The Elite Dangerous release cycle (unofficial)

This is based purely on my own observations over the years which may help people to put things in perspective

  1. Announce an (expansion/update/feature) in a deceptively worded press release that the community will interpret in the most positive possible way. Do not correct their interpretation.
  2. Postpone the release.
  3. Postpone it again.
  4. Run an alpha.
  5. Receive feedback from players committed enough to perform voluntary, unpaid QA for FDev.
  6. Promise to work on identified problems relating to (grind/design/technology).
  7. Do not fix issues relating to (grind/design/technology).
  8. Release (expansion/update/feature) which is (broken/grindy/lacking features/a combination of all three) but is, none-the -less, consistent with the worst possible reading of your initial announcement.
  9. Watch as the community loses its collective mind.
  10. Appear genuinely surprised that the community has reacted that way.
  11. Work to fix the problems.
  12. Release a new build the company is happy with.
  13. Be amazed when the build falls short of community expectations.
  14. Apologise for how FDev has communicated with the community and promise to be more open.
  15. Briefly communicate more openly before having someone explain that it’s better that developers not say too much so that the community does not get unrealistic expectations. After all, that’s marketing’s job.
  16. Get the game to a state where it is (less broken/slightly less grindy).
  17. Say that it’s good enough for now and that further iterations may address any outstanding issues.
  18. Allow time to pass so that community anger runs out of steam and settles into the normal background level of cynicism about FDev’s (ability/willingness) to make Elite Dangerous the game the players want it to be.
  19. Repeat.


leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *