Elite Dangerous: Odyssey cancels console development to focus on PC
Because it still needs fixing
Space sim Elite Dangerous has gone to the dogs since its latest expansion, Odyssey. It launched in May 2021 in a sorry state and, while developers Frontier have been fixing it up, it's still a mess now. This week Frontier announced that to help focus their efforts on fixing Odyssey, they're cancelling the yet-unreleased console version. Good news for us on PC, I suppose, but oof! "This was not an easy decision to make, but it was made with the long-term future of Elite Dangerous in mind," Frontier frontman David Braben said.
Odyssey is the expansion which added first-person exploration and violence on foot. Since it launched, many players have complained about bugs, performance problems, boring grind, and other issues. Our own review wasn't impressed either.
"Hopefully in the future Frontier will finish working on Odyssey's borked features," spaceboy Brendy said in the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey review at launch in May 2021. "When that happens, I'm sure this will be the place to jump in for new players. But I can't make that recommendation now. Perhaps if you're desperate to step foot on a strange world (lord knows I have been) this fancy-yet-malfunctioning ferry might satisfy you. For everyone else, stick with the spaceship you've got."
Frontier have released a load of updates since then but ten months later, it has not improved enough. So they're taking drastic steps.
"It's no secret that Odyssey's launch was less than ideal, including the need to split the PC/console player base to focus on a PC-only launch," Braben said in Thursday's announcement. "Since Odyssey's release in May 2021, we have worked tirelessly to improve the Odyssey experience on PC, and whilst we have made great progress there is still more to be done. We have been supporting the pre-Odyssey and post-Odyssey codebases since."
"Over the last several months, we have been wrestling with the best way to move forward, and it is with a heavy heart we have decided to cancel all console development. We need to be able to move forward with the story of the game, and in order for us to do this we need to focus on a single codebase. Elite Dangerous will continue on console as it is now together with critical updates, but we will focus on new content updates on PC on the post-Odyssey codebase."
As for players on the now-obsolete console version, Frontier have said they are "looking into potential options" for letting people transfer to PC but don't have anything to announce right now. Fingers crossed.