MechWarrior reboot goes free-to-play, PC only

After two years of radio silence since first revealing a MechWarrior reboot was in the works, developer Piranha Games has revealed that the game will be a PC-exclusive title sporting a free-to-play business model.


After two years of radio silence since first revealing a MechWarrior reboot was in the works, developer Piranha Games has revealed that the game will be a PC-exclusive title sporting a free-to-play business model.

MechWarrior Online will go live in the second half of 2012, according to a report from PC Gamer.

"Starting from just before the Clan Invasion of 3050, MWO will tell the story of the Battletech universe in real-time," PC Gamer writes in its exclusive preview of the upcoming title. Each day within the game will represent a single day of the universe's warring factions battling for control of the "fictional Inner Sphere."

"I think it's really the MechWarrior you know," Piranha President Russ Bullock said, insisting that the title's new Free-to-Play model will not keep the game from being a proper title in the series. "It's fully first-person. It's not a new interpretation. We're modernizing things a little bit, I think we'll get to those questions, but certainly it's MechWarrior."

When the reboot was first announced, it was originally planned for release on the PC and Xbox 360. The console version appears to have been canceled.

Jordan Weisman, founder of MechWarrior creator FASA, announced in 2007 his newly established studio Smith & Tinker had licensed the rights to a number of properties from Microsoft, including MechWarrior. At the time, Weisman said it was his company's intention to "surprise and delight old fans."

More information, and the ability to "reserve" your pilot's name, is available on the official MechWarrior Online website.

As many MechWarrior fans are undoubtedly a part of the Shacknews community, we ask: are you surprised and delighted by MechWarrior's F2P reboot?

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 31, 2011 7:30 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, MechWarrior reboot goes free-to-play, PC only.

    After two years of radio silence since first revealing a MechWarrior reboot was in the works, developer Piranha Games has revealed that the game will be a PC-exclusive title sporting a free-to-play business model.

    • reply
      October 31, 2011 7:38 PM

      Read the blog on the site. It explains how the publishing community, despite a phenomenal response to the 2009 video, chose not to fund the game.

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        October 31, 2011 8:25 PM

        What the hell? Looking at some of the lukewarm or borderline garbage first party titles that Sony and Microsoft have funded over the past few years, I figured MechWarrior would be a halfway decent exclusive to lock down.

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          October 31, 2011 9:15 PM

          I'm glad they didn't. It looked to have been another console-focused game from what I've read..

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            November 1, 2011 6:38 AM

            Really? Oh man, PC gamers would be so pissed.

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          November 1, 2011 6:10 AM

          Seeing as how Microsoft owned MechWarrior as a property and sold it, I doubt they'd give a shit about it on the Xbox.

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          November 1, 2011 9:59 AM

          MechWarrior is a niche property

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      October 31, 2011 7:46 PM

      I normally don't play for free, but for this, I will f2p

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      October 31, 2011 9:40 PM

      Mechwarrior ended at 3 for me, but I'll reserve my opinion about this online version until I see some media.

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        October 31, 2011 10:01 PM

        Same here. With the mobile field bases, the game became almost one big escort mission. And while I don't like quoting Adam Sessler, "we hate escort missions".

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        November 1, 2011 9:38 AM

        MW4 was awesome. Played all of its iterations for 5+ years.

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        November 1, 2011 1:10 PM

        You should try MechWarrior: Living Legends:

        Its free (though it requires Crysis Wars), and has all the gameplay from 3/4 with CryEngine graphics.

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      October 31, 2011 10:03 PM

      This could be the most epic thing ever. PLEASE don't suck.

      I've been waiting for this since EA turned BattleTech 3025 into a FUCKING BASEBALL GAME ten years ago.

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      November 1, 2011 6:18 AM

      Clan Black Sheep in the house!
      Old kali clans need to get back together for a reunion tour on this when it comes out.

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      November 1, 2011 6:32 AM

      If it's anything like the Crysis mod it will be great.

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        November 1, 2011 6:41 AM

        How is that, any good? Crysis multiplayer was always horrible for me technically, and the MW mod is online-only. Sigh*

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          November 1, 2011 10:48 AM

          It's pretty much amazing. They managed to pull off the combined-arms Battletech multiplayer game we've always wanted, and it's amazing. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but I highly recommend it.

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            November 1, 2011 11:28 AM

            I played one of the earlier betas for a while and I don't like the CS-style of purchasing 'Mechs. I can understand/accept a mod that's in beta and not having a traditional MechLab, but I very much dislike having to "earn" my MadCat or Marauder or what have you from spawn to spawn. Part of the reason I've never tried a BF game is that all I'd want to do is fly jets, which A) you can't do on every map anyhow and 2) all the stories of vehicle-stealing.

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              November 1, 2011 1:08 PM

              Well that's still part of the game, but it creates a progression per round of light mechs to medium and so on. There are gametypes which give you a set (usually large) amount to buy whatever mech you want and brawl it out deathmatch style.

              You should play BF3 then! They fixed the jet-stealing by allowing you to spawn right in the cockpit and fly off. It means no one camps the jet spawn, and it's usually pretty easy to hop in if you want. I've almost never been unable to get in the heli I want.

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              November 1, 2011 1:13 PM

              Well there is a huge advantage to assigning cost to mechs. You don't have to balance every vehicle against every other in the game. Some are just better, but they cost more. There are tons of ways to get them, and you can share cbills with team mates to get higher priced ones. I'm working on a feature now currently to allow teams to pool cbills so that people can easily buy bigger assets if the team shares.

              Honestly mech lab just makes things harder in so many ways. I know its fun for the user up front, but its sheer pain beyond that from a balancing standpoint. We might do it one day still but its quite a risk.

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                November 1, 2011 1:48 PM

                I understand what you're saying, but I've never liked that sort of design mechanic that (IMO) over-rewards you for doing better than the other team. The reward should be winning, not accelerating your ability to dominate. It's one of the reasons I never enjoyed CS.

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                  November 1, 2011 2:35 PM

                  Except that it can be shared with the team. By playing better you reward your team not just yourself. If you spend it on assets that aren't appropriate for the battlefield you lose.

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                    November 1, 2011 2:54 PM

                    That and your super heavy awesome assault mech is pretty easily destroyed by a couple mediums working in concert.

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                    November 1, 2011 3:41 PM

                    I see it as punishment by the designers for playing what I prefer to. Or being forced by game design to not have fun. If I like Heavies and light Assaults but I'm having a bad night or join late in the map or whatever, then I'm stuck playing something I don't enjoy and wasted my time and the server's resources and didn't contribute to the team.

                    Mind you it's a valid design decision because there obviously is and audience that enjoys that sort of per-map progression, but it's decidedly not for me.

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                      November 1, 2011 4:32 PM

                      What if you could play in your heavy or light assault, but it wasn't decked to the nine's? Shall we say a cheap variant of it?

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      November 1, 2011 6:46 AM

      That drawing in the headline pic is so badass. Anyone else wondering why the MW universe hasn't changed in more than 20 years? I never see new mechs, or even spinoff timelines. Why not 'reboot' the franchise with some more advanced technology?

      I think that could be really cool.

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      November 1, 2011 9:54 AM

      This game sounds awesome. I love the idea that light mechs will be useful for EW and scouting, relaying information back to heavies. Give me a Raven with jump jets and I'll scout out the Clan scum!

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      November 1, 2011 9:58 AM

      Please for the love of god tell me the Shack isnt going to do the same idiotic trick Gawker uses. Linking the name of a game to your own page for the game sucks, especially when you expect the link to take you to the games own website.


    • reply
      November 1, 2011 10:02 AM


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        November 1, 2011 10:05 AM

        No you won't, because they say right there in Dev Blog 0 or whatever that it's going to be focused on urban combat with no long LOS. WTF, over?

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          November 1, 2011 10:13 AM


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          November 1, 2011 10:26 AM

          Guess we can kiss all of the following goodbye!!!

          ER Lasers
          Long Toms
          and more!!!

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            November 1, 2011 10:27 AM

            The Mechs will only consist of SRMs and LBXes. Maybe High Explosives.

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              November 1, 2011 10:32 AM

              It's weird. They talk about urban combat to remove circle strafing and restricting LOS, but then they specifically talk about their design for LRMs in the FAQ. So I'm not sure they really know WTF they're overall goals for gameplay are.

              I hope Streak SRMs wind up like MW4's, I always thought that implementation was elegantly simple.

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                November 1, 2011 10:32 AM

                Fuck, they're/their whatever.

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                November 1, 2011 10:51 AM

                wtf's wrong with circle strafing?!

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                  November 1, 2011 11:25 AM

                  Why are you asking me?! I am not a game designar!!1

                  MW4's problem wasn't circle strafing, anyhow, it was pop-tarting and the sheer superiority of the ERLL in any situation, including brawls. I haven't played MW4 for years, so I dunno what all MekTek has continued to do to it, but I'm not terribly confident in this project from the early info. That said, it's still early and I've reserved my pilot name not that there's another Wadmaasi out there anyhow.

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                November 1, 2011 11:30 AM

                I think you're jumping to conclusions wadmassi, though not unreasonably.

                Frankly, I would have been bored w/o the focus on urban combat, but I see it as a facet of what they're doing... They're not saying "don't do" long range combat, just also do urban.

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                  November 1, 2011 11:40 AM

                  Totally agree. Hopefully they'll do it well. I think the giant open maps were relatively "unrealistic" within the game universe anyway because of aerospace fighters and artillery. Why land dropships in the middle of nowhere when there are cities/factories that have some military value.

                  This isn't to say there weren't any open-terrain fights in the books/lore/whatever, but...they were only interesting because of the story...that doesn't make those scenarios fun to replay in a game.

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                  November 1, 2011 11:46 AM

                  I didn't play MW3 much, and MW2 was so long ago all I remember of it is zOMG AWESOME, but MW4 was one of the few versus MP games that I was good at and played for a long, long time. It had long-range maps, short-range maps, mid-range maps, and maps that mixed both styles (some, of course, with greater or lesser degrees of success). When the Dev Blog 0 flat out says (and this is not cherrypicking, that's the first bullet point of the early design pillars):

                  From these two key areas, early design pillars emerged in the form of:
                  * Urban Combat to address circle strafing and long range sniping.

                  I feel like it's OK to take that at face value and be concerned that long range combat is not a priority and may not be particularly effective/present in the game. They want to keep the combat short, tight, and in-your-facecockpit; which is OK, one of my best 'Mechs in MW4 was an ugly-ass Victor loaded for Clan Ghostbear with CLBX20s, SLs, and CSSRMs. But that won't prevent me from grieving for my two true 'Mech loves, the Mad Cat and the Cauldron Born loaded out with C/LGRs, ERPPCs, ERLLs, and CLRM15s. My favorite part of the game was the long-range harassment of other 'Mechs with a disjointed assortment of weaponry that required constant juggling of lead distances, reload/recycle times, and delayed-arrival (LRMs). I was a master at chain-firing CLRM20S such that if I got a lock and got the first salvo off, if you couldn't get back to cover you'd die without ever getting a return-shot due to the constant knock from the never-ending hailstorm of missiles I rained down on you.

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                    November 1, 2011 1:16 PM

                    I just think they're addressing in the sense that "long range is good, but shouldn't be ALPHGGAGAHA STRIKE 24/7/365.". Not that I'm saying MW4 was, but because it's a reasonable concern just in general when dealing with giant walking battle tanks

                    All I know is that I want to be a grunt pulling some Luke Skywalker taking down an AT-AT shit in there son.

                    And I know that won't happen.

                    So I'll wait for a Land Air Mech.


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                      November 1, 2011 1:18 PM

                      I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm, so I won't point+laugh, but you keep waiting for a LAM and I'll keep waiting for Robotech: Battlecry 2 (or, ideally, a true Macross game).

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                        November 1, 2011 1:34 PM

                        Have you played Macross Ulitmate Frontier on PSP? It's actually a really great Macross game, the music, all the mechs, I mean all, all the stories. It's great. It helps to read Japanese, but it's not required.

                        But yeah, I'm just goofing.

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                          November 1, 2011 1:49 PM

                          No, I sold my PSP a couple years ago. I was bummed by the Invid-era Xbox game.

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                November 1, 2011 11:35 AM

                Well, urban combat doesn't necessarily mean there will be zero long range opportunities. I think they just want to remove those gigantic desert/snow levels that I barely remember from MW2/MW3. Where people just sit back on a hill, launch LRMs, and slink down the back of the hill to dodge any return fire.

                Imagine a long street where you can pop off some missiles, or big courtyards or parks in the middle of an urban environment. The Seine Crossing map in BF3 has the huge bridge area over the river where sniping is possible.

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            November 1, 2011 10:35 AM

            They'll have to pry my PPC's from my COLD DEAD MECH-HANDS!

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          November 1, 2011 10:34 AM

          jump jet on top of a building maybe?

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          November 1, 2011 1:05 PM

          Here we go, panic level subsiding:

          At the bottom:

          So we have a smattering of urban maps, and some open terrain maps, and all require different tactics, and different roles, and different Mechs. So on a big open field, with huge open ranges, the Assault Mech might have an advantage. But in the city, the scout mech with its maneuverability might have the advantage.

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            November 1, 2011 1:52 PM

            It follows the novels' timelines


            Also, if you can make lances (4), and you play Clan, can you make Stars (5)?

    • reply
      November 1, 2011 2:29 PM

      I'm definitely interested.

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