Elite Dangerous Faces Criticism for Advancing Pay-to-Win Dynamics with Latest Vessel Release

  • 09-05-2024 |
  • Kyle Robinson
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This week, Elite Dangerous—a multiplayer spaceflight simulation by Frontier Developments—has encountered a wave of critical reviews on Steam, leading to a fresh average score labeled as 'Mixed.'

The heart of the discontent stems from the roll-out of a new spacecraft named the Python Mk II. This spacecraft is characterized by its refined design as a middle-tier combatant, boasting enhanced engagement capabilities. Furthermore, it boasts an enhanced stellar navigation experience, thanks to its cutting-edge Supercruise Overcharge capability.

But what's causing the outcry? It boils down to the decision by the developers to gate access to this new spacecraft behind an additional payment for a certain period. An announcement regarding the update indicated, "The Python Mk II is now present in shipyards for all Odyssey holders on PC starting 7 August, or secure your immediate access today through the ARX store!"

Those looking to secure 'early access' to this vessel will find themselves shelling out 33,000 ARX for the enhanced model or 16,520 ARX for the baseline model. This translates to an expenditure of approximately £15 or £10 in real currency, based on the chosen model, even though players have the option to accrue up to 400 ARX per week through conventional gameplay.

ARX was first integrated into Elite Dangerous in 2019. At the moment of detailing the game's virtual currency, Frontier declared: "Consistent with our stance on optional purchases, ARX will be employed solely for the procurement of cosmetic Game Extras and will not facilitate the acquisition of victory-through-payment items." Yet, the Python Mk II appears to be at odds with this principle.

Consequently, the gaming community of Elite Dangerous has voiced their disappointment on Steam. One review from earlier today conveyed, "They vowed no victory-through-payment yet have gone back on their word; as a result, I'm removing this game [and] stepping away from it for good." Another review echoed this sentiment: "Regrettably, the team behind this game is now resorting to squeezing further funds with rising MTX expenses and victory-through-payment schemes. It’s disappointing, given that the game was once a worthwhile investment; currently, it has lost much of its value."

Although the latest reviews are designated as 'Mixed,' as of this moment, Elite Dangerous still enjoys a 'Mostly Positive' overall rating.

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