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10/10 colony sim Oxygen Not Included is making a return to paid DLC

Klei Entertainment’s beloved Steam colony sim Oxygen Not Included is returning to a paid DLC model after several years of free updates.

Oxygen Not Included will get new, paid DLC - A cartoon figure shivering in the cold, fog coming out of their mouth.

After a year filled with smaller free updates, one of the best colony sim style survival games on PC is making a return to paid DLC. Oxygen Not Included, the space simulation game offering that perfect mix of Rimworld and Starfield from beloved indie game studio Klei Entertainment, makers of Don’t Starve, has revealed its 2024 plans, and they include a return to “content-focused” paid DLC for the 96%-rated Steam sensation.

First launched in 2017 via Steam Early Access, Oxygen Not Included saw its full 1.0 release in July 2019 and has continued to get regular upgrades since. Most notable was its Spaced Out DLC, which adds the ability to run multiple settlements across several planets at once, transporting resources between them as you survive and, hopefully, thrive in space. Since then, the colony simulation game has continued to receive smaller, free updates, but Klei now says the time is right to return to more substantial paid add-ons.

“When we were originally considering making more DLC back in early 2022, we had just come off a three-year-long haul on Spaced Out, and our ideas for future DLC were all on a similar scale,” the team explains. “Trying to make them work for both the base game and Spaced Out was daunting. But over the past year, DLC ideas just kept coming – many of them focused on content that would be a natural fit with the base game, the Spaced Out DLC, and each other.”

So what can we expect to see, then? The plan is for more modular add-ons that “center around new asteroids packed with new biomes, critters, plants, buildings, elements, lore, and blueprints [Oxygen Not Included’s cosmetic skins].” There’s nothing concrete announced quite yet, although Klei says it’s “planning to release the first one this year – perhaps featuring a chilly new starting asteroid.” It also adds that, while there isn’t an exact schedule, “we do know that it won’t involve multi-year waiting periods between DLC.”

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Klei also stresses that it intends to continue releasing free quality-of-life updates alongside these paid packs, and will of course fix bugs and improve the game’s performance as and when needed. It’s also building out the cosmetic blueprints system further, and says, “You’ll be able to earn blueprints through gameplay, and we expect to include new collections in DLC as well.”

As such, these add-ons are likely to be smaller than Spaced Out, and Klei says they’re planned to cost “less than the Spaced Out DLC” as well. It explains that the DLC model “was always the better choice for expanding the Oxygen Not Included universe, but we just didn’t think we could do it. Now we have new ideas that play nicely with existing versions of the game and lend themselves well to mixing and matching later on, we’re making it happen.”

“We know it’s a big pivot,” the team says in closing. “This year’s Oxygen Not Included adventure promises to be a particularly exciting one. Thank you for all your ongoing support – it means the cosmos to us.” If that expansive future potential has you excited to create your own colony right now, you’ll be pleased to learn that Oxygen Not Included is 66% off on Steam right now (making it just $8.49/£6.45), or 63% off when bundled together with the Spaced Out DLC (expect to pay $14.16/£11.01 for both together).

Alternatively, you can explore the stars with the best space games to play in 2024, or test your ability to run all manner of colonies, cities, factories, teams, squads, and more in the best management games on PC.

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