We reported in September that Spacebase DF-9, Double Fine's open-development, early access space station simulator was gearing up for a 1.0 release, thus ending a production that was originally hoped to go on for at least five years.
In a Steam forum post referenced by PC Gamer, Tim explains the business reality behind the decision to finalize the game earlier than originally anticipated.
"We started Spacebase with an open ended-production plan," writes Schafer , "hoping that it would find similar success (and therefore funding) to the alpha-funded games that inspired it. Some of its early sales numbers indicated this might be the case, but slowly things changed, and it became clear that this was looking like a year and a half of production instead of five or so. With each Alpha release there was the hope that things would change, but they didn't."
Schafer explains that all money made from Spacebase went back into development of the game, but that, eventually the studio was spending more than they were making. "As much as we tried to put off the decision, we finally had to change gears and put Spacebase into finishing mode and plan for version 1.0."
To the claim that Double Fine are "silently pulling the plug," Schafer disagrees. "We are announcing our finishing features and v1.0 plan," he writes. "I know it's not a lot of advance notice, but we're still here telling you our plan instead of vanishing quietly in the night." Despite this, he does admit that communication was lacking. "One of the biggest lessons we have learned in this, our first early access title, is about communication. There should have been more communication to the players about the state of the game, and we apologize for that."
Source: PC Gamer