Elite: Dangerous drops offline ambitions

In a controversial move, Elite: Dangerous creators Frontier Developments have gone back on the promise of allowing the upcoming space flight game to be played entirely offline.

The Kickstarter campaign for Elite: Dangerous still shows the original intent ("it will be possible to have a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server"), but the latest newsletter sent out to project backers reveals otherwise.

Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders.

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.

Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy.

A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.

The news that the game will have to periodically 'phone home' has triggered a furious outpouring from many of those who funded the project on the basis of being able to play entirely offline:

I would have never backed an online only game.
I backed this on the basis of the offline game. [...] The lack of an offline mode has ruined this game for me and I feel cheated.
Disappointed [...] Not everyone has a reliable connection, or wants to connect to play a game.