The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is done! Done having new content added to it, that is. Creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone said on Twitter today that the long-awaited update is now content-complete, and now he's focused on polish and bugs.
(Sorry about the fakeout. It was exciting there for a second though, wasn't it?)
"1.6 ended up being a little larger in scope than originally planned," Barone tweeted. "I'm done adding major new content to it now, though, and it's in a bug-fixing and polishing phase until it's ready for release. Thx for your patience. It'll be fun to see everyone play it!"
"A little larger in scope" is definitely one way to put it. After releasing the huge 1.5 update for PC at the end of 2020, Barone seemed to shift his focus to his next game, Haunted Chocolatier. But he said in November 2022 that a 1.6 update for Stardew Valley was on the way, although he warned that it "won't be huge," with a focus primarily on improved mod support.
The embiggening didn't take long: In September 2023 Barone teased new additions including three in-game festivals, more than 100 lines of new dialogue, eight-player support, new items and crafting recipes, winter outfits for the villagers, and more. Then in October he unleashed the big one: Hats on cats (and dogs).
"Eric Barone cannot be stopped," weekend editor Jody Macgregor opined at the time, and it was hard to argue otherwise.
Now that Barone has stopped himself (publicly, at least, although I won't be surprised if he drops a "just a couple more things" tweet in April), Stardew Valley players can finally start to look forward to the release with a real sense of hope. In a reply tweet, Barone said the 1.6 update will "absolutely" be out in 2024, and given that we're still in January that should be a target he can hit. He said the PC version of the update will "likely" be released first, but added, "I really really don't want a big delay between PC and console/mobile. That was a nightmare in the past."