Frontier Developments will no longer be releasing new content for its long-running space sim Elite Dangerous on Xbox and PlayStation, and development on the console version of its poorly received Odyssey expansion has ceased.
The news follows a difficult period for Elite Dangerous, which has struggled to right the ship after a disastrous launch for Odyssey on PC. The expansion was, of course, supposed to be a brave new frontier for the space sim when it arrived last May, finally giving players the long-requested ability to stretch their legs, step out of their ships, and roam around planets, settlements, and space stations on foot.
Unfortunately for those that purchased it, the £30 expansion arrived in a shocking state when management opted to shove it out the door in May, plagued with performance issues, server outages, and a heap of bugs. Odyssey rapidly accrued a Mostly Negative rating on Steam, and Frontier responded by delaying the Xbox and PlayStation versions indefinitely in order to “prioritise the core PC experience for Elite Dangerous”.
Since then, Odyssey has received ten major post-launch updates on PC as of this January in a bid to fix its many, many issues, and the assumption was Frontier would turn its attention back to the console version once the expansion was finally in an acceptable state.
Now, however, Frontier boss David Braben has confirmed that not only is development for Odyssey on consoles officially dead, the studio will no longer be supporting the Xbox One and PS4 games with new content moving forward.
“It’s no secret that Odyssey’s launch was less than ideal,” Braben wrote, “including the need to split the PC/console player base to focus on a PC-only launch. Since Odyssey’s release in May 2021, we have worked tirelessly to improve the Odyssey experience on PC, and whilst we have made great progress there is still more to be done. We have been supporting the pre-Odyssey and post-Odyssey codebases since.”
“Over the last several months,” Braben continued, “we have been wrestling with the best way to move forward, and it is with a heavy heart we have decided to cancel all console development. We need to be able to move forward with the story of the game, and in order for us to do this we need to focus on a single codebase.”
To that end, Braben says Elite Dangerous will continue on consoles as it is now, and will continue to receive critical updates. However, Frontier will focus its efforts on releasing new content updates on PC’s post-Odyssey codebase only. “We appreciate this news is not what our console community were hoping for,” Braben added. “This was not an easy decision to make, but it was made with the long-term future of Elite Dangerous in mind.”
As for the future of Elite Dangerous on PC, Braben says Frontier will share more information on what’s next for the space sim “in due course”.