Rust, the multiplayer survival game by Garry’s Mod developer Facepunch, is leaving early access next month after four long years of development. It’s also almost doubling in price, slowing down the frequency of updates, and formally progressing to the alpha stage of development, because “leaving early access” has lost all meaning.
In a blog post on the official Rust site, Garry Newman confirmed Rust will be seeing a full release (as far as Steam’s standards go) on February 8th. At the same time, the price of the game will increase from $19.99 to $39.99.
When discussing the reasons for the game leaving early access, Newman confusingly states that this should be seen as Rust leaving the prototyping phase of development and moving on to alpha, rather than the full release “leaving early access” would normally entail if you use words correctly.
In fact, Facepunch has a roadmap of “intentions – not promises” for the game, including AI improvements and a full overhaul of the farming system.
While Facepunch might not see this as a big deal, it kind of is. Rust holds a significant place in the history of its genre. Not only was it one of the first significant alternatives to DayZ, the catalyst for the whole survival simulator boom we’ve seen in recent years, Rust was also one of the first to ditch zombies from the formula, arguably paving the way for the likes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
So flagrant abuse of what “early access” implies aside, I’m excited to see how this alpha release of Rust compares to the Rust I bought back in 2013, which I thought was an alpha as well. Oh how foolish I was.