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ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier is the next game from the Stardew Valley creator

Just one of two games in the pipeline.

The next game from Stardew Valley creator Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone has been announced, and it’s called Haunted Chocolatier.

Nothing is really known about the game so far, other than it appears to be a game in a similar vein to Stardew Valley, but Barone was kind enough to give us a small taste via a two-minute teaser trailer.

According to Barone, where Stardew Valley was a more humble game, as it featured your character living off the land and connecting to people and nature, Haunted Chocolatier will “explore more fantastical possibilities,” with experiences that take you beyond the ordinary.

“Chocolate represents that which is delightful,” said Barone. “The haunted castle represents the allure of the unknown. The ghosts represent the imprint of the past. All of these things are important.

“However, don’t think for a moment that, because this game features ghosts in a haunted castle, it is an evil or negative game. On the contrary, I intend for this game to be positive, uplifting, and life-affirming. However, if Stardew Valley mostly channeled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon. Both are vital.”

At present, the game is evolving organically as it is still early in development. But at its core, Barone said the loop involves gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop. There’s more to it than that, obviously, but Barone didn’t want to go deeper into the gameplay at such an early stage, partly because he doesn’t “want to be tied down to any particular concept of what the game is.”

“With Stardew Valley, I felt somewhat constrained, because I was working within an established tradition,” said Barone. “I don’t regret that at all, but there’s always been a part of me that wanted to go “unleashed”. I believe this will be a good opportunity, but I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. I’ve been mostly working on the “meat and potatoes” of the game so far. But what really brings a game to life is the spice, the sauce. And I haven’t really gotten to the sauce yet. That’s coming.”

The video teaser may give you the impression it’s at an advanced stage of development, but that’s not the case as there is still plenty left to do and a “ton of content” that still needs to be developed. In other words, it will be a while before the game is finished.

Currently, the game has only been announced for PC, but it will come to other major platforms as well.

Haunted Chocolatier isn’t the only game Barone is working on. Back in 2020, he revealed he was working on two new games, but both were a long way off from completion. He also said one takes place in the world of Stardew Valley, but is not a farming game. The other, he wasn't 100% sure about the world just yet, but that it will tie into Stardew Valley in some way.

Barone’s Stardew Valley was originally released on PC in February 2016, and within two months passed 1 million copies sold. Since its initial release, it has been made available on consoles and mobile and has gone on to sell 15 million copies worldwide.

About the Author

Stephany Nunneley avatar

Stephany Nunneley

News Editor

Half-blind/half-dyslexic, bad typist, wine enthusiast, humanitarian, intellectual savant, idiot savior, lover of all things nonsensical, animal hoarder and highly sarcastic.

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