Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. There’s a game coming out, but now it’s coming out later than you originally announced. Well, add MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries to the pile! The mech-em-up (being advertised as a spiritual successor to MechWarrior 2) has been delayed. You now have to wait until Dec. 10 — three months after the previous release date — to purchase it. Oh… And it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive.
Full disclosure: Fanbyte (that’s us) is owned by Tencent, which also holds a minority stake in Epic Games. So does Disney, apparently, which I just learned while looking up what percentage Tencent controls. It’s 40 percent, by the way. Tencent owns 40 percent. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney still has a controlling 50 percent of the company.
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Anyway, people on the internet get very het up about Epic Games Store exclusivity. This will likely be no different! MechWarrior — and, more broadly, the entire BattleTech universe — has an extremely dedicated fan base. I count myself among them, to a degree. And I’m very much looking forward to MechWarrior 5 when it comes out. But, like a lot of people in this line of work, I don’t personally care much which free service, run by whichever oversized corporation, gets to put DRM around my game.
For those that are upset, developer Piranha Games is offering full refunds. You can get back whatever you spent, no matter which tier of the game you pre-purchased, if you pull out by Sept. 1 of this year. And even if you do, you get to keep whatever pre-order goodies you unlocked for Piranha’s other robot game: MechWarrior Online. You won’t get the exclusive MechWarrior 5 pre-order bonuses, though, since you’re… no longer pre-ordering MechWarrior 5. Makes sense!
You will also lose access to the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries beta. Said demo will allow players who keep their order, or buy the game sometime soon, to “run practice missions” this November. It doesn’t seem like there’s a specific date for the beta yet, though.
Story: MechWarrior 5 Delay and Epic Games Store Exclusivity
Epic stuff said, I’m a little more saddened by the release date. Although I completely get it. Video games get delayed all the time, and it is almost always an entirely good thing. More polish! More features! More time so the developers (hopefully) don’t have to crunch so bad! It’s all gravy, baby.
It only really stands out in this case because MechWarrior 5 has been a long time coming. The game was originally shown in 2016 with a 2018 release window. Naturally it was pushed back and, until today, scheduled for Sept. 10 of 2019. December feels a lot farther away.
You know what else December is far away from? All the other games coming in September! That month is packed to the gills with… just… stuff. Methinks a more niche, hardcore mech action game like this one could have easily been lost in that shuffle. It’s just another reason the delay sounds like a good idea. Much as I would have loved to play the game sooner, rather than later, even I can’t tell myself I would have ignored Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep for long.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the extra time was worth it.