Skip to main content

Kerbal Space Program dev explains update plans after fan fury at paid-for expansion

Apologises for suggesting features could be delayed for post-release content.

The indie developer of promising PC sandbox game Kerbal Space Program has backtracked on comments that suggested it would delay planned features of the title so they could become paid-for post-release content.

Kerbal Space Program is currently in alpha and already available to play and buy from creator Squad - the same method used in the early development of that other indie sandbox game Minecraft.

The developer's FAQ page states that "if you buy the game now you won't have to pay for further updates".

But comments by Kerbal Space Program's lead designer Felipe Falanghe during a recent developer live-stream suggested otherwise. Falanghe confirmed that some features would be delayed for release in a post-launch expansion - one that would not come for free.

"We've come to some decisions about how the whole thing should work out and how the game will work," Falanghe explained. "What I was concerned about and what we talked about the most is that the game had started to feel a little top-heavy. We've been designing features that were only really accessible to people who were in an end-game stage. It had started to slip out of scope a bit.

"We decided that a couple of things are too much or too top-heavy to add so we're probably going to hold off on those for an expansion pack. This makes a lot of sense as it doesn't matter if it is a top-heavy feature."

Kerbal Space Program's alpha was first released in June 2011.

The comments riled up fans of the game on Reddit, where community manager James Kupperian defended the changes and confirmed that alpha users would not get post-launch expansions or DLC for free.

"We said free updates, and free updates you will get. What you won't get is free expansions/DLC. There isn't a company out there that does this differently," he explained. "Let's just agree to disagree on update = expansion because it's just not true.

People are using the word 'update' to cover anything that Squad might produce in the future. How anyone can believe that is perplexing as it wouldn't make a successful business model.

Kerbal Space Program community manager James Kupperian

"People are using the word 'update' to cover anything that Squad might produce in the future. How anyone can believe that is perplexing as it wouldn't make a successful business model," he continued. "We will be updating the language used on the site."

But Falanghe has now backtracked on his comments and said there we no plans for any post-release content at all. Despite mentioning discussions with others, Falanghe claimed that what he said was simply his "own personal ideas".

"Those were meant in no way as any sort of official announcement on behalf of Squad. It was just me basically thinking out loud," Falanghe wrote in a new blog post. "There are no official plans for any sort of post-release project for KSP at this time.

"Regardless of the above, there seems to have been a big misunderstanding of what I meant with 'expansion' in the first place. To me, an expansion pack to a game is something that is almost a whole other game in itself, not a small pack of content that could have been done as a mod. I would never even think to do something like that, and I sincerely hope no one really thinks we would ever betray our players like that.

"And lastly, I realise that it was a big mistake to even bring up this topic, and for that I sincerely apologise. We are not an evil company, and you can rest assured we will do everything we can to make sure the complete version of KSP is as satisfying to everyone as possible, and that it becomes all that we hope it will be, a complete version that you can play for years to come."

Eurogamer contacted Squad earlier today for comment on the matter and has yet to hear back.

Watch on YouTube

Read this next