At this point, anything Frontier announces for Elite Dangerous makes players just as nervous about the game’s future as bad news and no news, so the team may as well rip off that bandaid, and that’s exactly what it’s done with today’s dev address.
Gamers have perceived that Elite Dangerous has been struggling since the messy launch of Odyssey last year, which hasn’t really been fully rectified – and was noticed by investors on the balance sheet. Last fall, Frontier admitted reception to Odyssey had been “disappointing” and put off the expansion’s launch on console. Earlier this spring, the company canceled all console development going forward, but it didn’t have a solid plan in place for a mass migration of players from console to PC. Intermittent communications and half a dozen canceled events from the team didn’t help either.
Frontier’s community manager has now tackled several of these issues in today’s dev blog. For starters, the company now has a plan to help console players transfer to PC through a “time limited and optional” process that has no dates yet. Players will manage to keep most of their account goodies, with the exception of their commander name (if already in use on PC), mission progress, NPC crew names/appearances, social elements like squadrons and friends lists, fleet carriers, and ARX balances. That last one is an eyebrow-raiser: “We recommend that anyone who submits their account for the transfer process purchases any desired cosmetics beforehand. Any unspent ARX post-transfer will remain available on the original console profile.”
The studio also released a roadmap for the rest of 2022; expect update 12 (new mission variant, stability, optimization) this month, followed by update 13 (narrative content, more stability, more optimization) in August and update 14 (“next major narrative phase”) in November. Early 2023 will see a “key feature overhaul.”
“Our three focuses before the year ends are launching the next phase of the narrative, stability and optimisation. We’ll release three more updates to support these. Within the narrative, human space balances on the precipice as tension mounts within the bubble. The Azimuth Saga will conclude in a grand finale event, the consequences of which will mark the beginning of the next stage of the Elite story in Update 14. Meanwhile, updates 12 and 13 will largely focus on quality-of-life changes, stability and optimisation. Work has also begun on a major feature overhaul for 2023 that we’ll discuss later in the year. Please note that the details and timings of each release are subject to change and that any adjustments will be shared ahead of time. Beyond this we are also discussing additional game content, and we’ll reveal it once confirmed.”
Frontier does note that while it’s bringing back community streaming and will launch a partner program for content creators later in the year, it won’t be publishing monthly development posts, though it’s promising patch notes and the like.