In 2009, Piranha Games released a trailer intimating that they were working on a new MechWarrior title. Recently, the company announced MechWarrior Online, a free-to-play multiplayer mech simulator set in the Battletech universe.

In a dev blog, Bryan Ekman, Creative Director of Piranha, explained how the company’s attempts to secure a publishing deal redefined and ultimately derailed the MechWarrior project they had planned. The game was pitched as an Xbox 360/PC release, but “the scope and budget required to develop a console reboot needed the support of a PS3 SKU and we just couldn’t convince publishers to take a risk.”

The PC-exclusive MechWarrior Online will feature a first-person cockpit view and Ekman hopes to include joystick support. Ekman’s also trumpeting urban combat zones and “information warfare” as the game’s two big design pillars. Fighting in (and hopefully destroying) details cityscapes should ameliorate issues of excessive long-range sniping, and disrupting or controlling the flow of information should encourage players to experiment with a wide variety of mechs.

The specifics of the free-to-play plan are scant, though Ekman assured PC Gamer, “Anything that would affect or give you a tactical advantage, you can’t purchase with real cash. You have to earn that by playing the game.”

MechWarrior Online is slated for a 2012 release. Those looking for more information or looking to register their pilot name ASAP should head to Piranha’s site.

Source: Piranha Games, PC Gamer

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  • Urbanmech - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    “Anything that would affect or give you a tactical advantage, you can’t purchase with real cash. You have to earn that by playing the game.”

    Yes but by design the game will make it a pain in the ass to do anything without paying, constantly.

    Can't I just give you $50 and play the same game as everyone else?
    Reply
  • orionismud - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Check out MechWarrior Living Legends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MWz5eI4L9g

    It has sated my need for Mechwarrior for a while now :)
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    agree 100%

    i will not play if i have to keep shelling out for digital "stuff." i would buy and play it. i might even pay a monthly subscription, if it was good enough.
    worst news possible for the mechwarrior franchise.
    Reply
  • Connoisseur - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    I'm glad MechWarrior isn't dead yet. Mech 2 was the first "true" 3D game that I played that actually used polygons instead of sprites. I still fondly remember the first time I started up the Mech 2 demo on my P60 and saw the cockpit view. I was blown away.

    Mech sims and Space sims are sadly an extinct species. :(
    Reply
  • lowenz - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Good old days, true? Reply
  • Connoisseur - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    I've literally never had that feeling about a game before or since. Reply
  • radium69 - Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - link

    Yes!
    Must have! cravin' for more e-peen.
    Time to bring out the stick again.
    Sidewinder, I have missed you too much!
    Reply
  • Boogaloo - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Not exactly a mech sim, but you might want to take a look at hawken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udEAEARD-Fo&fea... Reply
  • Grizzlebee - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    God I loved MW2. It was such an amazing feeling playing that back then. I remember how you had to lead the target because most people were on dial-up back then. If I still had a working sidewinder joystick I might fire that up again. Reply
  • mechBgon - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    All hail the Sidewinder 3D Pro!!

    *bows down*

    Also my fav controller for the Descent series :)
    Reply

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