By Jove! Offworld Trading Company expansion coming

Following a few wee DLC packs, Offworld Trading Company [official site] is getting its first proper expansion. Named Jupiter’s Forge, it’s due later in spring. The swell sci-fi economic strategy game’s expansion will visit the harsh Jovian moon of Io, where Martian rules of business don’t apply. Players will get to eke out a spaceliving with new factions, a new campaign, a new challenge mode, new events, new buildings, and no water. That’s the perils of spacecapitalism for you. Here, check out how much Io sucks in the Jupiter’s Forge announcement trailer:

The official blurb says:

“If you thought turning a profit on Mars was tough, just wait until you land on Jupiter’s volcanic moon, Io. With resources that deplete over time creating fierce competition, you will have to adapt to the new environment faster than your opponents do in order to survive. Life support is so strenuous on Io that Mars will look like a paradise in comparison!

“Two brand new factions have joined the corporate world on Io where the new resource system offers a steep learning curve. There are plenty of new sources for power, but some of humanity‚Äôs basic essentials – like water – don’t exist. In order to thrive on Io, you will need to steer yourself away from everything you thought you knew about Mars and re-order your building priorities to outshine your competitors.”

Check out the announcement for details on the new factions — an “elite business group” and a hard-working collective — and all else Jupiter’s Forge will bring.


  1. Gothnak says:

    I’ve wanted to get this for a while and then up it popped in the Humble Bundle this week. Huzzah!

    I’ve played most of the tutorial missions and one skirmish so far, and well, there doesn’t seem a hell of a lot to it. Build some buildings, generate resources, buy stock, and attack/defend some basic elements from opponents.

    It’s extremely simple compared to Sim City or Cities Skyline or Transport Tycoon or whatever. The still art is very nice, but the game also has very little personality.

    I’ll stick with it and play some more, but so far i’m a bit disappointed. Am i missing something?

    • kpengwin says:

      I think the key thing is that this isn’t sim-mars, this is more like economic starcraft – the things you do each game are basically the same thing, the gameplay is all in the optimization/tuning.
      It’s really the kind of game where it definitely takes a while to understand what’s really going on, and then it broadens out from there – my first few games were definitely either easy strolls to victory or I would lose hopelessly and not understand, but as I got going I started to be able to process what was going on enough to react to the situation, have a strategy based on the layout of this match, etc.
      Although the designers did work hard on it, i think it is just a different enough thing (“Economic RTS” isn’t exactly a huge category) that it takes more effort to understand what the game is doing than gamers tend to be used to.

    • draglikepull says:

      I’m not sure why you’d compare OTC to city builders. It’s not a sandbox, it’s a competitive strategy game.

      I agree with the previous commenter that you need to play a handful of matches, ideally against AI turned high enough that it poses a real challenge, to start to understand how it all works. It’s a lot of fun once you see how things fit together, but an economic RTS is an unusual idea, so it takes some time to get the hang of what’s going on.

      Think of it as being more like a complicated board game, because I think that’s kind of what it is (and Soren’s talked a bunch about how board game design has influenced him).

    • Neuromancing the Boil says:

      It’s not a city builder, at all, in any way.

      I’d also be interested to know what difficulty setting you’re playing at. You’re the first person I’ve seen describe this game as “simple.”

  2. Rindan says:

    I wanted to like Offworld Trading Company. In fact, I do like a lot of elements of it. What I despise about that game though is that it asks you to compete with other companies… while telling you exactly nothing about them. I would settle for simply being given a building count of my opponents, but you don’t even get that. The best you can do is scrolls around the map squinting at what they have, and getting a mental count in your head. That is stupid. I want to pay an assistant to go count buildings for me and keep the list up to date. Bonus points if they can tell me something even more useful like who is buying what or maybe what someone else’s suspect capacity is.

    Seriously, the complete and total lack of information as to what your opponent is doing just kills this game for me. If they ever fix that, I’ll happily give it another ago.

  3. ianarcad says:

    Soren Johnson reminds me of JE Sawyer in some ways – JE Sawyer had a huge hit with Fallout New Vegas, but after its success the company (Bethesda) kept releasing their own stuff which wasn’t nearly as good. Then he (with Obsidian) created Pillars and Tyranny which targeted smaller markets, but are nearly perfect games within their genre.

    OTC isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the target audience (i.e. someone who would play a competitive economic RTS) its nearly perfection. Definitely interested to see the latest expansion.