Elite Dangerous plans to sell ship bundles – including its upcoming new ship – in the cash shop


A new announcement from Elite: Dangerous has lit a tinderbox among its playerbase, as Frontier Developments has confirmed that it plans to start selling internet spaceships to players in its cash shop — including the upcoming Python Mk II, the game’s first new ship in years.

These pre-built ship packages will mostly be tailored around a specific in-game activity and come with several gameplay upgrades including specific modules, a ship kit, and a paint job. The number of pre-built packages was not specified, but a given example was an AX Combat Jumpstart package that grants buyers an Alliance Chieftan that’s purpose-built to get players directly into the Thargoid fight without having to go through the long engineering grind of unlocking related modules.

Incidentally, the studio does note plans to adjust engineering to make it “more accessible and predictable” but doesn’t provide details about when those adjustments will arrive or what they will look like.

As for the aforementioned Python Mk II, that will be sold in the cash shop on May 7th for 16250 ARX, or $12.50 at current ARX rates. Otherwise, the new ship will be available to purchase with in-game credits on August 7th to those who own the Odyssey expansion, or it will be obtained only via the cash shop for non-Odyssey owners along with other ship variants. The Python Mk II will also be part of a pre-built ship bundle.

“We envision these Pre-built Ships to be a quicker way for newer players to get involved in the areas they have the most interest in, or for our existing players who are considering a new career path in game, but do not have time to devote to a new build from scratch,” FDev reasons.

These new bundles are coming sometime in May alongside some visual updates to the store to make it easier to navigate, a new “best sellers” section, and pricing adjustments for some cosmetic items.

As one might expect, this announcement has not gone over well with most players; many are calling the pre-built ship bundles pay-to-win or are incensed at Frontier’s decision to sell the new ship for money before it’s earnable in-game. Other gamers argue against the P2W notion and accuse fellow fans of hypocrisy for saying they support the studio’s survival while still blasting the new shop items.

sources: official site, Reddit, thanks to Colin for the tip!
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