Piranha Games, developers of MechWarrior: Online and the upcoming MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, has announced that the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be a timed exclusive (one-year) to the Epic Games Store and will be delayed.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries was initially slated for release in September 2019. After the recent announcement, the game will now be available on December 10th, 2019. Piranha Games attributed a crowded release calendar for September and some localization delays at the reasons for moving the release date back three months.
As for the exclusivity to the Epic Games Store, Piranha claims the funding from the deal went directly to the production costs of the games and that concerns over discoverability on Steam prompted the deal. As mentioned above, the exclusivity to the Epic Games Store will expire one year from the release of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.
Russ Bullock, an executive producer on MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries said this about the deal.
“Our partnership with the Epic Games store allows Piranha the opportunity to make sure MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries meets our internal goal of creating the best MechWarrior game possible, 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 coop setting.”
In an attempt to head off any disappointment over the delay and exclusivity deal, Piranha Games is offering refunds to those who pre-ordered MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. Players who receive refunds will still get the pre-order bonuses tied to their purchase. Piranha also announced a closed beta for the game on November 5th.
MechWarrior fans have been waiting a long time for a single-player game in the franchise. The early games in the series were classics of the early PC gaming scene. As faster-paced shooters like Doom and Quake began to dominate on PC, the MechWarrior games slowly faded away. Last year’s BattleTech turn-based strategy game defiantly helped tide some die-hard fans over as did the multiplayer-only MechWarrior: Online a few years ago. But even a short delay like this one, it will probably ruffle some feathers.
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.