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Elite: Dangerous release date is Dec. 16

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Space combat epic Elite: Dangerous will be released on Dec. 16, according to developer Frontier Developments.

The game is currently available for pre-order as the 'Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition' which includes the full game, an additional Eagle fighter, ship liveries, Day One decal and other digital goodies for $50. Pre-orders receive a $9.99 discount on the final release price.

All crowd-funded backers who have purchased Beta access or higher will receive the Mercenary Pack upon release.

Elite: Dangerous is the successor to David Braben's 1984 space-faring, combat and trading game Elite. Players pilot and upgrade a spaceship, explore the Milky Way, and undertake missions against AI and real-life opponents.