Every once in a while, I’ll be tabbing through my feeds and see an update on the MechWarrior Online site. I get excited for a sec, thinking I can put it in our newsroom… but almost every time, for the last long while now, it’s actually been an update for MechWarior 5: Mercenaries, which launched in December and is not an MMO.
It seems I’m not the only one wondering what happened to the original, as MOP reader Panagiotis tipped us off to a recent thread on the official forums asking the same thing and wondering whether devs are still working on it (and just what happened to the game’s community manager). Fans will recall the last roadmap update for the game was released in June of 2018, while the last patch dropped this past September, and players were expecting some sort of reveal in January that didn’t materialize. And if Steam is any guide, the population has only continued dropping in the last few years.
During Piranha’s dev stream last week, the studio’s Russ Bullock and Alex Garden barely touch on MechWarrior Online; about halfway through, there’s a mention of MWO’s complexity in the context of modding MW5. Bullock implies the lull in the MMO’s development was down to MW5, which does make sense, but there are also no direct updates and no confirmation about the security of the IP either, leading players to worry about maintenance mode. Toward the end of the stream, he thanks players for watching. “MechWarrior Online players? Thanks. Keeping playing. Don’t worry about it.” And then he signs off. We imagine this is meant to reassure players that the game is sticking around, but it’s pretty bizarre.