Elite: Dangerous Drops Its Promised Offline Mode

Frontier Developments explains why it dropped the game's offline mode.

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A month before space sim Elite: Dangerous' final release, developer Frontier Developments announced that the game will not have the offline mode initially promised during its Kickstarter campaign.

"Being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders," Frontier Developments CEO David Braben said in a recent newsletter to fans. "Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved."

As the game's FAQ section on Kickstarter still shows, the game was always focused on a persistent, shared world, but would also allow players to choose a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server.

As executive producer Michael Brooke explains on the game's forums (where some upset backers are asking for refunds), "the problem is that the galaxy mechanics all sit on the online servers. The data set and processes are huge and not something that would translate offline without considerable compromise to the vision. Trust me we didn't sit down and think what would annoy people the most! It's a choice we've had to make and so we've taken it."

In short, you can still play a single player mode, but the game requires an internet connection to sync up with the galaxy's shared economy.

Elite: Dangerous will release on December 16. For more on the game, check out this "making of" video and the rest of GameSpot's previous coverage.

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