PlanetSide Arena Resurfaces with a Plan for a Q2 2020 Release

Remember PlanetSide Arena?  It has a new ship date.

But first, a recap of the story so far… the ship date being in the headline and all.

Back in mid-December of 2018 Daybreak’s big new game announcement was a rework of PlanetSide 2, bringing it back to the realm of shooters of old by taking their MMOFPS and turning it into a match based game with a bunch of old school modes… and Battle Royale too, of course.

Meet Battle Modes

Those looking for an actual NEW game went away disappointed, but even cynics like myself had to admit that this seemed like a viable plan of sorts.  After all, what could it take to turn PlanetSide 2 into a Battle Royale game?  H1Z1 was literally built off of PlanetSide 2.

Daybreak was confident too, declaring that season one for the game… because of course it would have seasons and battle passes and whatever, it has to pay for itself… would commence on January 29, 2019.

January 29, 2019

However, nothing in software is as easy as it seems, and people often confuse something being simple to articulate (e.g. PlanetSide 2 Battle Royale) with being easy to do.  They are not.  So a couple days before the 29th, the date for PlanetSide Arena was pushed to March 2019.  Still pretty aggressive, but with a bit more breathing room.

And then come mid-February the whole thing got a moved to “summer” as a release, though this would now include a simultaneous launch on the PlayStation 4.  They also refunded everybody’s Steam purchase, which seemed the decent thing to do.

And then summer came, moved along its merry way, until yesterday, the Thursday before Labor Day, the traditional end of summer in the US, regardless of what the calendar tells you, when we finally got some news about PlanetSide Arena.  There is now a four stage release plan, spanning from Early Access availability this coming September to the actual game release at some point in Q2 2020.

PlanetSide Arena – August 2019 Schedule

There is also a FAQ page, which is good, as the announcement itself is pretty sparse.  Call me a pessimist, but I made sure that FAQ page was saved to the Internet Archive right away in its current state.

The first question is, naturally enough, about what the game actually is.  I’ll quote that one:

PlanetSide Arena is a massive-scale, match-based, scif-fi arena shooter that reintroduces players to the revolutionary PlanetSide Franchise – the record-breaking MMOFPS that redefined all-out planetary warfare. PlanetSide Arena features class-based combat, combined arms gameplay, compelling team tactics, and a deep tech tree with weapon mods and in-game progression.

It is still a match based shooter.  The various modes mentioned back in December 2018 have gone missing, and when you click on the link in the FAQ that mentions modes, it just directs you back to the page with the above graphic.

The graphic itself gives few details, aside from the emphasis on teams (3 people), squads (12 people) and outfits (your space shooter guild).

What is coming in September is Window only… so no more PlayStation 4 simultaneous launch… and in Early Access mode, available via Steam.  Given Daybreak’s Early Access history, that probably means a rough alpha with obvious missing features coming at you.  Pay to help test.

Daybreak will have achieved their “summer” launch window… minus the PlayStation 4 part… rolling in just four days before the calendar maker’s official end of summer in the northern hemisphere, though that assumes you consider Early Access a launch.  I am unconvinced.  But I am sure we’ll hear about it if the game is totally broken.

And the Daybreak story goes on.

4 thoughts on “PlanetSide Arena Resurfaces with a Plan for a Q2 2020 Release

  1. bhagpuss

    I actually missed your quote at MOP because i have a policy of never readign anything they post about Daybreak. Interesting theory. I have to say that the very first thing I thought when I saw the EVE San Diego announcement was “that’s where Daybreak’s offices are” but it never occured to me it was anything other than a co-incidence.

    Planetside is a stronger franchise than I think we sometimes realize. The first version had a very good reputation with people who like mass team combat. I was reading some absolutely glowing nostalgia reminiscences about it the other day. PS2 was fairly popular at various stages too. It has a substantial pre-existing audience to tap into if they manage to come up with something playable and fun.

    Pearl Abyss could well be in the market for more acquisitions and Planetside sits pretty well with EVE’s playerbase. They might want H1Z1, which again could have synergies and be rehabilitated under a new owner. Can’t imagine they’d want anything else.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I have been looking at it from the other direction. Given Daybreak’s actions, they seem inclined to do something with the company, with selling it or parting it out and selling the parts seeming most likely. If they do that, who then might a buyer be?

    There are a lot of companies that wouldn’t touch Daybreak or its properties.

    Gamigo might, but they only buy fire sale properties.

    Those companies paying real money tend to be Asian and trying to establish themselves further in the west, or building bridges between the west and Asia. Removing those companies in some financial turmoil, you don’t get much beyond Tencent and Pearl Abyss.

    The outlier is Sony, which I think might buy back whatever part of Daybreak has DCUO, since that has been a hot property on the PlayStation, and I would guess that Sony is still tied up somehow in the IP licensing.

    We’ll see. It was a silly guess on my part, but Bree seemed to want to run with it.

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