The space simulator is looking to receive one hell of a resurgence, namely in the form of the approaching Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. While Star Citizen isn’t due until sometime next year, Elite: Dangerous is set for a late 2014 release date, and developer Frontier have announced pricing and pre-order information for the game.
Elite: Dangerous is currently available for pre-order through Frontier Development’s online store for $50/£35.00 /€40 . This version is subtitled the “Mercenary Edition” and contains a number of bonus items. These include a digital download of the game, an in-game Eagle fighter to fly around in, a set of exclusive paint jobs, an exclusive ship decal, a digital game guide and art book, and several other currently unannounced incentives.
These bonuses extend to anyone who has already pre-ordered the game prior to this announcement, as well as those who backed the game through its Alpha and Beta stages. On release day, the game will be sold for a significantly more expensive $59.99/£39.99 /€49.99 and will presumably lack these bonus features, so gamers eager to play Elite: Dangerous have plenty of reason to pre-order.
CEO of Frontier Development had this to say:
We are hugely appreciative of everyone who has demonstrated their support for the game by backing it through the early development phase or pre-ordering the game prior to release. Without those people, Elite: Dangerous would not be at the stage it is today. The Mercenary Pack is our way of rewarding them before we release the game.
Elite: Dangerous is shaping up to be one of the more ambitious independently made games of the year. Without a publisher to provide funding, Frontier turned to Kickstarter for help, and amassed an impressive $2.6 million in funding, although founder David Braben told Eurogamer that the overall game budget has exceeded its original £8 million number by “quite a lot.” The actual number has not been disclosed. The developer has offered premium Beta access as a way to help fund the game, which can still be purchased for $75 if you seriously just can’t wait for the game to come out.
And it would be perfectly understandable if you indeed can’t wait for Elite: Dangerous to come out, as the game promises open-world gameplay in which one can pursue a galactic career, both legally and illegally, in a realistic game world that uses Newtonian physics and features a 1:1 scale Milky Way galaxy to explore. Frontier intend to continue adding new features to the game well after its release, such as the ability to spacewalk, land on and explore planets on foot, and engage in first-person combat. As you might expect, anticipation for Elite is high.
Frontier Development are considering porting the game to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but as it currently stands the game is exclusive to the PC, with a Mac version set to follow three months after the initial release.