Tag Archives: PlanetSide Arena

PlanetSide Arena Launch Pushed Back to March

Back in mid-December we got the big announcement that Daybreak’s new game was essentially a retread mash up of PlanetSide 2 and whatever they are calling the Battle Royale part of H1Z1 these days, which itself was build off of PlanetSide 2 as I recall.  And thus PlanetSide Arena was born… or was at least revealed.

Not the worst thing Daybreak could announce.  Not something that interests me, but not completely off-base I suppose.  It still seems a strange move to attempt to jump into the battle royale arena, which H1Z1 pretty much proved was viable, with a new-ish product that is pay to play when it will have to compete not only with Fortnite and PUBG but also their own game, which is free to play.  Such is the way of things I guess.

Anyway, the announced launch date at the time was January 29, 2019, or this coming Tuesday as I write this.

That seemed aggressive, though who can say since they were borrowing heavily from PlanetSide 2.  And launch could mean early access or some other dodge.

However, apparently that date did end up being too aggressive, because this past week Daybreak announced that the actual release was to be postponed until March 26, 2019.

Season One move to March

The key passage from the announcement was:

What we’ve discovered during playtesting is that while we’ve made significant strides towards that goal, there are crucial feature enhancements and core systems improvements we can make that will lift PlanetSide Arena to the level it deserves. This game is a passion project for our team, with massive potential to occupy a unique space within the PlanetSide series and the overall shooter genre. And while we agonized about this decision down to the deadline, we ultimately decided taking extra time to supplement our feature set, fully optimize engine performance, and improve server infrastructure was absolutely necessary to deliver the quality, polished game the PlanetSide community deserves.

If the work needs to be done, it needs to be done, but I always get a bit of an eye twitch when a team shows up just before a deadline and says they need more time… a lot more time… to get things done.  I’ve been through that before on projects.  Then again, maybe this is a sign that Daybreak made enough money on lifetime subscription sales in December that they can afford to take the time.

If you’ve pre-ordered… which you can only do on Steam… you get to play a bit earlier in what they are calling the “Founders Season,” though I imagine that will add up to being the beta/stress test, which can be fun, hilarious, and frustrating by turns.

Anyway, no PlanetSide Arena until March now.

PlanetSide Arena

Daybreak said they would be announcing a new game come Thursday morning Pacific time.  And what they announced was PlanetSide Arena.

The word “new” obviously has some sort of alternate definition, because it didn’t look all that new to me on the stream.  It looked pretty much like PlanetSide 2, tired six year old graphics and all.

But then the stream made it clear that it really was PlanetSide 2.  Just PlanetSide 2 merged with just about every common shooter mode ever… including battle royale, because of course… with seasonal battle passes and achievement progression and as many as 500 players in a match.

Meet Battle Modes

Those are all the planned modes anyway.  Season 1 will have just two modes, and I know you can guess one of them without looking:

  • Massive Clash (250 vs. 250 group battle)
  • Battle Royale (Solos and Teams of 3)

So those who picked “PlanetSide 2 Battle Royale” in the pool win.  I would say something about Daybreak jumping on the battle royale bandwagon, but they pretty much started it with H1Z1.  I have my doubts about whether they’ll be able to take the lead with their second go-around.  Fortnite needs to stumble to be assailable.

The stream actually addressed where in the lore PlanetSide Arena occurs, which surprised me with the idea that the game had some sort of lore beyond factions.  Anyway, it takes place several decades after PlanetSide 2 in the timeline, after the war between the three factions led to a chaos where there are no factions.  Convenient… unless you’re into the faction thing.  Then no faction for you I guess.

Of course, the upside of just reworking a game you already have is that the development time is cut down dramatically.  So if you are dying to get your hands on PlanetSide Arena you only have about a month and a half to wait.

January 29, 2019

And, of course, there are pre-orders with special bennies available now.

At least the price is discounted

Oddly, the only place to pre-order seems to be Steam.  There is no direct from Daybreak purchase available.  I guess that means we’ll see how many people end up playing it via Steam’s stats.

Also, no mention of a PlayStation 4 version as yet.

So the revenue scheme here is box sales and season passes I guess.  That is probably not going to play well against Fortnite, which Epic gives away for FREE.

Also missing from the list is any mention of the Daybreak All Access subscription.  You know, that thing that the Daybreak installed base is likely already subscribed to.

The All Access pass is what PlanetSide 2 has largely depended on, which led Daybreak to say that the game was “really struggling” back in late 2015.  Since then the newer games in the stable, H1Z1 and the late Just Survive, have avoided the All Access pass, with H1Z1 even getting its own cash shop currency.  PlanetSide Arena appears to be avoiding the All Access pass as well, which I suspect will limit any halo effect benefits for PlanetSide 2.

I gather that the target audience is people who are not already invested in Daybreak.  Or, at least the installed base is being taken for granted.  That always works out well for companies.

Anyway, this is clearly not my thing.  But it is coming from Daybreak, so its performance does have some impact on a couple of games I do care about.   We shall see where this one goes.

Does this count as PlanetSide 3 from that rumors post?  It hits on a couple of notes, but really isn’t a new game.  Close enough though?

Anyway, this is where I would be linking to other bloggers talking about the first “new” game announcement out of Daybreak since its founding, but there aren’t any yet.  I thought waiting until the next day to post would give me a couple links.  We’ll see.