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Launched in early access, Slime Rancher 2 arrives over six years after the original game did the same. It may be a longer development cycle than most studios adhere to, but it was just the right pace for the team at Monomi Park. The game has hit a major sales milestone and at the same time has maintained good working conditions for everyone at the studio.
Specifically, Slime Rancher 2 has now sold more than 300,000 copies across Steam, Epic Games Store, Windows Store and Xbox Series X/S. Director Nick Popovich announced the big number on Twitter, citing the game’s other metrics of success as hitting #1 on Steam and having a 95% rating on the same platform. Beyond that, Popovich points out, this success “was achieved with zero crunch,” meaning the team didn’t have to work longer hours over an extended period of time. Additionally, staff received “top-tier benefits and unlimited PTO” during the development cycle. The morale boost has been handsomely rewarded.
Crunch has been the subject of many stories in video game development. It’s a head-on attack by Activision Blizzard contractors, and it reportedly led to the death of a NetherRealm employee. This push is never worth it. CD Projekt Red came under fire for crunching during Cyberpunk 2077 development, and that game received a middling reception at launch. The prevalence of this practice has led Witcher 4 director Jason Slama to vow against crunching on the game, which is currently in pre-production.
As for Slime Rancher 2, there are plenty of delightful experiences to be had in the slime farm simulator. It might not break the mold of the original, but the new Rainbow Island setting is full of new slimes to wrangle as you explore the large map and uncover all sorts of secrets. Slime Rancher 2 also has the advantage of releasing with Steam Deck compatibility, allowing farmers to do their work on the go.