Slime Rancher 2 has been a huge success for its developer Monomi Park, smashing expectations as it sold 100,000 copies in only six hours, according to its game director Nick Popovich. "I had a pipe dream in my head that we could sell 100,000 copies of Slime Rancher 2 in the first 24 hours if the stars aligned. And we did that in less than 6 hours," he wrote on Twitter. "No idea where this crazy train is headed but so grateful to have a chance to ride it."
The original game launched in 2017 and proved a hit as it sold over five million copies to date. The sequel came out last week, and has attracted 'Overwhemingly Positive' reviews on its Steam page. However, there appears to be a notable number of reviews making criticisms that Slime Rancher 2 has deficiencies that one might not expect from a fully completed game. Only Slime Rancher 2 isn't finished, it is still in Early Access.
Some reviews in the past 24 hours point to this confusion. One recent review reads: "So far this game is basically Slime Rancher 1.2. While there aren't that many things that differentiate 2 from 1 just yet, it is still more Slime Rancher for the truest fans."
The issue was pointed out on a Reddit thread, where a number of these reviews were highlighted, and sparking debate on what should be considered early access. "I cannot tell you how many posts I’ve seen that start with 'I know it’s in early access' followed by a huge list of complaints about things that are totally normal for this early access," reads one comment. But this inspired a comeback of sorts.
"I know it's early access, but it feels really incomplete, and it's like there's no way to access late game areas! It also feels like very little was added, almost like an early access game. Smh Monomi Park I expect more from you," was the response.
The term 'Early Access' can be used in multiple ways by developers but the main point is that the game-playing public shouldn't expect a fully finished title, but something that can shaped according to player feedback with the expectation that more content will follow. However, pricing can shape player expectations too, and if the cost of the game is higher then players may expect more content. While some reviews of Slime Rancher 2 have criticised it for a lack of content, others point out that a similar thing occurred with the first game, with the developer adding content and fleshing the game out as it progressed.
Currently, Slime Rancher 2 is priced at £23.79 on Steam and there is a decent amount of content (your opinion may vary), and it is clear that there is a large chunk still to come. It is a similar situation to the first game, with that debut also being in early access and having a similar roadmap. One Steam review expressed frustration with the other negative reviews: "Imagine buying an early access game, playing it for 2 hours, then downvoting and complaining it's not a full game."
It continued: "If you're a fan of the old, get it. If you're new and worried about early access, try the first one. That's the best way to demo what this game's potential will be."
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