The creator of Stardew Valley recently released a statement, distancing himself from the game’s original publisher. Eric ‘Concerned Ape’ Barone clarified his relationship with publisher Chucklefish in a recent blog post. This comes after the recent controversy surrounding Chucklefish around their 2016 title Starbound. Former contributors came forward discussing their unpaid contributions. However, they believed they would be compensated.
So, in what capacity was Chucklefish involved in Stardew Valley’s development? Well, there are many things to unpack. Something that the blog post will help us do.
Stardew Valley and Chucklefish
Firstly, the statement goes right out of the gate and addresses the controversy:
“I am aware of the news and social media reports that Chucklefish allegedly engaged in unfair and potentially abusive labor practices during development of their game, Starbound.”
Barone clearly understands the implications this has on Stardew Valley, feeling the need to clarify the level of Chucklefish’s involvement with the game.
Secondly, he goes on the clarify that:
“Throughout the 4.5 years of development, I was the only person to work on Stardew Valley. Neither Chucklefish nor any contributors working with Chucklefish were involved in creating the game, in any capacity.
For the multiplayer update, which came out on PC 2.5 years after the game first launched, a Chucklefish employee did create the multiplayer net-code, but that was the only case where Chucklefish was directly involved in development of the game.”
This is clearly a way of Barone distancing himself from the publisher. But, it is also relieving to know that nobody had to do unpaid labor in the process of making this game. He then concludes that, since last December, he has taken it upon himself to self-publish Stardew Valley on most platforms.
The statement then wraps up with:
“I can also say that, both personally and in my capacity as the recent founder of a small team, I believe in compensating developers for their contributions in working on games.”
As someone who adores Stardew Valley, I am grateful that nobody was subjected to hundreds of hours of unpaid work.
You can get Stardew Valley on most major platforms now!
How do you feel about the controversy? Have you worked on Starbound? Let us know in the comments!