Stunlock Studios unveiled a battle royale mode for its MOBA brawler Battlerite in May, then earlier this month announced that it would actually be released as a standalone game called Battlerite Royale. Part of the reason for the shift was the "huge reaction" to the mode's announcement—presumably positive—but going by the comments section on Steam, not everyone is happy about this new change in direction.
To help smooth things over, the studio has posted a new "Rewards and Discounts" update explaining in greater detail its reasons for making Battlerite Royale a standalone release, and what kinds of bones it's going to throw to existing Battlerite players.
"When we prototyped Royale, it did not take long until we realized that it had a lot of potential. Later in development, it became obvious that sharing the same balance and philosophy as Arena restricted the possibilities within Royale," Stunlock wrote. "For us, this was the choice between creating a mediocre game mode or creating a game with true potential and the freedom to grow."
"As a game studio, we have a responsibility to our players, but we also have a responsibility to our team to allow ourselves to evolve and to explore new ideas. This way we grow stronger and we can craft new worlds and experiences in the ever-changing gaming landscape."
Stunlock maintained that making Battlerite Royale a standalone release was the right decision, but acknowledged that there are "things we could have done better" leading up to it. A detailed FAQ will be released at the beginning of September, but ahead of that the studio broke down what the new game will cost and what existing Battlerite players will get for jumping in.
Anyone who purchased Battlerite during its Early Access phase, or who purchased the All Champions Pack or the Ultimate Fan Pack (prior to the Early Access release of Battlerite Royale) will get a coupon for 50 percent off the regular $20 price, plus a limited edition Legendary Ember Tiger mount. Battlerite players who don't own the All Champions or Ultimate Fan Packs but have an account level of 20 or higher when Battlerite Royale launches will instead receive the limited Epic Ricky the Rocket mount for purchasing Battlerite Royale.
Players who meet both conditions—own one of the packs, account level over 20—will receive both mounts. Additionally, all cosmetics that are unlocked in Battlerite Arena will be shared with your Royale account.
"Growing the Battlerite world means not only additional improvements to Arena, it also means growing the game on new markets and creating new titles within the world. It’s important to know that any success in the world of Battlerite is also a success for the Arena, and allows us to pull resources into all our projects," Stunlock wrote. "As always, your support and feedback is crucial for us as we continue to shape our games."
Battlerite Arena is expected to launch into Steam Early Access by the end of September. Closed beta signups are being taken at battlerite.com.