Frontier Developments held its Premiere event at RAF Duxford Imperial War Museum on Saturday 22 November, where it:
- Officially closed the game’s Beta process.
- Released the final Gamma development build.
- Launched the official Elite: Dangerous iOS companion app.
- Announced that on Wednesday 26 November all players who have pre-ordered the game can download and play the game’s single player combat missions in preparation for Elite: Dangerous’ 16 December launch, when players will influence the vicious power struggle to succeed the recently-deceased Emperor.
Frontier’s Twitch.tv stream from the Premiere event was hosted by Jessica Chobot and Andy Akinwolere, and can be viewed now on YouTube.
The Gamma phase is the final stepping stone en route to launch and is open to everyone who helped crowdfund development via Kickstarter or Frontier’s own website prior to mid-December 2013. The Gamma release implements the crowdfunding backer ‘starting positions’ that were part of the reward tiers, and opens the full 400 Billion star systems of the most advanced virtual representation of the Milky Way galaxy ever created for a videogame. Backers can blaze their own trail alone or with friends in a massively multiplayer shared galaxy prior to Elite: Dangerous’ official launch on 16 December.
The Elite: Dangerous iOS companion app is available as a free download from iTunes. Android and Windows Phone versions will also be made available, with release dates yet to be announced but expected before the end of the year.
The game’s online, ever unfolding story starts with the 16 December launch with players participating in the vicious power struggle between the potential heirs to the recently-deceased Emperor, as the Federation and Alliance – the Empire’s rival galactic superpowers – attempt to manipulate the succession battle for their own advantage. Like every story in Elite: Dangerous’ shared galaxy, players will decide the outcome.
Elite: Dangerous includes ‘out of the box’ support for 4K ultra-high definition screens, Track IR and Oculus Rift VR for those with appropriate hardware.
The Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition is available to pre-order now for £35.00 ($50 and €40), which is a £4.99 pre-order discount from the game’s £39.99 retail price. It is available exclusively from the Elite: Dangerous online store and includes:
- A digital download of Elite: Dangerous
- An additional Eagle fighter ship docked in a secondary location in-game
- An exclusive pack of ship paint jobs
- A ‘day one’ ship decal
- A digital players guide
- A digital concept art book
All those who pre-order the game will get immediate access to single player combat tutorial missions from Wednesday, 26 November.
Release is set for 16 December 2014, and will be priced at £39.99 ($59.99, €49.99).