Developer Fronteir Development hopes that spinning off the popular PvP aspect of Elite Dangerous into its own mode will expose more people to their burgeoning space MMO at a drastically reduced price. For $7.49, players can enter the CQC tournament and battle one another in deadly space combat, a bit less expensive than the $59.99 core game. Those who buy the Arena beforehand and choose to opt into the full game later will have the cost of Arena deducted from their purchase.
Four ships are available in the standalone Arena: The Federal fighter, Imperial fighter, the Sidewinder, and the Eagle. Each ship has its own advantages and drawbacks. Different tactical loadouts become available as players rank up through combat. Four arenas will be available at launch: a large citadel tower, a mining facility, a cavernous space station, and a frozen asteroid belt. Arena features three modes for commanders to test their skills against other players: Eight-player free-for-all, team deathmatch, and capture the flag.
“Elite Dangerous: Arena is a different kind of multi-player shooter, offering competitive gamers the chance to jump into thrilling space combat and challenge the world,” Frontier CEO David Braben said. “We showcase CQC to players at events around the world, and it’s a hit wherever it’s played.”
All Elite Dangerous: Arena and Elite Dangerous CQC players are eligible to enter Frontier’s $100,000 Close Quarter Combat Championships tournament. Players can participate in a series of heats throughout the coming spring and summer. Winners will be invited to the grand final (held at a secret location) that will be streamed online later this year.
Elite Dangerous: Arena is available now for PC