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Another indie megahit is escaping its download-only origins to hit a retail outlet near you as a physical disc.
Stardew Valley, the life-simulating farming game that debuted on PC last year, is coming out on disc as a collector’s edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 11. Publisher 505 Games is printing the game on behalf of developer ConcernedApe, and you can expect to find it in stores like GameStop for $30. Inside the packaging, you’ll get the game, the soundtrack, a mini guidebook, and a map of the town. Stardew Valley lets you live the simple life in the countryside building up a farm from nothing into everything. It has a lot in common with the classic Harvest Moon role-playing games, and it was one of the best-selling releases of last year on Steam. It recently came to PS4 and Xbox One through the respective digital stores on those platforms.
But with the expansion to the physical, Stardew Valley is joining a rare class of indie games that start their lives as meager, digital-only releases and then explode into unstoppable hits. Previously, games like Minecraft, Rocket League, and Shovel Knight have all made this jump, and all of those games have seen huge success in their physical form.
And while it might seem odd for a game to go from digital to physical with the rest of the industry moving in the opposite direction, it makes sense based on the huge audience of people who still do most of their shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers. That was true even of Minecraft, which had sold tens of millions of copies on PC and Xbox 360 before getting a 360 disc version several years later. But that disc ended up repeatedly on the top-10 best-selling games at physical retailers in the United States. It only dropped off that list when Microsoft finally decided to bundle it in with the Xbox One.
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Stardew Valley, with its apparently massive appeal, could see similar success.
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