Elite Dangerous Wiki
Elite Dangerous Wiki

Atmospheric planetary landing

Elite Dangerous has a massive scope and Frontier Developments have ambitious development plans. Frontier takes an iterative approach to Elite Dangerous content, gradually building upon features to expand and improve the game.

During an interview at Lavecon 2015, David Braben stated that he had a clear intention of a 10 year development plan for the game, which includes smaller free updates, paid major updates, and expansions.[1] On March 1, 2019, Frontier stated they have a continued and unwavering commitment to making Elite Dangerous the most authentic, ambitious, and expansive evolving space game in the world.[2]

Below is an overview of updates and expansions, both released and planned.

Content seasons

Season 1: Post-Launch

Elite Dangerous

The first season of Elite Dangerous updates added various new features and content. It commenced after Elite Dangerous launched on December 16, 2014 and continued through 2015. Notable features include:[3]

Season 2: Horizons

Elite Dangerous: Horizons

Elite Dangerous: Horizons was the second season of updates for Elite Dangerous and the first paid expansion. It introduced a variety of new features and gameplay content. Horizons v2.0 was released on PC on the 15th of December 2015. Subsequent major updates were released in 2016 and 2017. The most notable additions include:

Season 3: Beyond

Elite Dangerous: Beyond

Elite Dangerous: Beyond was the third season of updates for Elite Dangerous, and released over the course of 2018. The main focus was core gameplay, existing features, quality of life and other improvements.[4] Beyond updates were free for all Horizons owners.[5] The most notable are:

For detailed information about this season of updates see the Beyond page.

2019-2020 Updates

April Update

September Update

January Update

Over the course of 2019 and 2020, in between Season 3 and Season 4, Frontier Developments planned a series of smaller content updates with various quality of life improvements: the April Update, September Update, January Update, and Fleet Carriers Update.[6][7] Notable changes and additions include:

Season 4: Odyssey

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey key art

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey was the second paid expansion and fourth content season for Elite Dangerous. It launched for PC on May 19, 2021, with the console released delayed to later that year. The most notable additions include:

Future plans

Plans for seasons after Odyssey have not yet been announced.

As of June 8, 2021, Frontier Developments was focused on addressing performance issues in Odyssey and preparing for its launch on consoles. In response to player suggestions that ship interiors were in high-demand for future content, the developers responded that they were not working on that feature, but implied that they might consider it later.[10]

Roadmap

The expansions were planned include significant new features such as seamless freeform (manual pitch/yaw/roll) atmospheric flight and landings (atmospheric landings) and on-foot and out-of-ship activities (space legs) such as FPS combat, walking around and boarding ships, walking in stations and walking and driving vehicles on entire 1:1 scale populated living planets (procedural cities) with multi-player crew and player executive controlled capital ships.[11]

Frontier said "we plan to follow that same incremental development philosophy that we’ve done throughout our Alpha and Beta phases, and continue to significantly enhance the game via further expansions post-launch."[11]

Frontier intends to release small, free updates after launch. Expansions that include significant new features and content will have to be purchased.[11]

For example, the roadmap is to add these features with major updates (in no particular order): [11][12]

The scope of Elite is huge, so a sensible strategy is used to add to the game in stages.[13] "The core release of the game focuses on the ships and space. We'll then be working to expand the game. This includes exploring your ship and space stations. The potential content for Elite is huge, so we're keeping a sensible strategy to add to the game in stages."[14]

Keep in mind that the game has been well planned and designed from the start with all these features in mind (it is not an afterthought) and Frontier Developments already has the technology for this.[13]

10 Year Development Plan

People walking in a station

During the 2016 Elite Dangerous 24 Hour Charity Livestream! David Braben confirmed a 10 year development plan and he hopes it'll be a lot longer than that. "Looking back at those (developer videos), you can see what we've done, we're executing on the plan. There's still a lot of things that are to come and those are very exciting. We do have a long plan. It would take us a long time to deliver all the things that we want to do. The great thing is the more things get added to the end of it. So it may well be never ending. I've said sort of 8 years, 10 years, but actually it could end up and I'm hoping it'll be a lot longer than that. The key point is we'll keep doing exciting things and we'll work out how best to do that."[15]

Lifetime Expansion Pass

The Lifetime Expansion Pass or LEP is a content pass for Elite Dangerous that includes ownership of all current and future expansions produced for the game plus a selection of cosmetic Livery items.

The LEP was included for Kickstarter backers who purchased the £80 "Digital Download Pack" tier in 2012. It was also available during the pre-launch beta period in 2014 and for a final time from August 6, 2015 to September 14, 2015.

Developer Comments

On 12 March 2015 David Braben said: "We’ve said things like going down to planet surfaces, walking around inside your spaceship, getting out of your ship, all of those things would be part of paid updates. And we would phase it, we wouldn’t necessarily do them as part of one big thing, there would be multiple over time. Cause each of those, if you think of the work to do each one, it’s a major new-game-level of content. And so we’re just trying to take that seriously. We don’t want to do half-baked solutions."[16]

On 20 March 2015 David Braben was asked about the long roadmap ahead and he said: "Well I'm very excited. I've said over a long time I'm very excited about some features that we will do down the road including things like landing on planets, walking around inside your spaceship, getting out of your spaceship, all of those things I think are very very exciting and obviously those are in the long-term roadmap."[17]

26 July 2018, Braben said "We’ve continued to support and nurture the existing franchises. Elite Dangerous has continued to grow, the team size is actually getting bigger. The plan was – beyond the current season for Elite, which is mostly announced – there are a lot of things that we will be announcing that are really exciting, some of which will be free, some of which will be paid."[18]

This is a traders quote from the investment firm Liberum in 2019 "The company is working on a number of exciting updates for both franchies and our expectation is that we could see a big refresh release of ED in FY20, five years after launch (we expect Elite Dangerous to be closing in on £100m of life-time revenue by the end of this financial year)."[19][20]

Development Team

On 26 May 2017, Frontier's Lloyd Morgan-Moore said "The Elite Dangerous team is over a hundred people strong."[21]

On 31 August 2018, Zac Antonaci reaffirmed that more than 100 people are working on Elite Dangerous"The Beyond season was always something that we wanted to do in order to bring even more enhancements to the core experience of Elite and being able to dedicate a full development team (over 100 people!) for a full year of free content was specifically to gear ourselves up to support our long term vision for the game."[22]

On 27 September 2018, a small group of community guests visited the Frontier headquarters in Cambridge to check features of Beyond Chapter Four. Vingtetun said: "For the record, yes, the numbers of people working JUST on ED are what they say, their other games were on other floors and no, jobs like HR and finance etc staff weren't part of that number. It was all people actively working on Elite. Compared to my last visit, they aren't kidding when they say the team has never been bigger. The sweeping improvements and changes have satisfied me that they haven't been idle in the last year of the free 'Beyond' update."[23]

Elite Dangerous Sequel

In an interview with PCGN at E3 2018, Frontier's founder and CEO, David Braben, said that while he would not rule out a sequel to the deep-space adventure, fans should not expect to see anything on that topic soon.[24]

Braben said “the world has changed. We’re coming to the end of the fourth year of Elite Dangerous.” That's “a wonderful place to be in,” but “isn’t to say there won’t be something at some point.” A sequel is a “long time off and there is lots to do in the Elite Dangerous world.[24]

Related Links

Videos

Gallery

References

  1. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/165775-Lavecon-News
  2. Important Community Update (01/03)
  3. https://www.elitedangerous.com/en/seasons/#season1
  4. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/354066-Elite-Dangerous-2-4-and-beyond
  5. https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/9pbpvh/beyond_chapter_four_exploration_reveal_megathread/
  6. Frontier Forums: April Update - Coming 23 April 2019
  7. Frontier Forums: Lavecon 2019 Content Reveal
  8. Frontier Forums: Elite Dangerous: Horizons Set to Land for All Commanders
  9. Frontier Forums: Game Balancing
  10. r/EliteDangerous: CM Arf on LaveRadio: "I can relay the message as best I can. If players are saying ship interiors are an absolute must, obviously we'll assess it, but at the moment it's a case of where do we put our resources, and at the moment it's not ship interiors."
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Elite Dangerous Newsletter #29
  12. https://www.pcgamesn.com/elite-dangerous/elite-dangerous-standard-beta-begins-next-week-last-chance-grab-lifetime-expansion-pack
  13. 13.0 13.1 Elite: Dangerous Development Plan
  14. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous/faqs
  15. Elite Dangerous 24 Hour Charity Livestream! Part 1! 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS33cyq6Z_A&t=21m00s
  16. Interview: David Braben On Fan Anger And Expectations
  17. Elite: Dangerous - David Braben Interview, Gamereactor, 5:20
  18. Frontier’s Next Game To Be Unveiled in Late 2018/Early 2019; Elite Dangerous Is Getting Exciting Things - July 26, 2018
  19. https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/aoc8ue/liberum_our_expectation_is_that_we_could_see_a/
  20. Frontier's Financial Position and the Future of Elite Dangerous
  21. http://www.redbull.com/en/games/stories/1331858657533/elite-dangerous-ps4-interview
  22. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/444800-Important-Community-Update
  23. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?p=7049960&viewfull=1#post7049960
  24. 24.0 24.1 https://www.pcgamesn.com/elite-dangerous/elite-dangerous-2