Escape From Tarkov dev finally caves, says people who paid $150 for the game will get access to its new mode 'in waves'

Armed men from Escape From Tarkov.
(Image credit: Battlestate Games)

After two attempts to mollify fan outrage over a new $250 version of Escape From Tarkov with an exclusive PvE mode, developer Battlestate has finally relented, promising PvE access to players who previously bought the $150 Edge of Darkness edition of the game that promised access to "all future DLC."

In a statement on the Tarkov subreddit early this morning, Battlestate COO Nikita Buyanov said he was "very sorry that fans and the game community in general are experiencing these feelings," and that this negative response would factor into his future decision making. In terms of the company's response, Buyanov offered the following concessions and assurances:

  • $150 Edge of Darkness purchasers would get access to the PvE mode with no further payment or time limit during early access. They will still be allowed access "in waves" due to server capacity concerns.
  • The PvE mode will get mod support on Tarkov's 1.0 release.
  • Battlestate will continue to sell the $250 Unheard Edition and upgrades to it from other packages.
  • Battlestate will iron out a new list of additional benefits for $150 EoD players, while removing the controversial "preferred matchmaking" proposal
  • "We will continue to work on patches, new content, events and the game release itself no matter what."

These changes more or less address Tarkov players' primary complaints, but it might be too little, too late: it took six days of much publicized discontent and disruption of the game's official Discord to get here, and many commenters take umbrage with the wording of Buyanov's apology: "I'm sorry you felt this way" as opposed to "I'm sorry we did this bad thing."

Most posts on the Tarkov subreddit right now are expressing dissatisfaction with Buyanov's statement, with some wondering if Battlestate will pull a move like this in the future. Many are suggesting Battlestate turn to cosmetic monetization instead of ever more stratified bundles of the game with mechanical advantages and exclusive modes.

This may still be enough of a concession by Battlestate to release tension and get things back to "normal" in the Tarkov community, but the company has invited severe reputational damage over this boondoggle⁠—how many Unheard Edition customers will Battlestate even manage to snag? A $250 early access videogame purchase is a gesture of trust after all, and after this week, I don't think many Tarkov players are keen to trust the studio.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.