Eric Barone, a.k.a ConcernedApe, is best known for his creation of Stardew Valley, an instant simulation role-playing classic in which players inherit a farm from their deceased grandfather. Players grow produce, take care of animals, and participate with the inhabitants of Stardew Valley, a small, scenic community away from the big city.
Eric Barone was initially inspired by the Harvest Moon series, as well as other similar series such as Animal Crossing. He began development in late 2011/ early 2012, after expressing dissatisfaction with the Harvest Moon games, stating that “no title in the series ever brought it all together in a perfect way”.
After publicly announcing the game in 2012 to much encouragement, Barone began to work on the project in full. What’s so impressive about Stardew Valley and its success is that Barone developed the game in its entirety all by himself. Chucklefish came in later to help publish and develop the non-game aspects of Stardew Valley, such as the Wiki.
Just two months after the games’ release, a million copies had already been sold. To date, the game has sold over 10 million copies since its release in 2016, and it’s still going strong.
Even now, ConcernedApe continues to work on major content releases, the most recent of which released back in December 2019. However, Barone still has some major content releases scheduled, including 1.5, which is set to add even more new content to the game, such as new areas, waterfowl, and what appears to be cypress.
This article isn’t just about Stardew Valley, though. Eric Barone has been and continues to be a developer with integrity, something that is all too rare in the videogame industry. He puts a tremendous amount of time, energy, and love into his work that rivals that of studios 100x his size.
Not only that, but he also continues to keep the community updated on what’s happening with his projects and the development of games and content updates he’s working on.
Barone has earned the respect of the gaming community and other devs alike, even that of Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of the Harvest Moon series. Upon Stardew’s release, Wada even stated that he was very happy with the game, saying that it had shown him that Harvest Moon had continued on in spirit.
Others hail Barone as a hero, saying that he breathed new life into a dying genre. This certainly seems true, given his work on Stardew, coupled with his genuine integrity and love for what he does.
If you want to learn more about Stardew Valley and Eric Barone’s development of future updates, it’s recommended to visit the Stardew Valley website for more information.