When a release date gets changed, it’s usually pushed back – but in the case of Factorio, the early access smash hit about a robot building a robot factory on a lonely, grungy planet, it’s the opposite: Factorio 1.0 is now scheduled to leave early access August 14 this year.
Late last year, developer Wube Software announced that it planned to have Factorio ready for a 1.0 launch September 25, after a few initial release targets had come and gone. That seemed like a good timeframe for a smaller indie game to launch – but then the coronavirus outbreak threw a wrench into the works.
For Factorio, that came in the form of a launch delay for Cyberpunk 2077, which pushed its release date back to September 17 – just over a week before Factorio was scheduled to leave early access. Looking to avoid competition with a triple-A release that is likely to dominate both the media landscape and players’ attention when it launched, Wube decided to look at its options.
“We think any release close to such a monumental game is going to feel some negative effects, such as everybody playing and covering Cyberpunk and taking attention away from other games,” the studio writes in a new blog post. “So we thought it was best to try release either before Cyberpunk or quite a while after it. Given the two choices, we opted to bring the release date forward.”
— Factorio (@factoriogame) May 29, 2020
Launching five weeks earlier than planned is possible because Factorio’s launch goals have shifted somewhat since Wube created its initial roadmap. Plans for a new campaign were discarded in January, and the scope for a full rewrite of the game’s interface has narrowed.
Additionally, the studio writes, the roadmap had originally scheduled some padding to allow for work going on longer than anticipated. However, the studio says its work has been sticking to schedule consistently since then, and the combination of these factors has made it possible to bring the 1.0 launch forward.
Factorio, as we’ve pointed out before, is already a fantastic game that’s worth sinking countless hours into, and Wube says it’s looking forward to the 1.0 launch so that “we can start thinking about fun and exciting new things.”
You can find Factorio on Steam, which also has a free demo to try out if you’re interested.