After making Stardew Valley on a "hand-me-down" Costco computer, Eric Barone says his one big splurge was an actually good PC

Stardew Valley character Emily, a woman with short bright blue hair, smiles ahead of a blurred cloudy backdrop
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley creator Eric 'ConcernedApe' Barone developed the massively successful farming sim on a cheap prebuilt PC from Costco that was handed down to him by his father, but he later upgraded to a custom rig he built himself.

Barone appeared on the latest episode of the My Perfect Console podcast and was asked if he indulged in any "extravagances" in the wake of Stardew Valley's runaway popularity. He addressed a similar sentiment in May, saying he hadn't bought anything "extravagant" and still spent most of his days "hunched over the computer." His answer here is the same in essence, but he adds the fascinating detail that one of the biggest games of all time was built on a crappy pre-built PC from Costco.

"The reality is, I spend most of my time on the computer. I think one thing I did splurge on was buying a nice computer. I developed Stardew on a cheap computer that by dad bought at Costco that was kind of a hand-me down. So after Stardew Valley came out I did build my own PC with all the high-end components and I kind of splurged on that a little bit, which was fun."

Although Eric Barone's story is the very embodiment of 'from rags to riches', he maintains that he never expected to make boatloads of cash from Stardew Valley. "It's really just: I love to create things and share my ideas with people and create interesting experiences for people."

Barone added that what he appreciates the most about the financial success of Stardew Valley is the fact that it allows him to focus 100% on making games. "I don't have to worry about making ends meet," he said. "I can just focus on creativity and making these games and furthering Stardew Valley which has a huge community of people that I feel responsible for giving them a fun and delightful experience."

Barone, of course, is also hard at work on Haunted Chocolatier, the spooky cute follow-up that we'll hopefully start seeing more of now that Stardew Valley update 1.6 is out the door.

In the meantime, here are the best farming sims you can play today.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.