Klei Entertainment seems to have slipped into the grifter category of game development with their upcoming Griftlands, an aptly named title that will be an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year before arriving on the Steam store.
In a Steam community thread following their appearance at E3, Klei Entertainment announced that Griftlands would be an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year while it’s in alpha and that the Early Access (presumably the beta?) would launch on Steam starting in June, 2020…
“As with our previous games, we will be running an Alpha period in order to iron out the kinks. We have partnered with Epic to bring the Alpha of Griftlands to the Epic Game Store exclusively for one year, and will launch in Early Access on Steam next June.
“Klei has a history of partnering with new distribution platforms when starting new projects, for example the Don’t Starve Alpha was only available on the Chrome Webstore, and the Invisible Inc. Alpha was only available through the Humble Widget as a direct download. After rebooting the game, Epic approached us as a partner and we felt that this fit well with our process of going from Alpha to garner feedback before putting it on all platforms.
“On July 11, we are going to launch the Alpha version of Griftlands for $14.99.”
The game is available right now over on the Epic Games Store, but most people probably didn’t know the alpha was live.
They are making the game cross-buy between the Epic Games Store and Steam, so if you purchase the alpha on EGS you will automatically gain access to the Early Access on Steam next year.
The alpha features the main campaign of Sal, while later in the fall a second character campaign will be released, and then next year a third character campaign will be made available. You can see Sal’s story trailer below from E3 2019.
According to the Epic Games Store description, in the alpha you’ll play as Sal who is out for revenge and looking to profit while she’s at it.
Oh, and did I mention that Sal is a “she”? Yes, it’s a woman. A female.
You would never guess that Sal was a woman just by looking at the promotional art or the trailer. She doesn’t even sound very feminine in the trailer when she grunts and fights.
This is all part of the typical agenda to erase femininity in entertainment media. There’s absolutely NOTHING attractive about Sal, and her whole design is quite off-putting. Flat-chest, short hair, masculine face, and covered from head-to-toe.
This is all part of the typical Western design ethos that we see employed for many main female characters in today’s games. Usually it’s to make them as androgynous and as unattractive as possible so that they don’t appeal to straight males.
Mission accomplished, Klei.
I would be thoroughly shocked if the second playable character they unveil this fall is a cool, strong, masculine, straight white male. Given what they’ve showcased so far in making the female lead as unfeminine as possible, I doubt they would do anything to actually lure in the core demographic for a game like this because apparently they hate money.
You can pick up a digital copy of the Griftlands alpha right now from the Epic Games Store, or look for the game to launch on Steam in June of 2020.
(Thanks for the news tip EvaUnit02)