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Elite Dangerous’ Horizons expansion will soon be part of the base game

Those who purchased it previously will be gifted an in-game skin

A player-owned SRV leaps over a crater while under fire from a UAV. Imsage: Frontier Developments
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.

Spacefaring game Elite Dangerous will include its popular expansion content — Elite Dangerous: Horizons — free of charge with the base game after Oct. 27. The announcement was made Tuesday by the team at Frontier Developments. Those who previously purchased the Horizons expansion separately will be gifted a unique skin that can be applied to all of the ships in the game.

In Elite, players take on the role of pilots roving through a one-to-one recreation of all 400 billion star systems in the Milky Way galaxy. The Horizons expansion adds, among other things, the ability to land on some planets and drive around in a little six-wheeled rover. It also opens up access for players to “seasons” of content, including certain ship upgrades and other advanced kinds of play. In the nearly five years since its launch, the add-on has become the de facto way to play the game. Now, it will actually be bundled in to the base game.

Currently, Elite costs $29.99 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One or £20 through the official Frontier storefront. Horizons costs an additional $29.99 (£20). After Oct. 27, both items will be sold together under the name Elite Dangerous and cost just $29.99 (£20). The Horizons product will no longer be available on its own.

Elite has had an unusual pricing history, to say the least. After a crowdfunding campaign, the game launched into early access at a premium price of $150. Later, in 2014, it launched as a live product for Windows and Mac at $59.99. It later arrived for Xbox One in 2015 and PlayStation 4 in 2017 at the same price. The Horizons content went live in Dec. 2015, and cost an additional $50 for existing players at the time.

Elite’s next upgrade, called Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, is a for-pay expansion. It’s not expected until early 2021. A price has not yet been announced.

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