Elite Dangerous has shifted the ‘majority’ of its live team to what sounds like a massive 2020 expansion

    
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Last August, Frontier intimidated that it was shaking up how content in Elite Dangerous would be formatted in 2019, including a “major milestone” for the game that would be paid content. Now we have a better understanding what exactly the studio was talking about back when with today’s community update. The good news is it’s huge; the bad news it’s a really long way off.

“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,” the studio writes. “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.”

That doesn’t mean you’ll be getting nothing in the meantime, though. The studio says it’s also got a “smaller” team working on regular game updates and events. Notably, Frontier says it’s plotting a revamp of its in-game event system to make events more exciting and less routine. It also promises updates “roughly every 3-4 months,” though they’re not going to be as big as anything that launched under the Horizons or Beyond banners.

“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.”

Source: Official site. Thanks, CapnLan and Cotic!
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3dom

What’s the point to keep the feature in secret? It’s not like they are going to change their schedule in the process or shutdown the game.

Frontier’s coding breaks the common practice “you release it too late if you are not ashamed by quality of your product”

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PanagiotisLial1

I think its a marketing choice. They want to choose when to create hype

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

Hopefully they keep people in the loop, it will make the wait much easier. It would also be really nice if they started doing the newsletter sneak peeks again, I kind of miss them :)

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BalsBigBrother

Space Legs 2020? Atmospheric landings ? or ……… *insert own wish list here*

I hope its something of that magnitude given that it seems 2019 will be bug fixes and QoL stuff. Though there is nothing wrong with bug fixes and QoL its just usually not very exciting, even though its usually net positive in terms of game play

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Sana Tan

Those two, and meaningful exploration is the minimum I’d need to reinstall the game. 2020 is too far away though, they really rested on their laurels.

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McGuffn

Elite: Dangerous Liaisons.

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Kayweg

That’s going to be the really interesting question, what will they bridge the gap with ?
Latter part of 2020, now that’s an awful long time for a game that’s 4 years old, and has seen it’s last (and so far only) paid for DLC at the end of 2015.
The recently concluded “Beyond” update, which ran throughout 2018, brought new mining and exploration mechanics as well as the CODEX.
Certainly significant, but also pretty much adapted to by the majority of the player base by now.
I can’t fault FD for lack of long term commitment here, i rather applaud that, but at the same time actual info as to what that next major update might entail is completely amiss.
Outside of selling game units, which we can assume the bulk of has happened by now, ED runs on cosmetics sales.
That requires player retention, and i’m curious to see what FD has in mind to retain players throughout that 1½ year “drought”….granted they are not a one trick pony and have other successful IPs (Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution) with at least one more going to be announced in 2019.