Rust, Facepunch Studios' famously nude survival game, is leaving Early Access on February 8th, after four years in development.
The announcement was made in a blog post by Rust designer Garry Newman, which detailed what, exactly, the game's transition from Early Access to its version 1.0 release will mean. And that can probably be summarised as 'not all that much, beyond a price increase'.
"We're not planning any big reveals, launch parties, around the world tours or cash prize giveaways for this event. We're not going to move staff onto other projects", explained Newman, "It's very much going to happen without much fuss. It's business as usual."
"Please try not to compare the game to some other finished game or some idealised version you have in your head," said Newman, "Compare the game now to how it was when we entered Early Access. That's the delta that we feel qualifies us to leave Early Access. Think of it more like we're leaving Prototyping and entering Alpha."
In other words, says Newman, the game is far from "done", and Facepunch isn't suggesting otherwise - as its continuing roadmap of upcoming features demonstrates.
"Part of leaving Early Access is making the development more stable", explained Newman, "That means that not rushing in features and fixes that end up breaking something else." To that end, the developer will be transitioning from a weekly update schedule to a monthly one, with a stable Main Branch in place for monthly updates and irregular hotfixes, alongside a Staging Branch that will continue to receive "bleeding edge" daily updates.
As for that price increase, Rust will cost $34.99 USD, up from $19.99 USD, when it leaves Early Access on February 8th. "It sucks, it's going to cost more," said the developer, "but this was always the deal. And it's not like we're increasing the price to $60 without any warning. This is one of the main reasons we've decided to post this blog rather than quietly slipping out of Early Access, we felt like this is something you'll all want to be warned about.
"Thanks to everyone that took the risk by buying our Early Access game. It hasn't always been the most stable, optimized, balanced experience - but we hope you don't feel like we've let you down. Thank you for making our game better."