Eight years after development began and six years after its playable alpha went dark, Cube World is finally headed to Steam. The announcement was made by developer Wolfram von Funck on Twitter, who says that Cube World should launch “hopefully around the end of September/October 2019.” Everyone that purchased the alpha build back in 2013 will get a Steam key once the game is live, according to von Funck.
If you’ve never heard of Cube World, it’s a voxel-based (read: cubes) adventure/survival game with heavy fantasy elements and a lot of procedural generation. Players create characters as one of four classes — Warrior, Rogue, Ranger, or Mage — and then embark on quests alone or in groups. It’s one part loot grind, one part crafting game, and one part Pokemon, since many of the world’s creatures can be tamed as battle pets, or ridden as mounts. The footage below, released by von Funck last Saturday, showcases character creation and 16 minutes of gameplay as a Mage.
von Funck is one half of development team Picroma, with his wife Sarah von Funck forming the other half. After Cube World‘s alpha version went on sale on the official Picroma website in the summer of 2013, von Funck’s servers and shop were brought down by a DDoS attack. Later, a change to European Union tax law would make selling Cube World through Picroma’s website unfeasible for the husband and wife team, and the game has been unavailable for purchase ever since.
Updates from von Funck have been sporadic. His personal Twitter account, which is used to convey official updates on Cube World‘s development, has at times been silent for years, only to suddenly erupt with a flurry of updates, and then go dark once more. Before January of this year, von Funck hadn’t shown off any Cube World updates since July of 2017. Many fans of the original alpha had long since given up on Cube World ever seeing the light of day, even though von Funck told Kotaku in 2015 that he was dedicated to finishing the game.
And I’ll admit, I’m one of those fans. I bought the alpha build in 2013 and had a great time with it, and seeing today’s announcement of an impending Steam release made me do several back-to-back double takes and a spit take — my entire desk is covered in a sticky sweet tea residue as I write this. I never expected to hear from Cube World again. I’d made my peace with it.
And heck y’all, 2013 was such a different time. I still wrote for Joystiq back then — Joystiq still existed back then — and more than one of my old Cube World runnin’ crew have since gone on to become extremely internet famous. I couldn’t afford to live in my 2013 apartment again even if I wanted to, now that the neighborhood has been so thoroughly gentrified.
Cube World has no price listed on Steam, and it’s not available to pre-order, but you can add it to your wishlist if so inclined. I paid €20 for it back in 2013, which feels too cheap now — I’d expect Cube World to launch somewhere in the $30-$40 range, but that’s just my games journo gut talking.