Escape from Tarkov players force change from delusional developers

  • Escape from Tarkov developer Battlestate Games spent much of the weekend arguing over the definition of downloadable content.
  • This as the developer launched a new $250 premium package for the extraction shooter that included a new mode.
  • Players who purchased an earlier version of a similar package weren’t given access to this mode until Battlestate Games realised arguing about the definition of DLC was a fool’s errand.

At the weekend, the developer of popular extraction shooter Escape from Tarkov, Battlestate Games, attempted to redefine what downloadable content is.

The attempt to change the definition of what DLC is stems from the developer’s release of a new addition to the game – The Unheard Edition. This content drop includes an offline PvE co-op mode which would see players having an easier time extracting loot given that there were no human players on the map.

However, introducing The Unheard Edition caused a ruckus because Battlestate Games reneged on a promise it made to players who purchased a different edition of the game.

That edition is the Edge of Darkness which costs $150 and offers “Free Access to all subsequent DLCs (Season pass)”. However, this was seemingly delisted and replaced recently by the Unheard Edition which costs $250 and offers slightly more than the Edge of Darkness edition and the aforementioned PvE mode. That’s all good and well except Battlestate Games tried to back-peddle on the promise of “Free Access to all subsequent DLCs (Season pass)” it made to the Edge of Darkness owners.

The justification for this? The Unheard Edition, which adds a new mode to the game, is not DLC.

Yes, you read that correctly, a new mode that requires players to download new content is not downloadable content according to Battlestate Games.

“DLC in our understanding is the major additions to the game, including various functionality and content that are released after the official release of the game as a themed DLC pack (Scav Life DLC for example, which will add a lot of new mechanics and content for Scav gameplay and leveling),” chief operations officer, Nikita Buyanov said in a statement on Reddit.

Naturally, this didn’t fly with players who spent much of the weekend pointing out the promises that were made to them that the developer is now walking back.

Try as it might, Battlestate Games could not change the definition of DLC and the more it tried, the worse the situation got for the dev. Hell, even Community Notes on X pointed out the double standard of the developer’s actions.

Battlestate Games tried to make amends by offering Edge of Darkness players temporary access to the PvE offline mode for six months. This did not sit well with players at all who continued to push for full access.

“Just revert this decision, you aren’t gonna win any favours. A new game mode is DLC. And you have the audacity to say people who bought the newest version can test this mode? LOL?! You owe everything added in the future to the people who bought your game years ago,” one player said to the devs in a post on X.

Ultimately, by Sunday Battlestate Games realised it was not in a position to argue the delusional take that an entirely new way to play Escape from Tarkov was not DLC. Amidst talk of lawsuits being filed and mass deletion of the game by players, the developer promised that Edge of Darkness players would be granted access to the PvE mode in due course.

“We observe your dissatisfaction and have decided that the functionality of the PvE mode will be available for free to all owners of the EoD version at the release of the game, when the server infrastructure will be improved to the required capacity,” wrote Buyanov.

Despite the course correction, players weren’t pleased with the vague wording of that statement as “the release of the game” could be months or even years away. The developer has said that players wishing to upgrade from the Edge of Darkness edition to the Unheard edition will be given a 50 percent discount to try the PvE mode out before Escape from Tarkov’s release. As this was still against the initial promise, the backlash persisted.

Eventually, on Sunday, Battlestate Games made one final announcement:

“About PvE access – we decided to just open it for EoD [Edge of Darkness] owners for free, but we will do it in waves. As I said before – we don’t have server capacity right now. We will start this process as soon as possible,” the COO wrote.

While owners of the Edge of Darkness edition have welcomed the change, the reputation of Battlestate Games is somewhere between the gutter and hell. It’s worth remembering that Escape from Tarkov is still only available as a closed-beta test. Charging players $150 and worse, $250 to access a game that isn’t even at full release, is delusional and dangerous.

Of course, some players are only happy to make purchases such as this as a show of support to the developer.

But this developer has shown itself to be greedy and rather than sticking to its original promise, it chose instead to try to gaslight its players by suggesting DLC meant something different to what it does. We suspect that after consulting legal minds, Battlestate Games realised that trying to make one offer redundant in favour of another.

While we do hope this sends a strong message to Battlestate and others who try to pull one over on players, we also know that it will likely fall on deaf ears. With the cost of making games getting higher and publishers chasing profits over players, we doubt that this will be the last time players are shocked to see behaviour like this.


About Author


Related News