When Chucklefish said that Starbound was nearly ready after about 5 years of sitting in Steam’s Early Access program, it wasn’t joking around. The developer has revealed that the finished game will launch on July 22nd for Linux, Mac and Windows. Besides opening access to those people who aren’t willing to try pre-release code, this is really about fleshing out Starbound beyond its sandbox roots — the long-awaited version 1.0 will give you honest-to-goodness missions, characters and stories. There are promises of more features in the pipeline, too, so think of this more as a milestone in the title’s development than an endpoint.
If you’re not familiar, Starbound is best described as a 2D, sci-fi take on Minecraft that shares some strong parallels with Terraria. Outside of the story, your main goals are to explore and survive a procedurally-generated world thanks to making and upgrading your gear. It’s hard to say if this formula will impress newcomers who weren’t willing to try an Early Access game, but there’s no shortage of players when Chucklefish racked up over 1 million sales as of the start of 2014.