Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone is once again in full control of his Stardew Valley empire. The renowned developer recently made the pronouncement on his Twitter account followed by an impromptu AMA.
"I'm now self-publishing Stardew Valley on Android,” Barone said. “With this change, I'm now self-publishing the game on all digital platforms."
Related: I Hope Haunted Chocolatier Is Even Gayer Than Stardew Valley
Stardew has had a somewhat complicated history with its publishers. Barone began development with Chucklefish helping with non-English localizations as well as assistance on porting to macOS and Linux. That eventually grew to the various console ports as well as helping with Stardew’s multiplayer code. Sickhead Games was eventually brought on to help with the Switch Port in 2017, while physical sales of Stardew discs and cartridges are handled by 505 Games.
But all those publishing contracts had time limits, with Barone regaining publishing rights on all platforms but for mobile and Switch in 2018. Rights on the Switch reverted back in 2019, and iOS rights in 2021. With Android rights now back in Barone’s hands, he now commands all digital publishing of Stardew Valley.
At this point in the game’s life, publishing Stardew Valley probably isn’t a big deal. Marketing the game isn’t necessary as word of mouth is all the marketing Barone needs, and with Stardew already on every platform, Barone just has to renew the listings periodically to keep the money flowing.
That’s not to say Barone is an experienced publisher, as ConcernedApe himself notes in his Twitter AMA. "Well I haven't had enough experience with mobile yet as I just recently started publishing there,” wrote Barone. “Consoles in general are a lot more complicated than PC. Steam is the easiest to work with. They just let you be free and if your game has issues, that's on you. I appreciate that.”
Barone was also asked about his inspiration for Haunted Chocolatier, the upcoming game that’s set in the same universe as Stardew Valley. “I do enjoy chocolate, but also I just think chocolate and candy-making in a dark, snowy town sounded like a fun and cozy thing to do with a lot of room for imagination and magic.
Haunted Chocolatier will also arrive as a single-player game, but “if it gets multiplayer it will probably be like Stardew Valley was” and receive it as a free update after launch.
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