After a bit of a last minute delay, developer Klei Entertainment has announced that its enormously enjoyable space colony management sim, Oxygen Not Included, will be leaving early access and getting its full PC launch next week, on Tuesday, 30th July.
Those that opt to take up Oxygen Not Included's challenge come launch day, will find themselves tasked with constructing and managing a sustainable colony deep within an alien space rock – achieved by commanding a steadily growing team of Duplicants, while also ensuring all their basic needs – eating, breathing, and pooping, for instance – are met.
Crucial to the endeavour is the manipulation and redirection of liquids and gases into (in the case of water and oxygen) and away from (in the case of anything poisonous) your burgeoning colony. It's a wonderfully rich experience, with some gloriously endearing presentation, that's gone from strength to strength during early access development.
Oxygen Not Included has been in Steam early access since May 2017, and Klei (the developer behind the wonderful likes of Don't Starve, Mark of the Ninja, and Invisible, Inc, if the name sounds familiar) had originally planned to nudge Version 1.0 out into the wild on 28th May, fortuitously close to the game's second early access anniversary.
However, Klei ultimately opted to delay release, as progress on Oxygen Not Included's final, sizeable update wasn't "quite where we anticipated [it] we would be".
Now, a little over two months later, Oxygen Not Included's finishing touches are evidently complete, and Klei has confirmed that 30th July is the new launch date for Version 1.0. When it arrives, that pesky final update will introduce new asteroids to explore (each with their own rolled traits), three new biomes with their own plants and critters, new buildings and upgrade materials, colony goals for players to aim for, plus further balancing and polish.
Oxygen Not Included's exit from early access next week doesn't mark the end of development, however. Klei says it has "more content we want to explore with the game in the future, and we will let people know more about our plans when the time comes."