Escape From Tarkov dev apologizes for paywalling PvE behind a $250 edition - will now open access to the mode in waves "for free"

Screenshot from Escape from Tarkov showing lush greenery and two soldiers.
(Image credit: Battlestate Games)

Escape From Tarkov, the hugely popular extraction shooter that's been bubbling in beta for almost a decade, has been through a bumpy week after the developers announced plans to paywall an upcoming PvE mode behind the premium $250 Unheard Edition. The team has now u-turned on the decision once again.

Escape From Tarkov players were understandably irked by the news since the now-delisted Edge of Darkness (EoD) Edition once promised that all future DLC would be available to EoD owners for free. That's without mentioning the arguably 'pay-to-win' bonuses included in Unheard. 

Developer Battlestate Games attempted to soothe the controversy by offering the mode to EoD owners for free - but only for six months. Just yesterday, the studio then reversed policy again to offer the game mode to everyone, but only after Escape From Tarkov launched out of beta because of alleged server capacity issues. 

Battlestate Games studio head Nik Buyanov has once again gone back to the community with a letter to Reddit: "First of all, I would like to say that I am very sorry that fans and the game community in general are experiencing these feelings. Unfortunately, I somehow did not foresee the fact of such a reaction."

The U-turn means that PvE access will be opened up for all Edge of Darkness owners in waves because of the aforementioned server capacity issues. Mod support will also be added to the offline mode, while the expensive Unheard Edition will still be available for those "who want to support the game more." Otherwise, the team will "continue to work on patches, new content, events, and the game release itself no matter what."

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Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.