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After 10 years in early access, 7 Days To Die finally has a release date for version 1.0

It's in more than 7 days though

Two zombies shamble towards an armed player against a backdrop of a sunny day in the suburbs.
Image credit: The Fun Pimps

Ten years ago, we were drowning in early access survival games about chopping trees and crafting camp fires. Rust pit monstrous players against one another, DayZ had us dashing around for beans and bleach, while The Forest creeped us the hell out in a dark jungle. There was even a week-long celebration here at RPS called survival week to get the genre out of our systems. A lot of those games have since graduated to a full 1.0 release, but one survivalist shambled on. 7 Days To Die is a solid sandbox craft 'em up with zombie hordes, and it never left the comfort of its early access log cabin surrounded by spikes and land mines. But a (tentative) release date is finally on the horizon, according to the developers. And it's quite soon.

"Right now the target date for stable - and we're hoping to do a simultaneous release for console too - would be Thursday July 25th," said Richard Huenink, co-founder of studio The Fun Pimps in a Twitch chat with fans last week. "So, cross our fingers, our team is working overtime to deliver this."

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Huenink calls it a "tentative schedule, subject to some game-breaking bug" and notes that in the lead-up to the stable release there will be an experimental branch on Steam for anyone who wants to see new features early.

"Monday June 24th we're planning on a public experimental," he said, adding that this will give the studio "four and half weeks to fix bad bugs and pass certification".

I remember 7 Days To Die in its earliest guise, and if you compare the screenshots in those early playthroughs with the trailer above, it's a reassuring sight. Here's a couple of comparison screens to illustrate that.

A zombie advances towards the player on a snowy road in an older, less refined version of 7 Days To Die.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / The Fun Pimps
A large zombie reaches out to grab the player in a snowy landscape, and the player fends them off with a knife.
Image credit: The Fun Pimps

Even back in the heyday of survival games, it was a surprisingly simple-but-fun premise: build by day and defend by night - a philosophy that no longer seems a core tenet of its longtime crafting peers, such as Minecraft. I've been dabbling in Dying Light 2 recently in an effort to sip upon some zombie apocalypse superswill, and it seems good. But hmmm, maybe I should just go back to desperately defending my snowy home in the mountains against sluggish hordes. 7 Days is one of our best survival games, after all.

In the same Twitch stream the developers also said the game might some day return to Game Pass (it was on there for a couple of years) but that's not confirmed. If you're looking for a deal on it, though, they have some straightforward advice.

"I would just buy it now while the price is still less," said fellow dev Joel Huenink. The cost of the game is currently £19/$25/€23, but with full release that's due to increase to $45 (probably £40/€45). This is often the case with games erupting out of early access. Like other independent studios the team are quite forthright in suggesting people buy it while it's still cheap.

"It's a desert island game that you can play for a hundred hours," says Richard Huenink. "We've put blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of effort into this game, and we're still updating it."

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