On Icarus always be prepared for change, Prospector. Our first three Beta Weekends have absolutely exceeded our expectations. Nearly 200,000 people have played, many returning every Beta Weekend, for an average of 8 hours each. Many of you have sunk more than 20 hours into Icarus so far.
You, the players, have given us more insight, feedback, love and support than we could have ever imagined. We’ve aimed to reciprocate this in our work on the game, making an array of updates and changes to ensure each weekend is an improvement on the last. We’re feeling confident about our progress towards Icarus’ 1.0 launch.
With all these new insights, we have made a big decision that impacts the upcoming Beta Weekend (Oct 9th - 11th) and our eventual launch date that we want to explain below.
The key changes are:
- A new three-part Mission this Beta Weekend (9-11 October)
- An extra 24 hours on Monday for this Beta Weekend
- Desert Beta Weekend moved to 23-24 October
- All Beta Weekends rescheduled by two weeks
- Icarus’ scheduled launch date is now 4 December - but is still subject to change
We’re adding an extra Beta Weekend. This weekend (9-11 October) we’re going to send you on a three-part Mission to recover crashed bio-satellites and learn more about Icarus’ terraforming, rather than dispatching you to the Desert.
This epic three-part Mission spans the Forest biome, the northern Arctic biome as well as the newly-unlocked southern Arctic region, so we’re giving you an extra 24 hours to complete the Mission. That’s right, this Beta Weekend will continue until Monday evening (PDT).
This means the Desert biome will be unlocked in two weeks’ time, and the other Beta Weekends are also pushed back by two weeks. This lets us include more improvements to the Desert biome, based on the environmental tech art optimization lessons we learnt for the Arctic Beta Weekend. It’s a great example of how the focused Beta Weekends format lets us learn from one weekend and apply it to another.
Players loved the ‘hunt the Mammoth’ mission from the Arctic Beta Weekend, so we’re giving you more of it. Faction Missions, set by the various corporations and organizations operating on Icarus, with specific goals and rewards, are one type of Prospect that really showcases Icarus’ session-based gameplay. They provide a goal and purpose on top of our core survival experience.
We’ll share more details about the Mission Beta Weekend #4 with you tomorrow.
Expect more additions to the schedule in future. In the coming weeks we’ll announce details of the next Mission Beta Weekend (6-7 November) as well as plans and prizes for the Community Beta Weekend (20-21 November).
What this means for our 1.0 launch
If you’ve done the math, you’ll know this pushes out our launch date from the date on our Steam Store page of November 20th, and we wanted to talk a bit about that here.
We’ve always maintained that we’d make any changes to our timeline necessary in order to deliver you a world-class game that we’re proud of. We have chosen to act on that promise here.
This means the new projected launch date is 4th December - although this could still change.
(This date may take a few days to update on our Steam Store page)
While we’re confident in our timeline, you can be the judge. There are two more months of Beta Weekends until then for you to measure our progress. Remember, during the Beta Weekends you can refund Icarus at any time. Once we launch, Steam’s usual two-hours refund policy applies.
Giving us this extra window of time allows us more room to polish all the new features and content we’ve been adding over the last few weekends. On top of this, an unexpected covid-19 lockdown here in New Zealand has put extra stress on our team and resources, and taking care of everyone's well being comes first for us. This has meant readjusting timelines, capacity and workloads.
And to cap it all off November 20th is a big day in gaming with the arrival of Battlefield 2042! While this title isn’t a direct competitor for our audience, it will take up a lot of airtime in the gaming world, so moving our launch outside this window is the best idea for us (and the players ultimately).
Delays are a common practice in gaming, as they are with any creative media. While we never take them lightly, they’re a decision we will confidently make in the interest of the game, the players and the team. The beauty of RocketWerkz self-publishing is that this decision is our own, and we will strive to communicate this to you at the earliest possible convenience.
Remember, there are some key features we are purposefully holding until our 1.0 launch. These include Exotics Missions, Outposts and the Workshop tech-tree in the orbital station. While some of you have already surpassed 20 hours in-game (wow!), there is so much content we’re yet to introduce.
How the Beta is Going
Check out our latest Making of Icarus video to hear our views on how we think the Beta is going.
As we said earlier, our expectations for player numbers and feedback have been exceeded. The every-two-weekends format has worked really well for gathering player feedback and for our team. These regular updates are something we intend to continue post launch too. Icarus, both the planet and the game, will be a living and ever-evolving world.