Skyrim is one of the most timeless games out there, though this is partially because Bethesda continues to rerelease the game onto each platform possible. Still, having released in 2011, many gamers still play Skyrim to this day. At the time of its release, games weren't regularly as expansive or crammed with so much content as Skyrim was, not to mention that it's easily one of the most loved games of its generation. Thanks to mods and the newly polished Anniversary Edition, Skyrim still sees success and attention in the modern day, and the same could be said about Stardew Valley in a few years.
Stardew Valley was developed by just one person, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, who's now focusing on his next game Haunted Chocolatier. While this doesn't mean that Stardew Valley's development is finished, he's said that it's in "a very good place as it is," so there's little need to add more to the current version other than possible bug fixes. On one hand, Stardew Valley has turned into a massive game with hundreds of hours of content, but on the other hand, some players have already 100% completed Stardew Valley, but that doesn't mean they're through with playing ConcernedApe's game. If anything, Stardew Valley is just as timeless as Skyrim, and mods support this idea even further.
Like Skyrim, Stardew Valley Will Never Die
When Skyrim: Anniversary Edition was announced, some gamers asked the question, "when will Skyrim die already?" Skyrim isn't without its flaws; not only was the game riddled with bugs, many small but some game-breaking, but there are a lot of ways in which Bethesda could and would go on to improve its formula for the huge open-world game. Still, the size of its open-world map was revolutionary at the time and would go onto influence and see comparisons against succeeding open-world titles, but few, such as Breath of the Wild, have captured the same magic of getting lost in the setting and side quests. Ten years later, games are still being made inspired by The Elder Scrolls' fifth installment.
It may be hard to believe, but Stardew Valley is nearly 6 years old already. And yet, its community is still wildly active and players are still patiently waiting for Stardew Valley's 1.5 update to arrive on mobile devices. Many fans are still discovering the game's deepest and darkest secrets as well as starting brand-new save files, perhaps spicing up the experience a bit by enacting player-made challenges like the 'No Bin Challenge' or a Joja Mart playthrough, where players complete the game by funding Joja Mart rather than by completing the Community Center. In short, the open-ended style of Stardew Valley means it's far from growing tired, but those who have been so inspired by the experience have begun to develop their own games such as Coral Island, not unlike Skyrim.
But like Skyrim, which is actively kept alive by mods, Stardew Valley has seen a plethora of impressive mods that can make the experience even better. The most notable one is Stardew Valley Expanded, which is something of an overhaul, adding new NPCs, quests, and locations to the game. They're not canon, though, so not all players would enjoy the idea of expanding on the game's lore in this way. But its intriguing characters and storytelling fit right in with the world Eric Barone created.
Just like how Skyrim: Anniversary Edition adopted the Creation Club, a number of "official" mods that can be added to the game via microtransactions, Stardew Valley could formally adopt mods that have made the game even better. For example, one mod lets players romance the Wizard, because why shouldn't they be able to? The Creation Club canonized some mods, meaning capturing the interest of players who wouldn't typically use them, and it's elongated Skyrim's legacy. It might seem silly to some, but many fans are happy that fishing is now an official part of the game, and that there are several new official quests ready for them, and Stardew Valley fans would be just as happy for more content.
Regardless of if that ever happens, Stardew Valley's era is far from over. New players are still trying out the game, which can be observed through forums such as Reddit and Steam's discussion pages. Gamers are still excited by the prospect of romancing an NPC, customizing their farm, and completing the game at 100%. Only time will tell, but Stardew Valley could be in the same place as Skyrim in four years' time.
Stardew Valley is out now for Mobile, PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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