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Elite: Dangerous makes a surprise jump to Steam, offers crossbuy between Mac and PC

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Elite: Dangerous is oh so very big, and now the team at Frontier Developments are trying to make sure that as many people as possible have a chance to find that out. Their spacefaring game is coming to the Xbox One as a timed exclusive, eventually releasing on the PlayStation 4 and was only just released in beta form on Mac. Now, it's available through Steam.

The world's largest online games retailer added the title surreptitiously today, leading to a flurry of questions on Elite's official forums. Will those who backed or purchased Elite already get a Steam key as well? Hard to say. Can they add Elite to their Steam library regardless? Of course, said executive producer Michael Brookes, citing the usual manner of adding non-Steam games. Will there be Steam achievements and trading cards available to players who didn't purchase through Steam? "Not immediately, but we'll see," Brookes said.

Polygon reached out to Frontier for details, and learned that whether or not players purchase the game from Frontier directly or through Steam, they'll still get access to both the Mac and PC version.

Right now, only the PC version of Elite is available for purchase, but when the Mac version goes live those who purchased the game will have access to it as well. So, for those who travel with a Mac or simply want to do some ship maintenance from the couch with their laptop, they can log in with their same credentials on the go.

Launch Trailer: Elite- Dangerous