[Update] Bohemia has confirmed to Shacknews that delaying Carrier Command hasn't changed its plans to release Arma 3 in Q4 2012.
There's good Carrier Command: Gaea Mission news, and there's bad news. The bad is that Bohemia Interactive's reimagining of the classic sandbox RTS has been delayed into September. But wait! You'll be able to play a beta version from later this week, should you pre-order.
The 'Play & Contribute Beta' offers what Bohemia calls a "compressed" version of the Carrier Command campaign, more interested in letting players try the game than following its storyline. For $22.18 you'll get a regular copy of the game when it launches from BI's own store, while $44.37 gets you both BI and Steam versions of CC, plus the soundtrack.
Pre-orders are open now, but the beta won't launch until April 6.
"When we started this project in 2008, we set out to re-imagine the original Carrier Command in a way that captures the spirit of the 8/16-bit classic, while making optimal use of all the technical and game design opportunities available today," Bohemia CEO Marek Španěl said in the announcement. "By allowing it some more time and involving gamers directly, we hope to release a game that stands up to its great legacy,"
One question is, will this affect the release of Arma 3? Bohemia CEO Marek Španěl commented in March that Bohemia "definitely" wanted to release CC before Arma 3, noting that the modern warfare sim was lined up for Q4 2012. A September release for CC will leave Bohemia awfully busy towards the end of the year. We've dropped Bohemia a line to check if this'll have any impact, but haven't heard back yet.