Stardew Valley Creator Named 2019 Distinguished Alumni

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Eric Barone created the indie video game hit over a period of four years.

Eric Barone, ’11 Computer Science & Systems, is the recipient of the 2019 University of Washington Tacoma Distinguished Alumni Award. The annual tradition began in 2004 as a way to, “honor truly outstanding women and men who have had an inspirational impact on students and the community and made significant contributions to their profession and community service.”

Barone shook the video game world with the release of Stardew Valley. The indie hit has sold more than 3.5 million copies since it went on the market in 2016. Stardew Valley is a farming simulation role-playing game where players develop their plot of land over time.

The game took four years to complete. Barone worked on it seven days a week for 10-12 hours per day. In an interview with GQ Barone described the ups and downs of making Stardew Valley. “I just persevered and forced myself to learn. You realize the thing that you thought was good actually isn’t. You realize why and you improve on it. And that’s just an endless cycle.”

Barone will be honored as this year’s distinguished alumni during Paint the Park Purple on Friday, August 2, 2019.

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / August 2, 2019
Photos by: 
Eric Barone
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or