Skip to main content

Disney Dreamlight Valley leaves early access in December, but won’t be free

Gameloft confirmed that its Disney life sim Disney Dreamlight Valley will finally leave early access on December 5 alongside the release of its A Rift in Time expansion. That said, Gameloft also confirmed one big change: Disney Dreamlight Valley will no longer be free-to-play when it comes out.

Goofy, Donald, and the player complete making something in Disney Dreamlight Valley.

Disney Dreamlight Valley entered early access in September 2022 as a cozy life sim game inspired by games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It has received a steady stream of content updates since, and Gameloft finally decided that it’s time for the game to leave early access. Disney Dreamlight Valley will finally do so this December.

The blog post announcing that date confirms that “existing players will keep their access to the game, their Moonstones, and their save game” when Disney Dreamlight Valley launches. One thing that won’t be happening is Disney Dreamlight Valley going free-to-play.

When the game was announced, Gameloft’s original intention was to have a paid early access period for what would then transition to a free-to-play game. Gameloft decided to reverse that decision, so Disney Dreamlight Valley’s base game will remain priced at $30 after its December 5 launch. “This choice ensures that Disney Dreamlight Valley will be able to continue delivering on a premium game experience for all players,” Gameloft explains in a blog post. “It’s important to us that we maintain our promise to keep delivering free content updates that add new characters, realms, clothing, furniture, and more surprises to your Valley.”

Microtransactions will remain in the game after launch despite the fact that Disney Dreamlight Valley is no longer a free-to-play game. Gameloft says in-game purchases “will remain optional, fair, and match the level of quality players have come to expect.”

Disney Dreamlight Valley will exit early access across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch on December 5.

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Disney Dreamlight Valley sets itself apart from Animal Crossing in 5 key ways
A player walks by Wall-E while heading into a cave in Disney Dreamlight Valley.

Animal Crossing is one of gaming's most popular franchises, giving players a much-needed break from the world of challenging, narrative-driven, and thought-provoking adventures in favor of zen community management. Few other games have managed to match its unique gameplay loop in ways that feel equally rewarding and relaxing, but that's not stopping Disney from shooting its shot at the genre with Disney Dreamlight Valley.

While the two games are no doubt very similar, Dreamlight Valley has a handful of notable features that will likely sway many players in one direction or the other. Let's take a look at five of the biggest ways these two life simulation titles differ from one another.

Read more
Stardew Valley’s influence on gaming is only becoming stronger
stardew valley influence nintendo direct mini partner showcase farming

While Overwatch may have won many Game of the Year awards in 2016, Stardew Valley is the game from that year that’s stood the test of time the best. The original Harvest Moon may have established the farming and life simulation genre, but Stardew Valley’s enthralling gameplay and immersive world ensured that it would be the modern standard that every subsequent game in its genre -- even new Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games -- try to live up to.
That was particularly obvious during the latest Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase, where Nintendo and its third-party partners showed off three games reminiscent of Stardew Valley. The game's influence can be seen in countless indie games that have come out since 2016, and we’re starting to see more major companies take on this farming and life simulation genre. June 28’s Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase affirms that Stardew Valley stands up there with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as one of the most influential games of the last decade.
Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase | 6.28.2022
Why Stardew Valley succeeds
As a love letter to Harvest Moon almost entirely created by one person, Stardew Valley was a pleasant surprise when it launched on PC in 2016. It felt like the pinnacle of the life simulation genre as it constantly gave players farming, crafting, or relationship objectives to work toward. Not only were the farming elements very polished, but the game also had a very memorable cast of characters.
Players stick around in games of this genre for quite a while, so the townsfolk have to all be compelling characters that you want to constantly talk to, learn more about, and potentially marry. Every character in Stardew Valley has a strong backstory, believable dialogue, and memorable designs. The farming simulation elements of Stardew Valley are enjoyable and genre-defining, but its lovingly crafted world is what ensures you’d stick around.

While Stardew Valley got rave reviews at launch in February 2016, it never felt like appreciation for it fully sank that year. Most 2016 Game of the Year awards went to titles like Overwatch or Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Those were great games but not nearly as influential in the long run. As Stardew Valley came to more platforms, love for it grew, and developers took notice of all its fantastic ideas. As a result, we’re now seeing how influential this surprise indie darling turned out to be.
Nintendo Direct Mini factor
Just as many people noticed Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest Kickoff livestream had a lot of games that looked like Dead Space, this June 28 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase featured three games that are clearly inspired by Stardew Valley: Disney Dreamlight Valley, Harvestella, and Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom. Disney Dreamlight Valley from Gameloft and Disney seems to hone in on the memorable character aspect of Stardew Valley, as the game’s main hook will be interacting with iconic Disney characters. That said, there will be plenty of gardening, town-building, and character customization to engage with. 

Read more
Concord beginners guide: 5 tips to get started
A sniper from Concord leaping in the air.

Shooters have evolved to the point where simply having good aim isn't enough to dominate a match anymore. Games like Concord have all embraced the hero shooter genre and done away with the generic characters we played in games like the original Halos and Call of Dutys. Beyond learning the unique characters, there are the maps, modes, and little intricacies you have to pick up on to fully master the game. Jumping into Concord, you might think just finding your main and running games will be fine, but there's a bit more going on under the hood and systems that you will want to understand that the game isn't all that clear about. Let's get you ready to be the next best Freegunner in the galaxy with these tips and tricks.
Experiment with your characters

Concord has 16 Freegunners to pick from, which is a bit daunting. The developers did a great job making each one unique, but they are also not very well organized in terms of knowing which falls into which role. Unlike Overwatch, which clearly divides its roster into roles, you need to read and experiment with characters to understand how they fit into the flow of combat. Give each character a few runs to really test out, and ideally try them in different game modes as well. Some characters are far more useful in objective game types than in pure deathmatch types. Make sure you also don't just stick to one character you like and that's it. Each character can only be used on a team once, so if someone else picks them first, you'll be out of luck, but there are also two more strong reasons to have a small handful of characters you're comfortable with we'll get to later.

Read more