The situation of Elite perfectly explained.

  • I really liked this comment made on the forum by user Devari and decided it was worth giving it more visibility:

    "FD is in the business of putting in the minimum possible investment to develop a "minimum viable product", then using revenue generated from that product to subsidize subsequent projects, and so on. This is what's happened with Elite being aggressively hyped during the first year, allowing FD to bring in over $60 million USD in revenue, then being promptly neglected while they focused on their next product.

    FD's shareholders, however, are perfectly happy with the situation because in the meantime FD was developing Planet Coaster with that revenue. We've been getting a "minimum viable" product for Season 2, which will now take two full years instead of one year to deliver, and what little development efforts they do make will be focusing on the console market while the core game stagnates.

    Now FD has a third "major Hollywood IP" lined up. You can guess what's going to happen over the next few years as they use low-maintenance revenue from both Elite console sales and Planet Coaster to subsidize that.

    The endgame for FD in terms of Elite development is finally abandoning the "season model" for Elite because they quite simply have no financial incentive to put anything more than minimal resources into the game at this point. They've realized that there isn't enough trust or goodwill left in the community to pay for content in advance, so they're going to do what they can with ridiculously overpriced cosmetic DLC and the occasional OP "feature" DLC that they hope will get more money out of existing players for as little effort as possible.

    There is no "10 year plan" for Elite. There isn't even a "5 year plan". There was a 3 year plan, and we're reaching the end of it. They will keep their inexpensive BGS servers running, which require very little resources due to the game's P2P architecture, probably develop a few OP features and cosmetic DLC over the next few years, but we will not be seeing all of those impressive and immersive features that Braben told everyone about. It quite simply would not be financially viable for them to do so given their focus is on making money for their shareholders.

    The really amusing part here is that I identified this problem last year after looking at FD's financial reports and seeing how they were neglecting Horizons and funneling revenue from Elite to develop Planet Coaster instead. I could clearly see where things were headed and now that even the most optimistic Elite players are finally arriving at the same conclusions there's very little FD can do to spin the situation.

    Braben, who owns 51% of FD, and the company's shareholders could care less about the situation. They aren't in the business of making Elite into a good game, they simply want to make as much money as possible in as short a time period as possible. Elite quite simply is not going to be seen as worthwhile for FD to invest more than the minimum amount of resources in at this point."