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Dear Esther is out!

Our gift to you, on this very special Valentine’s Day, is the worldwide release of the long-awaited game Dear Esther.

If you haven’t heard of Dear Esther, watch this:

(Or hey, watch the trailer even if you are quite familiar with the game; the trailer is beautiful and worthy of multiple viewings.)

We expect public reception of this game to run wide: some will love it, and others will be very concerned about whether this thing can be called a game and what that means. So far, this has certainly been the case in pre-release reviews.

Game Informer scored the game an 8/10, saying: “You should consider checking out Dear Esther the same way you’d appraise a film. If you’re interested in absorbing an intellectual story and gorgeous visuals without having to exert a drop of effort, take a chance on this curious experiment.” scored the game a 9: “Discovery is such an important part of Dear Esther, especially when everything is so phenomenally pretty.”

Meanwhile, Destructoid gave the game a lowly 4.5/10: “It’s as if it wants to be a part of this wonderful medium of ours without asking itself why, which is exactly why you should seek it out and learn from its failures as a game enthusiast, critic, or developer.”

We like that there’s such a big difference of opinion because it means the game is breaking new ground. It’s playing in territory that is not safe; there is no established understanding there.

Dear Esther is a game that no publisher would have funded. Dan, Rob, Jessica and the other associates of thechineseroom have done an excellent job putting together a beautiful game. We are happy to be backing it; we hope you enjoy playing it.

If you’d like more information about Dear Esther, here’s an interview with Dan, and here’s a link the game’s page on Steam.