StarForge has been pulled from sale on Steam and its developer Code Hatch has released a free DRM-free version of the game for download on its website according to an announcement on the game's official Steam Community page.
StarForge is a sci-fi survival sandbox that was initially released on Steam on September 22, 2014. The game was the product of a successful Indiegogo campaign, earning $135,453 for the developers from 4,970 backers - 181% of their fixed goal of $75,000.
A bit of digging around the Internet shows that development of the game was contentious to say the least. A Redditor going by the name of /u/JunoSF voiced their concerns about the game's development two years ago, expressing dismay at the leaps in version numbers towards 1.0 with minimal additions in content. This Redditor purported to be a former employee who was terminated alongside several other employees during the course of the game's development.
StarForge previously retailed for $9.99 or $29.99 for a four-pack. Although the Steam store page for the game is now down, an archive from September of 2016 shows that the game had Overwhelmingly Negative reviews. Some of the reviews claimed that the game had not been updated since its release. Current owners of the title can still run and play the game as normal, a standard practice for Steam games that are removed from sale in most cases.
Following the removal of StarForge, the only remaining game by Code Hatch on Steam is Reign of Kings. Reign of Kings is a medieval survival game that retails for $19.99 and currently has mixed reviews. It's the second title released by the company (although one of the core developers released a game prior to Code Hatch's formation) and it most recently received a content update on January 10, 2017. Despite the recent update, some of the Steam reviews claim that hackers are running rampant in the game and accuse the developers of abandoning the title.
Correction: To clarify, the developer pulled the game from Steam of their own volition. We apologize for any confusion on the matter.
Did you have the opportunity to play StarForge before it was pulled from sale? What did you think of the game? Will you download the free DRM-free version of the title despite the negative reviews the game had on Steam? Let us know in the comments below!