Developer Klei Entertainment announced a release date for Don’t Starve Together, the multiplayer version of its acclaimed survival game. It will be available on Steam via Early Access on December 15, 2014.
Don’t Starve Together will allow multiple players to take on the somber cartoon lands of its universe at the same time. This can be done either locally or with strangers online.
There is a catch to the announcement. While the update would originally be a free addition, it will now release as a Frontier Pack for a fee.
Those who don’t yet own the main release can grab a Frontier Pack for $19.99, which includes two Don’t Starve Together keys. Owners of the original will need to pay just $4.99 to receive two keys as well.
Initially, the developer had been sending out Beta keys for the multiplayer update to over 80,000 registrations that happened in a few days. Even after sending hundreds of keys a day, there were more people wanting to test the cooperative mode.
Finally, Klei decided to put in a barrier, due to people selling off keys in other markets. In a blog post, the company states:
People were starting to buy keys in back channels, with varying success. That’s why we’re now providing the Frontier Pack: a clear, official channel for access.
Like anything that’s promised for free first, only to be put behind a pay wall later, there is some criticism expected. Klei continues its message as follows:
With it being 4.99 for two copies for current owners of Don’t Starve on steam, we hope that everyone feels this is a fair way to get into the Beta and introduce the game to their friends.