When on Earth is Steam Bandits: Outpost going to be released? Well, the answer is Q4 2016. And Q2 2017. And Q4 2017. Wait, what? Yeah you read that right. Since iocaine studios announced in a March 2016 Kickstarter update that the game is 60% completed, they’ve since decided to split the game into three parts. The first part, Safari, will take place “several years before the events of Outpost.” You’ll play as a “junior Scrapper”, scavenging for old parts and resources to stay alive in a “very dangerous and lawless place” called the Farlands. You’ll also be accompanied by a pet of your choice as you navigate through the desolate wasteland, all while establishing and building up your own base which will house “pets and farms.”
While this news is exciting and all, especially the fact that Safari is set to come out by the end of the year, let’s not forget that the game was funded nearly four years ago, in August 2012. The developers raised $55K that month, and to their credit, they’ve actually done a pretty solid job consistently updating their backers on Kickstarter since then. They managed to release a closed beta in 2014, but that’s really the only content of substance that has come out in the four years since funding ended. As for the Kickstarter comments, there have been literally none—from dev or backer—since December 2014. One of the last visible comments on the page comes from Timotheus, who asks, “Any update for us? It’s been a while. Can’t wait to play. Thanks.”
It’s been a while indeed. That being said, you can still buy into Early Access on Steam, for a reasonable price of $19.99. The reviews on the Steam website are mostly mixed, but scrolling through them it’s apparent that those who have played for several hundred hours hold the game in much higher regard than those who have only put in a few dozen. Those recommending it have labeled it as a “fun, light hearted, casual city builder/RPG”, while those on the opposite end of the spectrum have shot it down as a “half-finished browser game… at a $20 price tag you can get either more value or more potential.”
So what’s iocaine’s explanation for this prolonged delay? Well, according to their latest Kickstarter update it “all boils down to funding the team.” Team members have come and gone, not to mention that many that have come and stayed work only part-time. As such, things get completed “pretty slowly.” Oh, and did I mention that some team members have actually “moved on to other projects”?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to bet on many people would not have funded Steam Bandits: Outpost (well I guess it’s not even Steam Bandits: Outpost anymore) had they known in advance about the long, long slog they were in for. Even then, the thin group of backers who still care that the game is set to come out later this year will rejoice in the fact that Jason from Steam Bandits: Outpost has still “focused [his] time on finding ways to fund the rest of the project.” Er, I thought that was what Kickstarter was for? To raise funds?