Grounded was always meant to be shaped by its community - director Adam Brennecke told me as much nearly three years ago when the game was first announced. But the size of that community and the suggestions they'd bring to the (picnic) table exceeded Obsidian's expectations. In the two years it's been in Early Access, the small Obsidian team that's been working on it has learned a lot. Most of those learnings have come from a dedicated player base that's been molding Grounded since July 2020, offering suggestions on everything from gameplay additions, quality-of-life updates, and UI tweaks.
Now, with Grounded 1.0 set to launch on September 27, Obsidian is finally ready to hand those players - and a whole host of new ones - a mostly final version of their survival game.
In February, Obsidian announced that over 10 million players had jumped into Grounded since its July 2019 launch (opens in new tab). The Grounded Discord is nearly 40,000 members strong; its subreddit has 52,000 members. "It was definitely a big surprise. Most of us are all people who really like survival games, most people on the team have played Forest, Subnautica, and a bunch of other survival games and just really enjoy the genre. So it was kind of just a bunch of people on the team really liked this genre and wanted to make a game within it." lead QA analyst Adam Taylor explains. "But I don't think any of us expected it to be as big as it is. And it's been going on two years now, which is crazy."
I hope the community feels that this game is theirs as much as it is ours
Grounded blew up so unexpectedly that Obsidian hired former community manager Aarik Dorobiala back after he left the studio in 2019. "The team didn't really expect the game to blow upRead more on gamesradar.com