Updated 1st March 2019
One the 1st March 2019 Frontier announced that the next major game update would not be appearing until the later half of 2020. You can see the details below along with what else they expect to release whilst it arrives. This other content can also be found in a new page, here.
We’ve had a number of questions from our community eagerly awaiting news on the future development for Elite Dangerous. We wanted to share a development update with you which talks a little more about our upcoming development plans. It’s a long read but we wanted to be as open as we can at this stage with where progress is and what information we are able to share. There will be more news and updates over the coming months.
It’s been a little over two months since Beyond – Chapter Four, our final instalment in the Beyond season, arrived and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the community. Beyond allowed us to deliver a year of free updates to Elite Dangerous in order to build, enhance, compliment and connect the content that has been added since launch. This step in the ongoing evolution of Elite was vital. The long-term vision for the game, even from the early days, has always been ambitious and we are committed to supporting the game with that vision in mind. All of this is made possible by the support of our amazing community. We were truly delighted that from Beyond – Chapter Four, we’ve seen one of our highest ever player counts with many hundreds of thousands of Commanders jumping in and taking to their cockpits together. Thank you!
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.
We know that waiting for a mammoth update like this one is going to feel like your 3rd run to Hutton Orbital. But don’t fret, we’ve got plenty of updates, content, and plans happening as we progress through to this monumental milestone.
As well as the team of developers working on our next big milestone, we also have a smaller development team focused on adding to and improving the existing game between now and that time. This will take the form of regular game updates and development supported events.
Development supported events
One of the biggest changes will be the way that we create and support in-game events and activities. Starting in the coming months, we will be looking to change the way that in-game events happen. The aim here is to create ongoing, engaging, and varied sets of content that are supported by the development team which players will be able to actively engage in.
We have listened to community feedback regarding Community Goals and while they are an incredible tool, they have become somewhat routine for many Commanders. We felt that we needed to adjust them to be more event-related while taking our in game events a big step further. We will gradually be changing our community goals and their frequency, using them within a larger schedule of development-led events to help us create more improved, meaningful and engaging experiences.
As well as Community Goals, we will also be using things like new scenarios, reputation and reward boosts (such as Superpower reputation increases), BGS and global galactic changes, in-game interactions, new game assets and much more to make game-wide events that tie into the game world. The aim is to constantly create new and exciting events and campaigns for you to get involved in and shape, which will focus on and benefit different types of players.
Outside of the game, we’ll communicate with you about these events, how they work and what goes into developing Elite Dangerous.
In addition to the weekly and monthly activity happening in Elite, we will also be releasing a series of updates roughly every 3-4 months. The first two of these updates will primarily focus on new player and welcoming experiences, and we will also be introducing a number of quality of life improvements for the entire player base, of which we will have more news on in the coming weeks. This will help ensure that new players are able to better progress through the game, and therefore help bring more players through to our very awesome, very welcoming community. We will also have additional game tweaks, benefits and bug fixes for all players. In the subsequent updates we will be focusing on bringing in new features, perks and content, including a range of exciting new additions to the game that will build up to this new era.
It is important to note that these updates will not take the same level of content or size that we have seen from our previous updates in Beyond or Horizons, as the majority of the development team will be focusing on the new era.
Elite Dangerous has an incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and talented community, and we’re committed to supporting Elite now and for the future. We would like to take this opportunity to say, once again, that none of this would be possible without the continued support and dedication from our community – so, thank you. Keep sharing your feedback with us, and if you have any questions feel free to share them with us by posting in this thread. We’ll try and answer as many of them as we can.
The Elite Dangerous Team
The first confirmation of major landmark content after the Beyond series came on the 31st August 2018 when Frontier announced the following:
“We do have one exciting piece of news to share that to date, we have not shared with our community. A while ago, our development went from pre-production into full production on our next major milestone of Elite development.
“What that means in the simplest terms is that the team are actively working on the next major landmark which takes us into our next era for Elite. We aren’t going to be ready to talk about or announce any details for quite a while yet, it is early in the development and there is still a long way to go, but I can say that this is something that will be scheduled to release a considerable time after the final update in the Beyond series. We will have more details on exactly what this means and how the era will roll out after the release of Beyond – Chapter Four, but this does mark some exciting next steps and a continued commitment to the long term vision for the game and our community.
“Naturally, there will be community questions that might come up from this information. We aren’t going to be ready to talk about what method or model the content will be. What we can say is that it’s expected to be a major milestone in the history of Elite and will be paid content. Lifetime Expansion owners will obviously receive the content as part of their pass.”
During recent Twitch Live-streams Will Flanagan commented that there are plans in place for 2019 but that they aren’t yet ready to reveal them. You can watch a short clip of some of those comments, here.