Planetside 3 will expand beyond the battlefields of Auraxis for "full-fledged galactic war" featuring empires "exploring, colonizing and conquering one another within an expansive galaxy", executive producer Andy Sites said in a blog post. It's the most detailed description of the next Planetside game we've read to date and, as far as I can tell, the first time Daybreak has explicitly mentioned Planetside 3 since a vague 2016 Reddit post.
Planetside Arena is the "stepping stone" between Planetside 2 and Planetside 3: it will link the stories of the two games and give Daybreak a space to test new features and playstyles ahead of Planetside 3, he said.
Earlier this week on Twitter, Sites said last week's round of layoffs at Daybreak were a "gut punch", but that the team was "still committed to continuing support and development". He made no mention of the layoffs in his blog post—instead saying Daybreak is actually recruiting new staff. The Planetside 2 team is getting "several additional programmers, designers and artists", he said.
On Daybreak's future plans for Planetside Arena, Sites said the team is adding a non-battle royale mode that will feel more like traditional Planetside, but in "shorter, session-based matches", rather than in a persistent map.
"It will include a new mode-specific map, capture points, ability to drop-in/out throughout the match, a broader range of vehicle types, etc," he said. "Many of the mechanics developed for this mode will be used in future modes like Massive Clash, so our focus is function over form, allowing quick iteration with your help."
Early Access will be as short as the team can manage, he added. "Our goal is to finish implementing the features and content for what we believe are critical, then GTFO of Early Access as quickly as possible and start promoting the game."
You can read the full blog post here.