BattleTech delayed into 2018

The turn-based tactical BattleTech [official site] “is the mech game I’ve always wanted”, our Adam declared after playing a bit. “It’s likely to be one of my favourite games of 2017,” he said. Well then. Let’s blame him for flipping well jinxing it, as BattleTech is now delayed. It was due later this year but is instead now pushed into some time in “early 2018”. Why the delay? The people making BattleTech — Shadowrun Returns devs Harebrained Schemes — say it’s to make the game good, yeah?

Based on the tabletop mech wargame created by Harebrained co-founder Jordan Weisman, BattleTech hit Kickstarter in 2015 and hits its goal within an hour. Harebrained needed to recalibrate their plans as the crowfunding ploughed through stretch goals, and they still have a way to go. Weisman said in today’s announcement:

“We’d previously been projecting a late 2017 release but now that we’ve revised our AI & combat mechanics in reaction to your feedback, completed a thorough review of the work remaining on the game, and are poised to release the Multiplayer Backer Beta update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BattleTech in early 2018.

“Throughout development, the message we’ve received has been clear, ‘Don’t rush it, just make it great.’ and we have taken that to heart.”

For people already playing in the backer beta, a big update is coming this week.

BattleTech was certainly promising when Adam played in May. He said:

“The most surprising thing about BattleTech is how beautiful the damage models are, and how much weight there is to the combat and movement. Lasers scorch and singe the metal, missiles leave steaming gouges in armour, and flames encase overheating mechs, cooking the poor pilot.

“They’re super-weapons, yes, but they’re also giant, heavy, precarious, vertical tanks. Formidable for sure, but when they clash against others of their kind they can suddenly seem terrifyingly vulnerable.”

Ooh go on, I’ll wait. Better late than rubbo.

21 Comments

  1. Drib says:

    Well, the game looks like it’ll be good. Given how we’ve seen a fair number of undercooked games come out recently, all bug-ridden and panned, I would say sure, keep working on this until it’s properly done.

    I’d rather wait to play a game that is widely-loved and genuinely good, than play a half-baked piece of crap now.

  2. Robert The Rebuilder says:

    flipping will

    Poor Will – always serving as the scapegoat for Adam.

  3. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Outstanding alt text on that image.

  4. wombat191 says:

    It’s not mentioned but I was expecting this when the lawsuit was announced

    • colw00t says:

      Harmony Gold is getting ambitious this time, they’re claiming that the Atlas is infringing now. Hopefully HBS/Paradox stand up to them and end the nonsense.

      • wombat191 says:

        They are asshats. The Atlas is nothing like the Armoured Veritech and besides they have the rights to distribute the show outside japan, they definitely don’t own the IP

        • Dogshevik says:

          According to Harmony Gold they also own oxygen. Clumsy hyperbole, you say? Not so fast.
          The way HG sees things the question of ownership over oxygen remains unresolved. But they definately acquired all the rights to some oxygen from some other company at a previous date. A fact which, sadly enough, is rather difficult to fully confirm, because said company doesn´t exist anymore.
          Therefore you shall henceforth be precluded (under threat of legal action) from using oxygen in case they do indeed own it and you would owe them license fees retro-actively.
          But, of course, seeing that you foolishly used oxygen for years already, they are more than happy to settle things out of court. Which includes the transfer of undisclosed and a pretty tight NDA about all of the particulars of said settlement, again under threat of legal action, because that is just the way honest businessmen do stuff.

          Thank you and have a nice day.

          Level of asstard-ness: over 9000

          • Dogshevik says:

            “Which includes the transfer of undisclosed sums…”

            That edit time cap…

  5. Someoldguy says:

    Looking forward to this, although I enjoyed the Mech design part of BattleTech probably more than the actual battling. Maybe that’ll come in an expansion if the game is a hit.

  6. floogles says:

    Good. Release date pressure ruins too many games.

  7. HothMonster says:

    They certainly have a point with that rifleman comparison though. Also Piranha started bringing back the Unseen (Mechs unarguably based on HG designs which have not been shown in universe for decades due to previous lawsuit.) which I assumed meant they had come to some kind of agreement with HG which they clearly have not so that isn’t great for them. Slightly modifying an old design that was clearly infringing and using the name that it originally had doesn’t really show that they were trying to avoid imitating HG’s IP.

    HG claims against the Atlas, and a few of the other more reaching examples, however may help Piranha since it supports their claim that HG will find anything infringing if it happens to be a tall humanoid robot (I enjoyed seeing the term ‘robot warrior’ so much in their filings) so they would not work with Piranha in good faith to avoid an IP conflict issue.

    Harmony Gold can get fucked but reading what little I have of the complaints it does seem like Piranha was knowingly courting (ha) trouble with HG. Shame Harebrained had to get tied up in this especially with Jordan’s history with HG.

    • Mechman says:

      Harmony gold doesn’t own the designs though. They licensed the animes the designs are from in the 80s, but didn’t license it from the studio the Japanese courts say owns it. The company that actually owns it just hasn’t challenged them in the US because it doesn’t believe it’s worth the expense, so harmony gold has been filling trademark and copyrights for it in the US claiming to be the owner.

    • theliel says:

      HG didn’t win the lawsuit against FASA – it was settled out of court & sealed.
      We’ve no idea what the actual agreement was, it may just have simply been “Do not use these designs” – but we do know that HG & partners were acting in bad faith. Litigation had been settled before HG partnered with Hasbro to bring out ‘Exosquad’ designs based on Macross (dodgy, but fine) & then included Battletech IP designs such as the Mad Cat.

      This was all before the studios that actually own Macross won their court cases in Japan – and as Mechman said HG has been throwing their IP around & blocking new Macross from being imported based on a (now) bad license.

      The problem for HG is that they were having problems with a top tier RPG publisher in court. Imagine what a properly staffed mid-tier video game publisher’s legal department is going to do?

      Essentially they’ve picked on people who couldn’t afford to fight back. Paradox, for their faults, are the kind of people who live & die by international licensing deals. Their house lawyers (and US council) are most likely experts at this sort of thing.

      If Paradox jumps in & HG doesn’t fold they may just go for the throat and try to get HG’s license gutted. It could very well be worth the $2-3 million spend to do so if it frees up IP that they’ve already got an in on.

  8. tokyodan says:

    I bet the real reason it is deleated is legal trouble, and that there is a chance this game will not be released in even 2018. Of course if my theory is true HBS could never admit it.

  9. tokyodan says:

    Damn spell checker. I meant ‘the real reason it is delayed’.

  10. CloneWarrior85 says:

    It’s def. a game i can wait, it’s one of those games i really don’t want it to be rushed.

  11. fahdiz says:

    I would certainly hope it is good, since the devs abandoned the very promising Necropolis to work on it.

    They don’t care what I think, obviously, but I sure would like it if they’d release some mod tools for that game so that the community can make it into the game it should have been in the first place.

  12. Quadruplesword says:

    I was expecting the reason to be “These asshats at HG are suing us, so we have to deal with that before we can release the game.” Their language would probably be a bit less crass, though.

  13. that_guy_strife says:

    I was disappointed by the small size of controllable units and maps. The lack of terrain effects (no destroyable cover, can’t set forests on fire) is a huge letdown. The emphasis on knocking mechs to the ground seems really uninteresting.

    Funnily enough, my post describing those thoughts on one of their demo video got deleted. Well played HBS.

  14. TotallyUseless says:

    I hope they put more personality and tension on the game. BattleTech doesn’t feel XCOMy. No pilot panicking from damage, the mechs move clumsily, the UI isn’t good.

  15. chromedbustop says:

    It’s a shame that Harmony Gold keeps showing up with these lawsuits, but at the same time, if FASA had come up with their own designs this could have all been avoided. They probably would have looked terrible, as so many of those early mech designs did. But at least the designs would have been theirs.

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