MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Delayed To December, Now An Epic Games Store Exclusive

“We believe that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has a greater chance of market success on the Epic Games store.”
Piranha Games announces the delay of MechWarrior 5, along with its release as an Epic Games Store exclusive title.
Piranha Games announces the delay of MechWarrior 5, along with its release as an Epic Games Store exclusive title. Piranha Games

In news that’s sure to fragment an already niche community, developer Piranha Games has not only announced the delay of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries to December, but also has confirmed it’s planned release as a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store for a year. This was announced in an updated FAQ on the game’s website.

The vehicular combat mech title was originally slated for release this September 10, and the reasoning given for the delay on the FAQ was that Piranha Games was making sure the studio had the “time we needed to make the quality of game we desired, as well as a release date we felt wouldn’t be overcrowded.”

Looking at the release schedule for September, it’s hard not to see why the decision was made. A quick glance will show that big titles like Gears 5, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, NBA 2K20, Borderlands 3 and Destiny 2 will all be making their way to the PC very near to September 10, which could lead to the game’s release being overshadowed. Piranha Games also mentioned things like “marketing and localization goals” as to what they have considered for the game’s eventual release, which is now set for December 10.

With this new ship date, players looking forward to the release of MechWarrior 5 can now expect the game’s Closed Beta to go live on November 5, 2019, for all owners of the Community Edition.

Now for the part that made you click on this piece. The updated FAQ for MechWarrior 5 also goes in-depth on the Epic Games Store exclusivity deal. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is available on the Epic storefront only for a year, after which it will finally make its way to other storefronts.

“Partnering with Epic gave us the ability to delay our release to early December so that we could make the quality of game we desired as well as the financial footing to make sure MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries could be properly localized with a significant marketing effort,” the FAQ states. “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.”

The FAQ also addressed some of the community concerns, like full refunds for players who were expecting a Steam key (as the previous iteration of the FAQ mentioned one). What caught my attention the most, however, was a small bit about modding, mostly because of how well-known the franchise is within the modding community and how it will now work on the Epic Games Store.

“We are fully committed to supporting mod making for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries,” the post says. “Upon the game release, mod makers will be able to download the editor and everything they need to create full mods. Then early in 2020, we will integrate the end user experience for mod makers to share their creations with the community.”

“Epic Games store plans to release modding support, including product-specific storefronts for mods, in early 2020,” the FAQ continues. “For more information on current feature status, please visit the Epic Games store Roadmap:”

While it’s commendable that Piranha Games acknowledges modding as an integral feature for the game and its community, it’s still at the mercy of how fast – and how well – the Epic Games Store can implement the feature. As of now, the store still has not made a lot of progress for its promised updates, with some of the targeted features continually being moved from month to month – this may understandably not inspire much faith from the community, who have made their voices known through various videos tackling the subject on YouTube.

As far as these announcements go, Piranha Games has handled it better than most, offering refunds for any pre-purchasers right off the bat. I do, however, take issue with some of the statements made by the game’s executive producer Russ Bullock in a press release: “Since we announced the development of the first single-player MechWarrior game in 17 years, we have stated that our goal was to deliver to fans a MechWarrior: Mercenaries experience with true freedom of choice and to be able to share that experience in a co-op setting.”

It’s not exactly “freedom of choice” if you can only purchase it through one storefront, with the other options being made only available after the exclusivity deal runs out. A lot of the community backlash stems from this fact; the game could have been released on all possible storefronts, if the developers did care about “freedom of choice.”

It remains to be seen, like so many other games, how this decision will affect MechWarrior 5. You can expect more coverage from us here once more information is available, and as soon as more news drops.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be released on December 10 for the PC, exclusively on the Epic Games Store.

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