Factorio, a game about creating a factory that can efficiently run itself, has been in development since May 2012. Wube Software, the developer of Factorio, has announced that they will be able to skip the Steam Greenlight process entirely thanks to an offer from Valve, and plans to release Factorio in early access in January 2016. The full release is expected sometime in late 2016.
Factorio challenges players to create the ultimate factory. By building automated processes to power and protect your production lines, the player’s ultimate goal is to use their factory to eventually launch into space. Beyond the main campaign, Factorio also supports scenarios, mods, a map editor, and multiplayer.
“You will be mining resources, researching technologies, building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies. Use your imagination to design your factory, combine simple elements into ingenious structures, apply management skills to keep it working and finally protect it from the creatures who don't really like you.”
-Factorio Home Page
Factorio saw a brief surge in popularity in May 2014 when Wube Software released a trailer providing a glimpse into the game and what it was capable of accomplishing. Despite not yet being on Steam, Factorio has sold over 100,000 Alpha copies.
Factorio is currently available in an Alpha state, with three purchase tiers that provide different benefits and bonuses. Every tier includes full access to the game and all future updates. A demo is also available, containing enough content to cover the basics of the full game.
An interesting concept, but moving to Steam only to go into early access may sour a number of people from trying it out, despite the claim that most of the features are already implemented. A free pass to skip over Greenlight could be the perfect opportunity to wait for the full release to jump onto Steam - hopefully this move will be met with success and this concept can continue to get the development it deserves.