Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries gets its own free 'Origins' novella series

(Image credit: Piranha Games)

Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries will be the first single-player Mechwarrior game to come along since the standalone expansion of Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, also called Mercenaries, which came out in 2002. Leading up to its release on December 10, developer Piranha Games is releasing an eight-part novella about Nik's Cavaliers, "a new mercenary command on a mission of vengeance that will stretch across the Inner Sphere," which you'll be leading in the game.

The official Mechwarrior 5 Origins series is written by Randall Bills, a former FASA developer who's written multiple Battletech novels and sourcebooks since 2000. The first in this new series, The Calm of the Void, introduces the key players in Nik's Cavaliers ahead of the events that will take place in the game.

"I started playing the miniatures game and reading the novels in 1986 and of course ran out and grabbed the very first MechWarrior computer game in 1989," Bills said. "I'm incredibly grateful to once again have the opportunity to contribute to this amazing universe we all love, working with the great team at Piranha. I hope the serial brings the coming MechWarrior 5 alive in wonderful, new ways."

Battletech began life in the mid-'80s as a tabletop game with a relatively simple underlying narrative—giant fighting robots in a far-future feudal society—but it's been expanded dramatically since then through dozens of novels (more than 100, according to Wikipedia) set through the game's multi-century history. They're a big part of the whole "Battletech experience," and it's cool to see Piranha leaning into that aspect of the fandom, especially with an established Battletech author at the helm.

Mechwarrior 5 Origins is free for everyone through multiple digital book stores and can also be downoaded directly in EPUB and MOBI format from

(Image credit: Piranha Games)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.