How Stardew Valley Is Corrupted By JojaMart’s Influence


Stardew Valley‘s farming and slice-of-life simulation doesn’t just provide hours of relaxing gameplay, it also provides critical commentary on real-life issues. Many of the NPCs struggle with real problems, ranging from a (seemingly) trivial desire for adventure or a quiet home life, to much tougher issues like alcoholism and depression. Outside of complex characters, Stardew Valley also dives into conversation about big and small businesses and their effect on local economy.

JojaMart lies to the east of Stardew Valley, just north of the museum and Clint’s blacksmith shop. It’s a mega-corporation with many different branches, headquartered in a city nearby. Morris is the branch manager, and he is seen throughout the game attempting to convert the locals to be JojaMart customers. Though it’s not explicitly stated what real-life corporation founded the inspiration for JojaMart, it seems to be an amalgam of Walmart, Costco, and Amazon.

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As players explore the world of Stardew Valley, they will come to see the negative effect JojaMart has had on the entire community. Depending on what actions players take, they can determine whether the town heals to its former strength or further succumbs to JojaMart’s corruption. The mega-corporation’s negative impact on the local town is measurable in many ways, from the monetary wellbeing of Stardew Valley’s residents to their emotional health.

How Stardew Valley’s Economy Is Impacted By JojaMart

JojaMart’s negative influence on Stardew Valley’s local economy is most obvious from the game’s first custscenes. While the player is in Pierre’s General Store, Morris bursts in announcing a massive sale at JojaMart. All NPCs promptly head out for the cheaper wares, leaving Pierre distraught about how he’s meant to compete with the corporation’s prices. Throughout Stardew Valley, player interactions with Pierre show his financial woes weigh on his mind consistently. Players have the option to purchase a JojaMart membership. If they do, JojaMart prices will be cheaper than Pierre’s General Store, but if they don’t, JojaMart will remain much more expensive.

Other local merchants suffer as a result of JojaMart’s presence. The mega-corporation offers more than just general goods; it also offers members items otherwise provided by the various craftsmen in Stardew Valley. Willy, the fisherman, frequently bemoans business would be better if other residents took up the art of fishing. The local doctor, Harvey, is concerned he doesn’t get enough business, and often remarks he’ll have to open a second practice. The adventurer’s guild, as well as Clint and his workshop, are not directly affected by JojaMart’s presence, but struggle as a result of the community around them suffering.

In fairness to JojaMart, it does provide small community reparations for the damage it wreaks. Both Shane and Sam are employees of JojaMart, and if players choose to restore the Community Center, JojaMart closes. While Sam gains employment with the Stardew Valley museum, Shane is left unemployed, though he fills his free time taking care of Marnie’s chickens once the player helps him stop drinking. Additionally, several NPCs in Stardew Valley who are tight on cash, such as Pam and Jodi, shop at JojaMart as the more affordable option in town, even though it’s not as healthy as Pierre’s General Store.

How Stardew Valley’s Infrastructure Is Affected By JojaMart

Thanks to JojaMart’s corruption, the Stardew Valley Community Center has fallen into massive disrepair. Not only was the Community Center a place for the residents to gather together, it held unique spaces to the various crafts of the area. In order to restore the space, players in Stardew Valley must level up their skills in farming, fishing, foraging, mining and more in order to complete all the Community Center bundles. As the player goes about the repairs, they will interact with jumino’s, mysterious forest spirits that encourage the player to fix the Community Center and drive out JojaMart.

Other areas in disrepair include the train that runs around town, the bus that transports players to and from the Calico Desert, and the bridge to the quarry. On both the Community Center and JojaMart paths, these areas are possible to fix via player purchase. While purchasing repairs from JojaMart is a more straightforward path, it lacks the depth of knowledge required by the Community Center, such as when and where certain fish in Stardew Valley are available. That information is part of the game’s allure and what makes it so textured to play.

What JojaMart Means For Stardew Valley’s Future

If players choose to purchase a JojaMart membership instead of repairing the Community Center, it will have a significant impact on the course of Stardew Valley’s narrative. The Community Center itself will turn into a JojaMart Warehouse, cementing the community’s disbandment for good. The JojaMart path also impacts the player’s relationship with Stardew Valley NPCs, as completing the Community Center bundles will raise everyone’s hearts by two. As players who have strong relationships with the community around them can gain gifts and recipes, not to mention additional points with Grandpa’s spirit, it is immensely more helpful for players to run JojaMart and its influence out of town.

Completing the Community Center bundles and restoring the space will cause Morris and JojaMart to be run out of town. This means the JojaMart building itself turns decrepit, with one bundle inside to be completed. Once a player finishes that quest, the space is transformed into the Stardew Valley movie theater, a thriving business that many of the town’s residents enjoy.

How JojaMart Affects Stardew Valley’s Protagonist

Strangely enough, without JojaMart, the story of Stardew Valley would never happen. In the opening scenes of the game, the player’s avatar is shown in JojaMart HQ, stuck in the middle of a cubicle farm. Though the scene is littered with inspirational posters, the tone is grim, and needing a change is ultimately what motivates the player to open their letter from Grandpa, kicking off the Stardew Valley adventure.

This JojaMart scene is small but critical, and not just for its part in driving the narrative. From the brief pan over cubicles players are given, it’s clear the corporation doesn’t care about its employees at all, simply its bottom line. The scene speaks perfectly to anyone who has held a corporate office job, and sets the tone for JojaMart’s effect on Stardew Valley before players even arrive in town.

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About The Author

Brittany Spurlin (182 Articles Published)

Brittany Spurlin is Senior Writer for Screen Rant’s Game Features. Previously, she was a news editor on VENN’s editorial team. With a screenwriting degree from Boston University, she loves engaging narratives – especially the nerdy ones. More often than not, she can be found playing The Elder Scrolls, Wild Rift, The Legend of Zelda and Stardew Valley.

Follow Brittany on Twitter @bsinitials

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