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Escape from Tarkov studio draws fan ire after locking new PvE mode behind €250 special edition

Escape from Tarkov developer Battlestate has drawn fan ire after unveiling a €250 (€300 after tax) special edition that, alongside special advantages some are calling pay-to-win, contains an exclusive co-op PvE mode that won’t be made available to those that bought a previous edition promising access to “all subsequent DLCs”.

The tactical online FPS’ new Unheard Edition is positively crammed with stuff, beginning with relatively innocuous inclusions such as a digital copy of the game and closed beta access. But it also includes unique weapons and a number of paid advantages – increased stash size, expanded PMC pockets, additional slots for the in-game flea market, and more – that have caused the new edition to be labelled “pay-to-win” by members of the community.

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It’s the inclusion of an exclusive new co-op PvE mode that’s caused the most consternation, however, with the chief sticking point being that Tarkov’s previous Edge of Darkness Edition – now discontinued – promised purchasers would get “free access to all subsequent DLCs”.


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Battlestate’s initially rather tone deaf response to fans was simply to quibble semantics. “It ain’t DLC,” a Tarkov community manager said on Discord (via Forbes). “DLC means additional downloadable content. PvE is a feature and a game mode…just because you all want it to become a DLC it wouldn’t mean it is one. It’s [a] featured game mode for the new edition of the game.”

That, unsurprisingly, hasn’t go down particularly well, and Battlestate has since attempted to calm the Unheard Edition backlash by promising a number of additional unique items and paid advantages to owners of the Edge of Darkness Edition. It’s also offering Edge of Darkness owners access to the new PvE, but in a fashion that borders on petty – only promising offline access for six months. This has far from placated players who bought the Edge of Darkness Edition under the impression it would provide permanent access to all future DLC.

The situation is a bit of a mess then, and not helped by the fact Battlestate appears to be dragging its heals in order to push Edge of Darkness owners toward what’s likely to be the studio’s preferred solution: a €120 paid upgrade to the Unheard Edition. Given Edge of Darkness owners have already forked out €150+ for their initial purchase, you can probably see where the discontent lies.

Still, it’s clear the studio is aware of the community’s ongoing discontent, even if it’s not exactly rushing to get players back on its side. Will it relent further? Time will tell.

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