Elite: Dangerous will not receive any major updates until late 2020
It feels like it's been forever since Frontier actually announced something… Today we finally get an official statement from Will Flanagan, the community manager, and there are both some good and bad news…
Now, we all knew that “Beyond” series ended with the last patch and that no further free updates will be provided. There were a few hints of an upcoming “premium” or payed content and rumours about whatever content we’re supposed to get this year… Unfortunately, turns out that Frontier dedicated most of the work force on Elite to developing the “next major era” of the game and is scheduled for some time in the late 2020.
Once again – no details were provided about the next chapter, but we got some info of how they plan to fill in the time while we wait. And that is – in form of (oh boy…) community goals! Revamped community goals to be more precise.
Seeing how the Elite community loves the game and how every major article about the game is pretty much always community driven – Frontier decided to work on the way such events are presented within the game itself. Basically – large community events (like the currently ongoing Distant Worlds 2 expedition) will be officially supported.
Apart from that – there are planned in-game events that will boost reputation standing (maybe in form of weekend events like more standard MMOs have?), and further work on existing game modes and assets that will broaden what the current game has to offer.
It will be quite a wait… So let’s hope Frontier spills the beans on what they’re actually working on sooner than later. Until then – have a look at Will’s statement below.
We’ve had a number of questions from our community eagerly awaiting news on the future development for Elite Dangerous. We wanted to share a development update with you which talks a little more about our upcoming development plans. It’s a long read but we wanted to be as open as we can at this stage with where progress is and what information we are able to share. There will be more news and updates over the coming months.
It’s been a little over two months since Beyond – Chapter Four, our final instalment in the Beyond season, arrived and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the community. Beyond allowed us to deliver a year of free updates to Elite Dangerous in order to build, enhance, compliment and connect the content that has been added since launch. This step in the ongoing evolution of Elite was vital. The long-term vision for the game, even from the early days, has always been ambitious and we are committed to supporting the game with that vision in mind. All of this is made possible by the support of our amazing community. We were truly delighted that from Beyond - Chapter Four, we’ve seen one of our highest ever player counts with many hundreds of thousands of Commanders jumping in and taking to their cockpits together. Thank you!
The Next Era
Back in August, we mentioned that the team had begun work on the next major era of Elite. We believe this will be a defining moment in the history of the game and it will be our biggest update yet. In that post, we explained that the content was still very early in development, so we won’t be ready to announce it for a while. To give this more context, in order to realise the ambition for this update, and the size and scope of the content we wish to bring to the Elite Dangerous galaxy, we estimate this major milestone will be ready by the latter half of 2020.
As development progresses, we will share more news and announcements on features, as well as timelines regarding this upcoming content for Elite. We can understand that having a long wait for news can be frustrating, but we truly believe that this will be the single most impactful update for our community. Having a development team dedicated to this milestone is our continued and unwavering commitment to making Elite Dangerous the most authentic, ambitious, and expansive evolving space game in the world.
As mentioned in our previous post, this new era will be paid for content and all lifetime expansion pass owners will have this included in their pass.
We know that waiting for a mammoth update like this one is going to feel like your 3rd run to Hutton Orbital. But don’t fret, we’ve got plenty of updates, content, and plans happening as we progress through to this monumental milestone.
As well as the team of developers working on our next big milestone, we also have a smaller development team focused on adding to and improving the existing game between now and that time. This will take the form of regular game updates and development supported events.
Development supported events
One of the biggest changes will be the way that we create and support in-game events and activities. Starting in the coming months, we will be looking to change the way that in-game events happen. The aim here is to create ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team which players will be able to actively engage in.
We have listened to community feedback regarding Community Goals and while they are an incredible tool, they have become somewhat routine for many Commanders. We felt that we needed to adjust them to be more event-related while taking our in game events a big step further. We will gradually be changing our community goals and their frequency, using them within a larger schedule of development-led events to help us create more improved, meaningful and engaging experiences.
As well as Community Goals, we will also be using things like new scenarios, reputation and reward boosts (such as Superpower reputation increases), BGS and global galactic changes, in-game interactions, new game assets and much more to make game-wide events that tie into the game world. The aim is to constantly create new and exciting events and campaigns for you to get involved in and shape, which will focus on and benefit different types of players.
Outside of the game, we’ll communicate with you about these events, how they work and what goes into developing Elite Dangerous.
In addition to the weekly and monthly activity happening in Elite, we will also be releasing a series of updates roughly every 3-4 months. The first two of these updates will primarily focus on new player and welcoming experiences, and we will also be introducing a number of quality of life improvements for the entire player base, of which we will have more news on in the coming weeks. This will help ensure that new players are able to better progress through the game, and therefore help bring more players through to our very awesome, very welcoming community. We will also have additional game tweaks, benefits and bug fixes for all players. In the subsequent updates we will be focusing on bringing in new features, perks and content, including a range of exciting new additions to the game that will build up to this new era.
It is important to note that these updates will not take the same level of content or size that we have seen from our previous updates in Beyond or Horizons, as the majority of the development team will be focusing on the new era.
Elite Dangerous has an incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and talented community, and we’re committed to supporting Elite now and for the future. We would like to take this opportunity to say, once again, that none of this would be possible without the continued support and dedication from our community – so, thank you. Keep sharing your feedback with us, and if you have any questions feel free to share them with us by posting in this thread. We’ll try and answer as many of them as we can.
The Elite Dangerous Team