The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter (#46) drops a pretty big tease about the upcoming announcement of a release date for the game. In fact, it pretty much just comes out and says it: “We will be announcing the release date for Elite: Dangerous next week.”
Earlier this week the game entered the Beta 3 phase of development, adding features like mining, fuel scooping, multiple ship ownership and player-driven interdiction of NPC ships (pulling them out of faster-than-light travel.) The newsletter states that the opportunity to sign up for the Elite: Dangerous beta will end on 22 November. Players already in the beta will be able to keep on playing until release, but paid access will no longer be sold.
That’s presumably because by 22 November (also the date of an Elite: Dangerous ‘Premiere’ event in the UK,) it’ll be too close to the official release date for beta access to really be worth paying for.
Those players who are current Alpha/Beta backers will be receiving some special in-game rewards for doing so. One of those is outlined in the newsletter. Certain areas in Elite: Dangerous will be off-limits until reputation levels with various governmental factions have been raised. The Solar System, for example, is off limits until the Federation grants the player a permit to visit.
Alpha and Beta backers will have that permit automatically, without having to earn it. As the newsletter notes, “For those of you whose allegiances lie elsewhere this could be a very useful benefit indeed.”
The newsletter also includes this pretty great 1980s advert for the original Elite.
Finally, Frontier has put together a 14 minute ‘making of’ featurette about Elite: Dangerous, which can be viewed below.