News just dropped from Frontier Developments that they are no longer looking to develop the Odyssey expansion for the console versions of Elite Dangerous. The text is below but the original post can be found here.
Elite Dangerous is a game close to my heart.
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. 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.
We appreciate this news is not what our console community were hoping for. This was not an easy decision to make, but it was made with the long-term future of Elite Dangerous in mind.
With regards to what is coming next in Elite Dangerous, we look forward to sharing further news in due course.
To say I’m majorly disappointed would be an understatement. I spent a good few months in the Xbox version travelling to the center of Elite‘s galaxy and back to attain an Elite ranking prior to Odyssey landing on console. Since then I’d been waiting for that to happen as my initial experience with the expansion at launch on PC was pretty dismal thanks to some massive performance issues so was hoping for console friendly optimizations to make it run at a decent framerate. Worse yet is that there is no indication of players being able to transfer their progress across to PC to continue which for some may be the last straw in many months of frustration.
It really sounds like the problems run a lot deeper and that the process used for cross platform development have been severely flawed given that they are now unable to bring consoles back in line with the PC builds. It was a task that they had eventually achieved way back during the Horizons expansion so having it run away from them again doesn’t look good. And as a few commanders on Twitter noted, surely the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 have the grunt to handle the game if CPU capability is the problem. Or maybe they just feel they won’t get enough of a return from Xbox and PlayStation players to justify the development but then seeing as we’ve been waiting a year for Odyssey the delay wouldn’t have helped from a sales perspective. The game has certainly been eclipsed by No Man’s Sky in terms of evolving at a steady rate.
Not really sure how to look at the game from this point onwards. Maybe I just have to give up on the Xbox version and start again on PC where I’ve played substantially fewer hours, but having to repeat tasks that had taken me months to complete the first time for Elite status just doesn’t sound appealing. There’s not doubt this will torpedo the console fan base and then the question will be whether that’s enough to save the PC version too. Time will tell.