Developer Picroma has announced that Cube World, its very-long-in-the-works voxel-based action-RPG, will be making its way to Steam in the next month or two, six years after its controversial alpha release.
Cube World first surfaced all the way back in 2013, and immediately dazzled thanks to its striking, procedurally generated world. It promised to deliver a unique, exploration-focussed take on the action-RPG genre, with players able to adopt a variety of different classes and embark on an open-world adventure that would be different with every play-through.
Interest was strong enough that developer Wolfram von Funck agreed to release his hobby project Cube World as a paid alpha, with players able to pick up the game for $15 USD. Following a rocky launch, in which purchases were temporarily suspended as a result of DDOS attacks on the developer's servers, only one further update was released.
Although Cube World's alpha was an enjoyable experience in its own right, purchasers, who were expecting regular updates to the game, understandably grew wary when von Funck embarked on an extended period of radio silence not long after launch. Since then, although the developer has resurfaced intermittently to confirm that development is still progressing and to guarantee eventual release, communication has been sporadic at best, with whole years passing between social media posts.
Occasional blog updates and development videos, as rare as they've been, have gone some way to reassuring fans that progress on Cube World has continued behind the scenes, no matter how slowly, so the only real questions seemed to be if and when the community might get to experience the fruits of those six-year labours first-hand. And the answer, according to a new tweet from von Funck, is October or November this year.
When Cube World comes to Steam, it'll be the first chance to see what's changed in the years since alpha release. According to the game's recently launched Steam listing, the new version will feature four classes - Warrior, Ranger, Mage, and Rogue - plus, combat, spells, magic artefacts, weapons, armour, potions, elixirs, and food, as well as tameable pets that will fight alongside heroes and can be used as mounts.
The procedurally generated world itself will feature quests that task heroes with helping residents, exploring dungeons, and fighting huge monsters, and the whole thing is playable solo or via online co-op. There are a few more details on Steam.
Notably, and probably wisely, it looks like this is being pitched as a full release, rather than another early access launch, and von Funck has confirmed that everyone that purchased the Cube World alpha in the halcyon days of 2013 will be given a Steam key.
Speaking as one of those players that bought and thoroughly enjoyed their time with Cube World's alpha back in the day, despite its mechanical limitations, I'm genuinely intrigued to see if the intervening years have resulted in a completed experience that fulfils its early promise. We'll know more when Cube World's very-long-awaited release occurs soon.