Back in November, we covered the release of Frontier Developments’ annual investor report, which didn’t bode well for Elite Dangerous. Readers will recall that the game’s Odyssey expansion was a bit of a mess, was poorly received, and was indefinitely delayed on console as Frontier has attempted to shore up the PC version. As Frontier explained it to investors, “overall reception” to the expansion was “disappointing,” thereby impacting revenues around the launch.
Well, this week Frontier has released its fresher interim reports, showing a net loss half-year over half-year but saying it’s “[w]ell positioned for an exciting 2022.” The company says Elite’s 2021 was “difficult” overall and reiterates the “disappointing” Odyssey launch, though now it claims there’s been an “upturn” in “player sentiment” in the ensuing months.
“Elite Dangerous experienced a difficult calendar 2021 following the disappointing launch of the major Odyssey expansion in May 2021. We continue to support the game and our passionate players with development updates, and we have seen an upturn in player sentiment as a result.”
While that’s certainly true of some forum threads, SteamCharts suggests that the game has only just begun to recover after its rough spring.
Our own Elite Dangerous expert poked his nose into the state of Odyssey once again just before the holiday to recap those “development updates,” of which there had been eight at the time; his impression was that the game was still in a pretty rough state. “There were a couple of updates that seemed to make things worse, but right now things feel… OK,” Chris reported, saying he felt a bit of buyer’s remorse. “[F]rom a technical standpoint, I think Odyssey is doing all right, but I also don’t think that it’s really turned a major corner here. […] None of that really does much to break up some of Odyssey’s bigger problems.”