The spaceman ‘n’ vehicle murderfest of MMOFPS PlanetSide will soon be condensed for PlanetSide Arena, with developers Daybreak Game Company today announcing an early access launch on September 19th. The PlanetSide spin-off will have folks shooting each other to bits while romping around on foot, in vehicles, and dangling precariously from jetpacks, just in a big battle royale rather than persistent faction wars. At launch Arena will support 300-player matches in modes with squads of three soldiers or teams of twelve, then is due to grow larger.
PlanetSide Arena is like PlanetSide but a battle royale, see? Expect character classes and progression, sci-fi weapons and vehicles, and the usual shooties on a 64 sq km map (the official size of a battle royale map, according to IEEE standards). It’ll start with a cap of 300 players (100×3-man squads or 25×12-man teams) but Daybreak are already talking about scaling up with 300-player squads in one mode and even 1000 players at once. Hey, hang on, are they quietly backdooring regular PlanetSide 2 into this?
Daybreak expect to launch the finished game in early 2020, some time from March to June. You can read more about early access update plans on the roadmap.
A 300-player battle royale with jetpacks and all sounds like it could be a lark but I do wonder if they’ll be able to fill matches to the brim. Countless failed battle royale games have demonstrated how tough it is to get even 100 players together. PlanetSide 2 may still have thousands of players each day but they’re dropping in and out of a persistent war. Wanting 300 players queuing for a match at the same time is a whole other ask.
If the idea of a 1000-player battle royale sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Mavericks: Proving Grounds. That was recently cancelled when developers Automaton Games entered administration.
Daybreak did have an early battle royale hit with H1Z1: King Of The Kill (later renamed just H1Z1, and now Z1 Battle Royale? what? really?) so they have genre experience. That was knocked off its perch by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds then crushed underfoot by Fortnite.
PlanetSide Arena is coming to Steam Early Access on September 15th, priced at $20. Daybreak have previously spoken about perhaps one day going free-to-play and selling the usual battle royale battle passes. I do not know the current dream.
Here’s a new cinematic trailer showing nothing of what the game’s like: