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In a formal statement by Frontier Developments via the London Stock Exchange, the long-awaited continuation of Elite Dangerous’ season pass Horizons has been delayed until at least June.

Horizons was supposed to formally depart early-access status in April with “The Engineers”, first of five major updates, but CEO David Braben cited quality control as the reason for pushing it all back several months.

“Over a number of years, Frontier has established an outstanding track record of meeting demanding release schedules and exceptional quality thresholds, so this delay is disappointing.  However, it is absolutely critical for the longer-term success of the Elite franchise that we maintain our absolute commitment to quality. Despite this temporary setback, the Board and I remain very excited both by the potential of the Elite franchise and the progress that Frontier is making as it transitions to self-publishing.”

More than just a season pass, Horizon‘s delay is no minor setback. Besides “The Engineers”, some 90 identified bugs will remain unaddressed until the full rollout takes place.  Frontier is instead opting for a beta-test period expected to begin in May, and will be disabling broken missions entirely in the meanwhile.  This diversion of development resources will likely also push back other planned updates included in Horizons‘ package, such as “Guardians” (ship-launched drone fighters) and “The Commanders” (multiplayer ships).

To top it off, support for the Oculus Rift’s CV1 SDK has likewise been pushed back, in a game “made for VR”.
Horizons: Made For VR

Horizons has already met with mixed reviews from the Elite Dangerous Steam Community, mainly due to a lack of variety in the types of new content made available, but also because they paid full price for early access to it.  As it stands Horizons is more expensive, as a standalone purchase, than Elite Dangerous is.  Still, on balance, there are more positive reviews than negative, and assuming all goes well, the patience of the fan base may end up being richly rewarded.

What do you think? Will Horizons measure up and turn out to have been worth the wait? Let us know in the comments below!

Scott Malcomson

Staff Writer

Old enough to have watched the first moon landing live on TV, I've been gaming since the days of ApVenture and the Zork series. My last console was an Atari 2600, and my first PC was an Apple IIc (in glorious monochrome!). If you want to understand the kind of person I am, it might help a bit to play Ultima IV.

  • Kev Lew

    already bought it, if this means the patches actually fix content then all the better.
    Elite suffers from big scope poor implementation (in terms of boring ship stats, uninteresting quests and limited variety) so as long as the time is spent getting systems up to par with play requirements I am willing to wait.
    That said making players pay up front for delayed expansion content is never a good business decision in the long-term.

  • calbeck

    Personally, I’m hoping/expecting that it’ll all be fantastic when it shakes out, but I can’t disagree.

  • Kev Lew

    Yep. I enjoy elite but big as it is my main problem is lack of interactive options in this epic sandpit. Rally hope this quest revamp swill help things as there do not seem to be enough discoverability and basic variety in the pool the procedural generation takes from. E.g. I would love an asteroid base kill/protect mission. Or more sightings of the bid Capitol ships during events and system patrols (have the factions your a Capitol dhip or3 around to suppress Extraction site enemies) have a few raking gangs of NPC siege super cruise around an outpost for players to fight/bribe/blockade run. Basically add more options for the simulation management game scripts to pick from.