If you're the kind of person who hates the idea of timed exclusives, and you've also been waiting very patiently for a dose of Mechwarrior action that's not tied to an always-online setting, I've got some bad news.
Piranha Games, makers of the upcoming Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, announced some news early Friday morning. The latest iteration in the series will be released later this year on December 10, with "community pre-order pilots" able to access practice missions for the game in November. It's a slight delay from its original release date, which was set for September, but the official FAQ notes that the studio needed more time, as well "as a release date we felt wouldn't be overcrowded".
"As we approached the date it was becoming congested with several very large game releases and it was becoming clear it would be very challenging to meet our marketing and localisation goals for that date," Piranha said.
But along with the delay, there's another downside: Mechwarrior 5 is now an Epic Games exclusive for a full year.
As to why, the studio argued that Mechwarrior 5 would have a higher chance of success on the Epic Store due to the lack of clutter on Epic's marketplace. They also noted that the extra time, afforded to them through Epic's exclusivity deal, would also ensure that localisation could be properly finished in time.
"We also feel very strongly about discoverability and believe that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has a greater chance of market success on the Epic Games store," Piranha said.
Mechwarrior 5 pre-orders originally came with a Steam key, and because those won't be available until late 2020, Piranha has pledged to offer full refunds. But obviously, there's a catch.
"Fans looking to obtain refunds from their pre-order of any tier are able to do so by September 1st," the developers said on their blog, something that doesn't seem wholly compliant with Australian Consumer Law.
"Refunded pre-orders will forfeit their access to the full game and be unable to participate in the upcoming closed beta for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, now scheduled for November as well as lose the exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries DLC items."
One universally positive bit of news out of all of this is that co-op functionality and support for modding remains unaffected. Mechwarrior 5 players will get access to an editor upon the game's release this December, with an end user experience being integrated "for mod makers to share their creations with the community" in early 2020.
The current roadmap for the Epic Games Store, which is publicly viewable on this Trello board, pledges to add mod support for games in the next four to six months. User reviews, wishlists and support for additional currencies are planned to be shipped in that timeframe as well (although the Australian dollar isn't confirmed at this point).