Frontier’s Elite: Dangerous has exited alpha and officially entered premium beta.
Presumably the premium beta phase is thus named because entry to it requires a £100 purchase. Normal beta access (to kick off at an as-of-yet unspecified time) costs £50 while a standard game pre-order costs £35 – although there’s a £35 DLC expansion pass on top of that.
The expansion pass is included in the premium beta, and those who have previously purchased either the final game or standard beta can pay £15 to access the premium beta immediately.
Access to the new closed alpha cost £200.
Regardless of the economics, the start of the premium beta means 10,000 new people now have access to the promising looking space sim which as of right now offers 200 cubic light years of space to explore, all of which is based around ten stars in five star systems.
Frontier CEO David Braden said: “This is a significant and sensible step-change with which to test the next level of scaling of our cloud-based systems and servers as we move towards the very large numbers of people we will eventually have playing.”
Things aren’t quite as rosy over in camp Star Citizen, where developer RSI has had to delay the planned release of the game’s dogfighting module.
“I sat down with Star Citizen’s production leads for a ‘go/no-go’ meeting,” creator Chris Roberts wrote. “We went around the virtual table, like a ground control team preparing to launch a rocket, and the decision was that we are not able to release Arena Commander tomorrow as there are too many blocking and critical issues outstanding.
“It would be foolish to release an unstable build, even if pre-alpha for the sake of meeting an internal deadline. This is the power of the crowdfunding that made Star Citizen possible: a publisher would make us ship tomorrow regardless of the current build quality… but as you are all focused on quality rather than a financial return for shareholders we are able to take a few more days to deliver something that is stable.”
Roberts has subsequently said that progress on the build has been “very positive” and that it hopes to have the issues “resolved very soon”.