All Articles: Stardew Valley

Insert Quarter: Why Are Indie Developers Embracing the Boxed Retail Release?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Steam has completely taken over the game-buying experience on the PC, and digital storefronts from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are threatening to do the same thing to console players. So why have so many indie developers decided to work with publishers and distributors to launch their games as boxed retail releases?’s Christopher Dring has several theories. For starters, he believes there’s still a lot of money to be made with physical game discs. But many developers also love the idea of seeing their small labor of love sharing shelf space with the big boys.

Last week, Stardew Valley was released in a box, as was Yooka-Laylee. In the coming weeks, Tequila Works is preparing two boxed products for Rime and The Sexy Brutale. There are several businesses that are set up to help indie studios release their games in places like GameStop and GAME, such as U&I, 505 Games, Sold Out and Badland Games. Other publishers include physical distribution as part of their key selling points, such as Bandai Namco, Koch Media, GameTrust (GameStop’s publishing arm) and a stream of others.

Yet it’s a risky area to invest in. Boxed products are costly and lack the flexibility of the digital marketplace. Going through retail also loses some of that direct contact with the customer. So why bother?

Dring spoke to indie developers like Psyonix (Rocket League) and Sold Out (Overcooked) to learn about their experiences with launching a boxed retail release, and he makes his case that more indie developers should explore the practice at

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New Retail Releases: Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley Collector’s Edition, StarBlood Arena

The past, the present, and the future collide in this week’s New Retail Release report.

Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee is a throwback to the 3D platformers of the Donkey Kong 64/Banjo-Kazooie era. In fact, a majority of the developers from Playtonic originally worked on both of those games at Rare. With Yooka-Laylee, which will be available for the PS4 and Xbox One, the team has gone back to what they’re good at and created a game where there’s platforms to jump on, collectibles to find, and bosses to fight.

Last year, ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley became a huge hit by combining a sprawling RPG with a farming simulation. This week, it’ll be available on retail shelves in a Collector’s Edition for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Finally this week, StarBlood Arena is a space shooter from Sony that’s launching exclusively for PlayStation VR. Players will be able to compete in single-player, co-op, and multiplayer matches as they attempt to survive in the futuristic Arena.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back later this week with an expanded look at the latest additions to the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Nintendo eShop.

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Uncharted 4 leads all games at the 2017 BAFTA Games Awards with 8 nominations


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the nominees for the 2017 Games Awards, which will be handed out in a special ceremony in London on April 6. Viewers at home will be able to watch a livestream of ceremony through BAFTA’s Twitch channel.

This year’s top nominee is Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which scored eight nominations including “Game of the Year.” Nathan Drake’s final adventure will also compete in the “Artistic Achievement,” “Audio Achievement,” “Music,” and “Narrative” categories, as well as with three separate nominations in the “Performer” category (Troy Baker, Nolan North, and Emily Rose).

Uncharted 4 will fight for BAFTA’s “Game of the Year” honor against five other critically-acclaimed games from 2016 including Campo Santo’s Firewatch, Playdead’s Inside, Blizzard’s Overwatch, Concerned Ape’s Stardew Valley, and Respawn’s Titanfall 2.

The complete list of nominees in all categories can be found after the break. (more…)

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More than 60 “Nindies” are in development for Nintendo Switch including SteamWorld Dig 2, Runner 3, Yooka-Laylee, and more

Nintendo presented their first-ever Nindies Showcase for the Nintendo Switch today, and promised that more than 60 games from independent developers will be available for the console in 2017. This includes a staggering number of exclusives and timed exclusives such as…

  • Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig 2, which will be available first on the Switch this Summer.
  • Choice Provisions’s Runner 3, which is in development exclusively for the Switch, and will be released this Fall.
  • Vertex Pop’s Graceful Explosion Machine, a side-scrolling shooter that’ll be released for the Switch first this April.
  • Team Shifty’s Mr. Shifty, an overhead action game that’ll also be available first for the Switch this April.
  • Cardboard Robot’s Pocket Rumble, a retro-styled fighting game that’ll only be available to console owners on the Switch this March.

Other highlights from the Nindies Showcase include confirmation that Yooka-Laylee will be available for the Switch “soon” and that Blaster Master Zero will be released simultaneously for the 3DS and Switch on March 9.

Nintendo’s complete Nindies Showcase presentation has been embedded above, and you can learn more about all the games featured in the video after the break. (more…)

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2017 IGF Awards nominees include Hyper Light Drifter, Inside, Stardew Valley, more


The Independent Games Festival has announced the finalists for this year’s IGF Awards, and it should come as no surprise that critical darlings such as Hyper Light Drifter and Inside have scored multiple nominations. But leading the way is Variable State’s Virigina, which received four nominations (“Best Audio,” “Excellence in Narrative,” “Excellence in Visual Art,” and “The Nuovo Award”) and an Honorable Mention for the “Seumas McNally Grand Prize.”

Other games in competition for the IGF’s “Grand Prize” include the aforementioned Hyper Light Drifter and Inside, along with Concerned Ape’s Stardew Valley, Blendo Games’s Quadrilateral Cowboy, Ocelot Society’s Event[0], and Ghost Town Games’s Overcooked.

The 2017 IGF Awards ceremony will be hosted by developer Nina Freeman on March 1. Fans will be able to tune in to the Twitch channel for the Game Developers Conference to watch the show, and GDC attendees will be able to test out every nominated game at the IGF Pavilion area on the expo floor.

A complete list of the nominees and honorable mentions for the 2017 Independent Games Festival Awards can be found after the break. (more…)

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Xbox Store Today: Bastion, Stardew Valley, Batman: Episode 5, more

A big batch of new games is now available to download through the Xbox Games Store, starting with a re-release of one of the first big hits for the digital storefront.

Bastion was originally released for the Xbox 360 by Supergiant Games back in 2011. The action RPG included an omniscient narrator was absolutely groundbreaking at the time, and now it’s available to download for the Xbox One with new Achievements and the Stranger’s Dream expansion. Best of all, if you purchased Bastion on the Xbox 360, you can grab a free download of the Xbox One edition until January 1st.

Also available to download this week is Stardew Valley, an RPG for the Xbox One that asks players to manage a farm and, eventually, restore the surrounding community. And speaking of a crusader for the community, Telltale’s Batman saga will come to an end this week with the release of Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 5: City of Light for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Finally this week, Microsoft is celebrating the career of Hironobu Sakaguchi and the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program with a brand new digital launch for Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. Originally released for the Xbox 360 more than seven years ago, neither game has been available to download through the Xbox Games Store until now. Not only that, but players interested in downloading Lost Odyssey will be able to do so for free until December 31st.

More information on all of today’s new releases can be found after the break. (more…)

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Stardew Valley, DriveDriveDrive, I Expect You to Die, more added to PS Store

Even though an extended cold snap will make the northeast and midwest a chilly place this week, PlayStation fans are thinking about the joys of planting season in Stardew Valley. Available to download now for the PS4, players will inherit their grandfather’s old plot of land and attempt to build a thriving farm with just a few coins and a dream.

Also available for the PS4 this week is DriveDriveDrive, a racing game that asks players to control multiple cars and multiple tracks. If that’s not weird enough, I Expect You to Die is a PS4 game that wants to hear your best Goldfinger impression. OK, that’s not entirely accurate, but it is a PlayStation VR-exclusive that puts players “in the well-polished shoes of an elite secret agent” as they escape from deadly death traps using only their wits and their telekinesis powers.

Finally this week, Batman: The Telltale Series comes to an end with the release of its fifth, and final, episode on the PS4 and PS3.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. A complete look at this week’s new add-ons and discounts is available at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)

Posted in News, PS3, PS4 | Tagged ,

Stardew Valley will be available for PS4, Xbox One on December 14; Nintendo Switch version also in development


Stardew Valley, Concerned Ape’s farming RPG, will make its PS4 and Xbox One debut later this month. Writing on their official website, the developer confirmed the PS4 version of the game will launch on December 13, with the Xbox One version available a day later on December 14.

Earlier this year, Concerned Ape announced that Stardew Valley would also be released for the Wii U, but with the upcoming launch of the Switch, development on the game has shifted to Nintendo’s next console:

Stardew Valley will not be coming to the Wii U, however. Looking at Wii U and the current gaming landscape, we made the difficult choice to shift our development efforts to creating a version for Nintendo Switch. I am really looking forward to the Switch, and I believe that the Switch’s unique capabilities could create some exciting opportunities for Stardew Valley. I do want to emphasize that I am absolutely committed to seeing Stardew Valley on Nintendo platforms, and I really do appreciate your support and understanding in this.

Stardew Valley will likely be released for the Nintendo Switch sometime next year.

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