The long awaited fourth entry in the much-loved Elite series found great success on Kickstarter back in 2012 — the campaign remains the eighth highest funded crowdfunding project of all time — but with only a few months to go until its release, it’s now time for Elite: Dangerous to woo those who didn’t back it at the time.
To that end, Frontier Developments has released details of the game’s launch pricing and a day one digital pre-order edition. Prospective space adventurers can expect to pay $59.99 for Elite: Dangerous on the day of its release, but a pre-order will net you the game for just $50 and include a host of added content, stated by the studio as follows:
The Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition is loaded with digital extras. As well as a digital download copy of the game, the pack contains:
- An additional Eagle fighter ship docked in a secondary location in-game
- Exclusive pack of ship paint schemes
- A ‘Day One’ ship decal
- A digital players guide
- A digital concept art book
- Plus additional in-game benefits and other digital goodies to be announced over the coming weeks.
The original Elite, released in 1984, was a truly seminal title that gave players the opportunity to explore a massive universe in then-groundbreaking 3D graphics. Two sequels followed in 1993 and 1995, but plans for the fourth title were shelved due to a lack of interest from publishers. It was perceived that audiences were no longer interested in this sort of game — but its blockbuster Kickstarter campaign proved that wrong quite handily.
Elite: Dangerous will take the sense of freedom and adventure of its predecessors and marry it with massively multiplayer gameplay and a persistent universe, as well as the same cutting-edge graphics that the series has long been known for. Space exploration and combat is core to the game, but plans are also in place for players to be able to land on planets to explore and engage in first-person-shooter style combat.
However, Dangerous isn’t the only title that’s attempting to resurrect the space shooter genre. Star Citizen recently passed the staggering milestone of $50 million in crowdfunding pledges, offering a similarly open-ended experience as well as having its own pedigree, coming from Chris Roberts, the man behind the Wing Commander series.
There’s also Transverse to consider, the controversial new project from the developers of MechWarrior Online, Piranha Games. Coming from a studio that has just disappointed fans of the MechWarrior franchise with a sub-par launch for their multiplayer spin-off, it’s an unfortunate possibility that the bad press following the studio might follow them to the space simulation genre and spoil the party for all involved.
All that being said, there’s so much going on in Elite: Dangerous that fans of the series and the genre have a lot to look forward to. If Frontier Developments can pull of the heady mix of features they have planned — which includes Oculus Rift support for a truly immersive experience — then this could well be the first step in putting the much-loved series back on the map.
Elite: Dangerous is set for release in Q4 2014 for PC, with a Mac version following three months later.