Last week Frontier Developments announced that due to certain limitations Elite: Dangerous would no longer offer an offline single player mode like they originally promised when they first launched the games Kickstarter page in 2012. As you might expect this has left some people unhappy and many have requested a refund. Thankfully Frontier are issuing refunds to some gamers, but not to others, here’s why.
On Thursday, Frontier revealed that those who have previously played the game online, either in the alpha or beta tests that they held, they won’t be eligible for a refund, even if they backed the games Kickstarter. It seems like a fair decision, considering the only reason people would be requesting a refund is because they won’t be able to play the game online, something the developers would find hard to believe if they’ve already played the game online..
Though they didn’t say that in so many words, in fact they haven’t actually revealed why they’re not issuing refunds to those who have played the alpha or beta, they did however say: “We want to make sure we treat each person’s situation with the thoroughness it deserves and have contacted each of them to ask that they bear with us over the next few working days if their circumstances do not fit either criteria above as we look into individual requests.”
Though the developers revealed that the game had no online mode, that didn’t mean that the game wouldn’t have a single player mode within it. “The single-player game is already there, but it requires a low bandwidth online connection,” he said. Prior to this he also noted that Elite: Dangerous uses “a great deal of processing in the cloud, and this benefits everyone playing.”
“We had considered that an online connection is a reasonable pre-requisite for a game delivered online,” he said. “I am really sorry this has upset people, but we have a strong, consistent vision that we do not want to compromise.”
It seems the choice to remove the offline option from the game was a fairly difficult one as they’ve been working to try and implement a feature they promised from the start – hence the reason why it took the developers until now to announce the news.
“As features were implemented, for the best results we chose to prioritise delivery of the online single and multiplayer experiences,” he added, “with a view to providing the offline version later in development. We had to make a decision for the good of the game, and that is what we did.”
Elite: Dangerous is scheduled to launch on December 18.