Daybreak Games has announced their next major game, and the announcement has a lot of fans scratching their heads. Daybreak announced PlanetSide Arena, a paid shooter with more than a dozen game modes, including a Battle Royale mode with hundreds of players.
And even though Daybreak recently cut a major amount of their staff, it seems like the company has been able to keep things running smoothly enough to get their next major project out of the door. And yes, the game does feature a Battle Royale mode, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg in PlanetSide Arena.
PlanetSide Arena features three classes – Assault, Medic, and Engineer, each with their own unique abilities — all set on a massive 64×64 KM map with hundreds of players. The flagship mode will be called Massive Clash and will feature 250-on-250 team battles on a single map. Daybreak is also quick to reveal that there’s a possibility for larger battles in the future. The other modes include entries such as Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Kill Count, Doubles, Search and Destroy, and Global Conquest. These extra modes will be added as part of seasonal content updates post-launch.
The game also plans to mimic the “Battle Pass” structure for player progression in-game. Players will have an overall progress system for the full game, and then each content season will have its own progression ladder. When a PlanetSide Arena season begins, its season pass of content will offer “blueprints” of weapons and other gameplay upgrades that players can bring with them to a match. These upgrades are unlocked using a points system similar to the point expenditure system from PlanetSide 2. The devs will also include lore tidbits and new story arcs within these seasonal patches too.
“Each PlanetSide Arena Season is intended to make an impact like a drop pod on the battlefield. Seasons will incorporate a broad assortment of new content, features, and functionality – including new weapons, classes, vehicles, maps, progression, and more, all tied together with an overarching storyline that will be reflected through in-game events.”
It will be interesting to see how Daybreak actually plans to pull players back into the PlanetSide groove after so many years in relative obscurity. Player numbers have averaged between 1,000 to 2,000 most days for months now, and it’s only getting more desolate in PlanetSide 2. At peak in 2018, the game only manages around ~4,000 players per day. These would not be enough to fill multiple 500-1000 player lobbies in a new game, which means players could be stuck for long load times waiting for a new match. And with much of what people liked about PlanetSide 2 not in this new game, Daybreak is going to need something new and completely unique to pull masses of players in. I hope they can pull it off.
PlanetSide Arena will be launching with season one on January 29, 2019 for PC. PlanetSide Arena will launch as two paid editions, at $19.99 and $39.99, each with their own in-game rewards for the higher price points. Check out the announcement trailer for the game, as well as the full announcement livestream, down below.