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Here’s why everyone is mad about Escape from Tarkov’s PvE DLC

Escape from Tarkov in-game screenshot edited with dollar signs and falling stock arrows

Battlestate Games responded to fans about the controversial PvE mode of Escape from Tarkov, and the response made nobody happy. 

Escape from Tarkov officially entered its beta period in 2017 and despite that, the game has grown to become a staple game for hundreds of thousands of players. The developers have stated that they’re actively avoiding the nickel-and-dime practices that have come to define recent multiplayer games, like the ever-controversial Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. However, it seems that attitude has shifted with the developer’s recent move.

In April 2024, Battlestate Games released a new edition of Escape from Tarkov titled “The Unheard Edition.” The upcoming edition will feature access to an early access test server, more items, and an offline co-op PVE Mode. Unfortunately for fans, there’s a huge catch.

How much does Escape from Tarkov’s PvE DLC cost?

Escape from Tarkov’s “The Unheard Edition” and its included PvE mode will cost players $250.

Players expressed their frustration over an anticipated feature being paywalled all across social media. Some of the loudest critics specifically pointed out the promises of Battlestate Games from previous editions. The Edge of Darkness edition, discontinued in January, promised players access to all future DLC through a season pass. 

Many players assumed a PvE mode would be considered DLC and part of the season pass. The devs disagree.

“First of all, PvE game, this is not DLC. DLC, in our understanding, is the major additions to the game,” said a representative of Battlestate Games on the official subreddit.

The representative also promised that Escape from Tarkov’s PvE mode would be free-to-play for all owners of the Edge of Darkness edition in the game’s final release. 

Meanwhile, Edge of Darkness owners will get access to the offline PvE mode for only six months. Given the wording for EoD owners stated “access to all future DLC,” news of the time limit was not received well. In addition to the paywalled PvE, many players pointed out that in the event of a server wipe, players who purchase The Unheard Edition will not be affected. Fans started calling it the “pay-to-win” edition as a result. 

The hair-splitting from Battlestate Games has drummed up controversy for a game that has traditionally shipped major content updates with relatively little issue. It’s unclear whether further action will be taken as a make-good with fans.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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