I already sort of consider Arma 3 to be out, but I've sunk 40 hours into the alpha/beta/whatever, so that's skewed my view of it. To me, it's out, even if there's more to come. To Bohemia, the real launch will happen sometime in September. This will bring with it the full island of Altis, with 12 showcases and 3 faction showcases, 10 challenges, 9 multiplayer scenarios, but it won't bring the single-player campaign. That's been delayed, and will be episodically delivered. The first episode, Survive, will be out within four weeks of the initial release. The following two sections arrive in the following months.
The blog post that announces this explains the reasons in great detail. The imprisoning of two of the developers was a big set-back, as was releasing an alpha and beta. The problems those releases exposed has left the company with a backlog of fixes. And they also want to have time to make a decent single-player campaign.
Being in from the start has set me into a pattern of watching the alpha update with content, then the beta with more content, and it feels like part of the process for me. I've been indoctrinated. So I'm happy to wait for the single-player bits to slot in when they're ready, particularly because I'll be spending most of my time in co-op and multiplayer, or just messing with the editor. And this is the world I've found more and more of my games in: a wobbly, nebulous state where they're never really finished.
But I can see why people would be angry at this: releasing a game without a main component that was promised is a bad thing to do, even if it will eventually arrive. I'm glad they've announced it fairly early, but I also think they're asking a lot from the community. I know Arma 3 is considered a platform more than a game, and there will be content, but I don't imagine they'd dare do this without an engaged community that happily makes stuff for their game.
I have some questions: who has bought into the game. How does this make you feel about the money you'd put down? And if you haven't yet bought the game and were waiting for the launch, has this changed your mind to buy it?
Meanwhile, here's Arma 3's official video maker Dslyecxi being angry about another bit of Arma 3.