Updated: 7th March 2019
Frontier’s long-term plan has included releasing specific paid for content at various points of Elite’s Development. Back in 2015 this included the release of Horizons and the first instalment of planetary landings.
Frontier’s Head of Communications, Zac Antonaci, commented after Expo 2017,
“In addition to all the content talked about at Frontier Expo, we also have some pretty cool things in the works which will be available to purchase. We’re not ready to talk about them just yet so we can’t give you any details but rest assured that the lifetime expansion pass owners will be looked after and will be getting their hands on premium content as part of their lifetime expansion pass before the end of 2018 and the Beyond series of updates.”
In the live stream during the release of Chapter 3, Ed Lewis replied to a question about premium content by saying,
“Nothing to talk about right now about that…but I do think it’s something that it is important (and) we should talk about soon and discuss with you guys as fast as possible.”
Then on the 31st August Frontier made the below announcement regarding Premium Content, which was part of a wider update which you can (and should read for full context) here.
As many of you will know, we previously mentioned that premium (paid for) content would also be coming within the Beyond season of updates and that Lifetime Expansion Pass holders would be getting this for free. However, as we went through the early stages of what the next era for Elite Dangerous would be, we decided that it would be better to spend that additional time on the future content, rather than bringing new types of purchasable content out this year.
This is a big positive for the long term future of the game and its content. However, we also understand that there are people with Lifetime Expansion Passes who haven’t received paid for content in this season, because Beyond has been free to all owners of Horizons. We truly appreciate the support and commitment that those owners put in us when they purchased the LEP and we will be making sure that there is a form of free store content going out to them by the end of this year.
On the 27th November 2018 in response to a thread on the official forum Ed Lewis replied on the subject of Lifetime Expansion Pass holders,
“Just wanted to jump in here and address a few points. First of all, thanks for you remaining considered and reasonable with your feedback, we’re able to pass this information and sentiment on very quickly.
“The Lifetime Expansion Pass holders are still set to receive something this year. Currently we don’t have any more to say on that topic right now, but keep an eye on the usual channels as we’ll have more for you very soon.
“With regards to what’s coming next, we aren’t ready to talk about it in any detail, and we’re still hard at work on Beyond – Chapter Four, but as previously mentioned here by Zac, “A while ago, our development went from pre-production into full production on our next major milestone of Elite development.” We’ll let you know when we’re ready to start talking about further details, and to echo what’s said above, you’ll be able to find more information on our social channels and here on this forum, but please continue to be patient while we work hard on releasing Chapter Four.
“Your continued support is really important to us, and we’re extremely grateful for the time you’ve been on this journey with us (can you believe it’s been more than four years!) It’s really cool to see the same names time and time again in the forums, on the live-streams and engaging with us on social media… it makes doing our jobs an absolute pleasure!
On the 10th December 2018 Frontier announced what would be made available to LEP holders on release of Beyond: Chapter 4.
“We wanted to give you an update on the Lifetime Expansion Pass (LEP) content previously mentioned in Zac’s post here.
“We’re pleased to announce that the wait is over! If you’re a Lifetime Expansion Pass owner, read below for the details on what we’ll be sending your way – and when you can expect it.
“What Lifetime Expansion Pass holders will receive:
“Alongside the Beyond – Chapter Four launch tomorrow, we will be adding a new gift bundle of store items directly onto the accounts of all Lifetime Expansion Pass owners. This bundle will include two festive bobbleheads and six all-new paint jobs.
“We’ll be emailing the details of the bundle to all LEP owners as we upload them, so keep an eye on your inboxes for all the details. Each item we’re sending your way is completely new and has never before been on sale, so we know that each LEP owner will get the 100% of the value from the bundle.
“We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all of our Lifetime Expansion Pass holders, for their continued support, dedication and passion for Elite Dangerous!
“We will also be making the majority of the new cosmetic items from this bundle available in the store at the same time tomorrow, so non-LEP owners will be able to purchase these items from the store should they wish. Some select items from this bundle will be made available over the festive period instead.
“If there are any questions, please post them below and we’ll endeavour to answer them!”
On the 1st March 2019 Frontier announced in a post on their forum that future premium paid for content would appear in the later half of 2020 and that it would be available free of charge to lifetime pass owners.
The Next Era
Back in August, we mentioned that the team had begun work on the next major era of Elite. We believe this will be a defining moment in the history of the game and it will be our biggest update yet.
In that post, we explained that the content was still very early in development, so we won’t be ready to announce it for a while. 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.
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.