June 17, 2014
Release day has finally arrived: Xenonauts has left Steam Early Access and made its way into big wide world! Development has taken five eventful years. I still remember taking our first pre-orders and the days of being banned from Paypal. Our successful $150,000 Kickstarter was two full years ago now, and *that* day when Firaxis announced XCOM: Enemy Unknown was even longer back.
This process has taken a lot longer than anyone expected it to, myself included. I originally estimated that it would take 6 months and $25,000 to make Xenonauts. It took ten times that long and…well, I’ve not sat down and totted up all the production costs yet, but I already know they are an order of magnitude higher than my original estimates. If you were one of the really early backers: I’m sorry that you had to wait so long.
At the same time, this game would never have happened if it were not for those early backers. It also would not have happened were it not for the people who backed us during our Kickstarter, or those who bought the game when it came out on Steam Early Access. That money has all been spent on development; all of it has been spent on making Xenonauts the game you’re playing now. If you bought the game at any point before it formally released, know that your money *did* help us.
I should also mention the team that worked on the game. Our successful Kickstarter let us get an office and form a core of full-time individuals that make up the heart of the company, but literally hundreds of people have worked on Xenonauts in some capacity. Many of these people accepted lower rates than they would normally charge for their work because they wanted to be involved – they were doing this for the love, not the money. They have my thanks for doing so.
Going forwards, we will not be making further gameplay changes for a while (although I won’t rule out a patch V1.1 at some point in the future). However, we will continue to patch any crashes or game-breaking bugs found in the game. If you find any, please let us know on our forums and we’ll do our best to sort them out.
Our more immediate plans are to add Steam Workshop support to the game – we have a busy modding / mapping community on our forums and I’m keen to help them reach a wider audience and make the mod-install process as easy as possible. We’re also working on getting Mac / Linux builds set up on Steam and finally processing the physical Kickstarter rewards. Still work to do, then – but it’s tidying up stuff around the game, rather than work on the game itself.
To end, a few mind-boggling community figures: Steam has logged well over 1 million hours of gameplay on Xenonauts in the last year alone. That’s over a century spent in-game. Prior to release, the *average* player had put 45 hours into the game each (taken from everyone who ever fired up the game on Steam). Not bad, eh? I hope you enjoy finally getting your hands on the game!
PS – I should also mention that OpenXcom has also hit V1.0. They are a free, open-source clone of the original X-Com with none of the bugs and proper support for modern PCs. If you’re hunkering to play the original X-Com again, make sure you check these guys out!