The Thargoids will officially arrive in Elite Dangerous later this month

Back in June, Frontier Developments announced that the Thargoids, Elite's infamous alien bad guys, would return to Elite: Dangerous in the 2.4 update, appropriately entitled The Return. The studio said at the time that it would be ready for release in the third quarter of this year, and so it will be, as the launch date has now been nailed down to September 26. 

"On launch day you’ll be interacting with the most mysterious and deadly things you’ve encountered in the Elite Dangerous galaxy – the Thargoids," community manager Edward Lewis said in the Elite Dangerous forums. "Elite Dangerous 2.4 The Return will then continue to roll out with interactive narrative-based content emerging over the coming months." 

There's no gameplay in the cinematic trailer that was released alongside the announcement, although that shouldn't be much of a deal-breaker for a game that's been out for almost three years, but it makes the situation clear—not that I want to spoil it for anyone, but this is definitely not just another bug hunt.   

Frontier didn't reveal anything more about the 2.4 update in today's announcement beyond the release date (and that the Thargoids are seriously bad news), but that's not terribly surprising, given what Lewis said about it when the return of the Thargoids was first confirmed. "As a story-centric update, showing too much ahead of time would spoil the surprise and make for a lesser experience for the community," he wrote. "We want The Return to surprise and shock you as much as possible." 

Given the timing, I'd say it's a fair bet that Frontier will have more to reveal about the Thargoids at Frontier Expo 2017, which will take place on October 7 in London. 

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.