in the time since is well known. As of 2020, Stardew Valley had sold more than 10 million copies and was available to play across all major platforms. Now that Stardew Valley is over five years old, however, it seems ConcernedApe is almost ready to share what comes next.
On Saturday, Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, AKA ConcernedApe, helped to host the inaugural Stardew Valley Cup. It was an esports contest held for the top Stardew Valley players in the world, challenging teams of four to complete as many tasks from a list of over 100. It was, truly, a celebration of Stardew Valley and its community. It's only fitting that Barone took the opportunity to talk about what he was working on next.
According to Barone, he's working on something completely new. Barone was only willing to share a few specific details about this new game, starting will telling Stardew Valley fans that he "may announce it fairly soon." As for Barone's new game itself, it's going to be another top-down pixel game similar in perspective to Stardew Valley. However, Barone makes clear that it isn't a farming game at all. Before Stardew Valley fans start to worry, Barone does say that the new game is still "kind of similar to Stardew Valley."
The only other hint that Barone shares with fans is tied to another upcoming game. Barone addressed a rumor that he was involved with the game Witchbrook from developer Chucklefish, which played a major part in publishing duties and releasing Stardew Valley in different languages. Barone first distances himself from Chucklefish's project, saying he has nothing to do with it. He then adds that his next game isn't a "magic school game" like Witchbrook, either.
The news that Barone will potentially be ready to share more information about his next game is quite exciting, but it also comes with a sad confirmation. Barone is not working on a new Stardew Valley update, nor is he working on Stardew Valley 2. Stardew Valley has reached its end state so that ConcernedApe's second game can be completed.
It's a bittersweet moment for Stardew Valley fans, and likely for Barone himself. Stardew Valley is still incredibly popular and successful, but it's also an opportunity to look forward to what comes next. If Stardew Valley's unique comfort and kindness are any indication, fans can trust that Barone's next game will still be fulfilling even if it doesn't involve farming.
Stardew Valley is available now on PC, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, Xbox One, and mobile devices.