Frontier starts offering Elite: Dangerous refunds over online furore

Some owners of Elite: Dangerous who are unhappy with the recent ditching of the game’s offline mode are being offered refunds.

However, the only customers who are eligible are those who pre-ordered the final game and have therefore not yet played it. Anyone who has already played the alpha or beta is not eligible.

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,” Frontier boss David Braben said.

The studio last week revealed that it was dropping plans to include an offline mode in the game – a fact that led to fierce criticism from customers.

Offline support was not one of our original aims, though we did believe we could support it at the start of the project,” Braben said in the most recent Elite: Dangerous newsletter. We had considered that an online connection is a reasonable pre-requisite for a game delivered online.

I am really sorry this has upset people, but we have a strong, consistent vision that we do not want to compromise. In retrospect we should have shared the fact that we were struggling with this aspect with the community, but we were still trying to find a solution.

Any offline experience would be fundamentally empty. We could write a separate mission system to allow a limited series of fixed missions, but that would still not be a compelling game, and is just the first step in the mountain of work that would be required.

We will review the decision after release, but our priority is moving the game forwards for the great majority of players, and are wary of producing a sub-standard game.”

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