Starbound developer Chucklefish has spoken about the future of the game and its role as a publisher. For Starbound players, expect tweaks to the way progression is handled and more methods of obtaining pixels, broken down into a sort of tech tree-like system. A couple of examples given include intergalactic farming and renting property, both of which sound great to me.
A so-called "end game" is also planned. Sector X is a group of planets with PvP enabled by default. Players can optionally work together to control these planets and "monsters, quests and events will be strong enough to be challenging even with the best tools in the game," according to Chucklefish. Then there's a Director Mode, exactly what it sounds like (think dungeon master), launchable from a separate client, plus user-made mission sharing and better mod support.
What's got me most excited here, however, is the company's desire to get deeper into publishing. Chucklefish is getting a proper office in London soon and wants to "[help] out smaller indie companies" alongside its current titles like Stardew Valley and Wanderlust Adventures. "We'd like to progress more in this space and assist indie developers make their games profitable without giving away huge percentages of their income away to predatory publishers."
Finally, a second game is in the works while Starbound is continuously developed. "This won't slow down the production of Starbound at all, worry not. I will be assisting in the design but we'll be working with entirely new developers. At the moment we're still in the stage where we’re kicking around ideas, one that keeps popping up is a top down, open world, multiplayer pirate game."
The future of Chucklefish and Starbound [Starbound]