Escape From Tarkov devs reverse course on $250 PvE mode, promise it'll be free for all when the game exits beta - but its early access is still paywalled

Escape from Tarkov
(Image credit: Battlestate Games)

Escape From Tarkov developers have announced that the upcoming PvE mode, previously paywalled behind a premium $250 edition of the shooter, will be available to all players when the game exits its nearly eight-year-long beta period.

Iconic extraction shooter Escape From Tarkov has been engulfed in controversy this week after announcing the jaw-dropping $250 Unheard Edition that bundles in a unique weapon, an enhanced stash, other 'pay to win' extras, and an exclusive PvE mode that wouldn't be available separately. The news stung especially hard for players who had bought Escape From Tarkov's Edge of Darkness edition (now delisted), which once promised access to all future DLCs as well as older content.

Developer Battlestate Games attempted to extinguish the fire by offering the new offline PvE mode to all players - but only for six months, a solution that obviously didn't sit well with many players and Edge of Darkness owners. Battlestate Games tried to categorize the mode as a "feature," rather than a DLC, and that's one definition that they're now tripling down on. 

Battlestate Games studio head Nik Buyanov took to Reddit earlier today, April 27, attempting to reverse course even further. "We observe your dissatisfaction and have decided that the functionality of the PvE mode will be available for free to all owners of the EoD version at the release of the game when the server infrastructure will be improved to the required capacity," he writes.

Buyanov claims that early access to the game mode is still paywalled because PvE functionality is "located entirely on a separate network infrastructure" and the team "do not have the required amount of resources" to loop in Edge of Darkness owners - another explanation that hasn't exactly sat well with the player base.

Escape From Tarkov players will soon be able to buy early access to the currently unpriced PvE mode, while Edge of Darkness owners will get a 70% discount on the mode and a 50% discount for an upgrade to the $250 Unheard Edition. 

Despite making such changes, Buyanov still tripled down on the studio's questionable definition of DLC. "DLC in our understanding is the major additions to the game, including various functionality and content that are released after the official release of the game as a themed DLC," he sorta explains. "PvE game modes [are] not DLC."

In other extraction shooter news, The Division director is looking to snatch Escape From Tarkov’s crown with his newest game. 

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.