The multi-million dollar Kickstarter for BattleTech will soon begin to bear fruit with a backers-only beta, currently scheduled for March 15. Pre-orders are available through a service called Backerkit, and will grant access to the beta at the $50 level.
That price is expected to rise by $10 on Feb. 15.
The team at Harebrained Schemes, which includes series co-creator Jordan Weisman, went the crowdfunding route in 2015 and raised more than $2.78 million for the turn-based strategy game. We had hands-on with it last year at Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana and the small slice that we played was rock solid.
Since then, the team has been hard at work fleshing out the campaign as well as the multiplayer component. In an update posted to Kickstarter just a few days ago, Harebrained said the upcoming beta would include a single-player skirmish mode as well as a one-on-one multiplayer mode.
“The Beta will include a subset of the 'Mechs and Maps that will be found in the game at launch,” the team wrote. “Note that the Backer Beta will not include the story campaign or mercenary company management, nor will it include the ability to modify your `Mech loadouts. We hope to update the Beta later with the `Mech Lab feature but can’t commit to that at this time.”
The date is described as a target date, and should be expected to slip.
“While we’re on track for this date and looking good, this IS game development,” stated the update. “Please take the date with the expected grain of salt. Something may break as we head into this date and it may require us to take additional time to fix it to ensure a good experience for our participants.”
There’s no plans for a non-disclosure agreement, so expect to see lots of BattleTech content popping up in the usual places like YouTube and Twitch next month. The game has an expected release date in May of this year.