Stardew Valley 1.6
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Stardew Valley 1.6 shows just how much ConcernedApe cares about players even after 8 years

A farming sim success story.

There are plenty of video games that exist to only stay popular for the span of a few months, and others can last a year or two. But the fact that after eight years Stardew Valley continues to be discussed, played, and updated by the creator just shows how much ConcernedApe cares about players.

Recommended Videos
Golden Animal Crackers Stardew Valley
Image: ConcernedApe

Record-breaking player numbers

ConcernedApe released Stardew Valley’s 1.6 update on March 19, which created a momentous boom in this farming sim’s player count. Originally released on February 26, 2016, Eric Barone’s indie game was a hit and continues to be played and discussed. Although, I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted that this game would break its record of the most concurrent players once 1.6 dropped.

It once had a peak concurrent player count of 94,000 back in December 2020, but 1.6 smashed that record to reach 224,000 concurrent players. That’s a massive jump from the last time Stardew Valley had an enormous player count, but this just goes to show you how much excitement for more Stardew Valley content there is within the cozy gaming space.

Since 1.6 was said to be the biggest update for Stardew Valley yet, players were eager to jump back in to start a new playthrough and see what features it had to offer. And there are a massive amount of features, as noted by the incredibly long changelog.

Festivals Stardew Valley 1.6 Desert
Screenshot: PC Invasion

More content than you can imagine

I hopped into Stardew Valley 1.6 thinking there would be a few big changes, maybe some bug fixes and that would be all. On September 27, 2023, ConcernedApe posted this image on Twitter/X, which sparked a ton of excitement for 1.6. Although this was six months before its eventual release, the content that was teased was enough for fans to go wild.

It’s not often that you see an eight-year-old game continue to receive large updates like this, and I’m not even sure if this is the last from this solo developer. This information on its own would be enough to compile into a good update, but what made this update even grander were the secrets and surprises.

If you read the changelog, there are tons of new items and features that were vaguely explained. I think this is the best way to write patch notes because being online during the first few days after 1.6’s release was exhilarating. Everyone was scrambling to check their old saves and start new ones to see what new content there was. Players were posting their discoveries online, such as the Terraria Meowmere sword easter egg.

From content that new players could enjoy, to features that endgame players could get excited for, I can’t even properly explain how much stuff Stardew Valley 1.6 introduced. The Mastery system allows endgame players to unlock rewards like Trinkets, while anyone who creates a new game can participate in new festivals and purchase books from the Bookseller.

Farm Animals Gain More Happiness If You Close Their Door At Night In Stardew Valley Coop
Screenshot: PC Invasion

What 1.6 means to me

1.6 is a celebration of Stardew Valley in all its beautiful glory. The fact that a single developer, with the initial help of publisher Chucklefish Games, was able to create Stardew Valley from scratch with almost no prior video game development experience is inspiring. I highly recommend you read the chapter dedicated to Stardew Valley in Jason Schreier’s book “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels.” It dove deep into the development of Stardew Valley and how Barone created such a beloved game over many years of dedicated hard work.

When I think about how this 1.6 update compares to many other game updates, I think about the sheer amount of content and work ConcernedApe had to put into this as a solo developer. Meanwhile, he has also been working on a new title named Haunted Chocolatier, which I’m guessing is his main focus now after 1.6.

This isn’t to say that other game developers don’t put the same amount of effort into updates, because there are clear examples of that happening. Larian Studios continues to implement great updates for Baldur’s Gate 3 month after month, while Arrowhead Game Studios is still adding fun features into Helldivers 2 that make players want to jump right back into the fray.

But to think that one person has the skill, creativity, drive, and passion to create and keep content rolling for Stardew Valley after nearly a decade of being released is mind-boggling. It reminds me of the stark contrast of Nintendo abandoning the support for Animal Crossing: New Horizons only a year or two after its release. Fans continuously discuss this online and berate Nintendo for dropping support for such a huge success of a game, especially since it was released right as the COVID-19 pandemic began.

I’m so glad that players are enjoying Stardew Valley 1.6, and I can imagine just how appreciative ConcernedApe is for the community and its feedback. Even if 1.6 is the final large update for this farming sim, players will continue to play and engage with this game for years to come. Although you may be tired of the onslaught of farming games, Stardew Valley is here to stay.


PC Invasion is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Are the changes to classes in Destiny 2 “Game Breaking” or just an indicator of a new direction?
How To Raise Your Rank Fast In Destiny 2 Into The Light Featured Image
Read Article 8 best changes to Diablo 4 Season 4 PTR
8 Best Changes To Diablo 4 Season 4 Ptr
Read Article 10 reasons why Into the Light is the best time for new players to get into Destiny 2
Destiny 2 Into The Light Featured Image
Related Content
Read Article Are the changes to classes in Destiny 2 “Game Breaking” or just an indicator of a new direction?
How To Raise Your Rank Fast In Destiny 2 Into The Light Featured Image
Read Article 8 best changes to Diablo 4 Season 4 PTR
8 Best Changes To Diablo 4 Season 4 Ptr
Read Article 10 reasons why Into the Light is the best time for new players to get into Destiny 2
Destiny 2 Into The Light Featured Image
Author
Anyka Pettigrew
Anyka Pettigrew has been a Staff Writer for PC Invasion since November 2023 and a Contributing Writer since February 2023. She is a Canadian graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree who has been writing in games journalism for four years. Anyka is an avid guides writer but also enjoys writing anything from news pieces, to reviews, and even opinion pieces. Having a never-ending passion for video games for as long as she can remember got her into a plethora of genres like action adventure, RPGs, horror, survival etc. Some of her favorite franchises are God of War, Persona, The Last of Us, Zelda, and Resident Evil. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, as well as drawing digital art. Anyka also regularly listens to podcasts on gaming news from 'Kinda Funny Games', and 'Play, Watch, Listen'.