The rumbles on the horizon aren't another Liberator coming to carpet bomb your Tech Plant: They're rumors about Daybreak's long-hinted-at Planetside 3. There's nothing out there quite like the massively multiplayer online FPS series, which rakes hundreds of players into massive futuristic battles. Heavily armored MAX battlesuits and tanks clash with squads of sci-fi infantry as entire servers participate in eternal wars. Planetside 2 has been chugging along since 2012, though, and its playerbase has declined since its most popular years.
The time seems right for Planetside 3. Here's what Daybreak has to say about its plans for a sequel.
What do we know about Planetside 3?
It sure sounds like Daybreak is making it. Or at least, planning to.
In an open letter, Andy Sites, executive producer of Planetside 2, described plans for Planetside 3: "... we envision expanding from the current battlefields of Auraxis, to full-fledged galactic war with empires exploring, colonizing and conquering one another within an expansive galaxy."
This description evokes the idea of multiple battlefields the size of Planetside 2's, with strategic objectives impacting larger scale gameplay in the galaxy, building things and colonizing new parts of the battlefield with advanced technology your team has unlocked, and space battles over whether resources will get where they need to. A pretty exciting vision of the future, if it comes to pass.
Sites also said, on spin-off Planetside Arena and Planetside 3: "We envision PlanetSide Arena as a way to allow us to link present day Planetside 2 and Planetside 3 story lines, as well as providing an opportunity to try out new features, styles of play, etc."
So it's possible we'll see the first signs of Planetside 3 through linked stories inside Planetside 2/Planetside Arena, or even get a preview of future features.
Does Planetside 3 have a release date?
So far Daybreak's only statements on Planetside 3 are all presented as theoretical, so don't get your hopes up about the sequel happening anytime soon. Planetside 3 sounds very much in the planning stages.
There's no word on a timetable, and with no concrete information it's tough to expect it anytime soon.
Daybreak Games has been bought
In December 2020, Stockholm-based "global gaming cooperative" Enad Global 7 announced that it had acquired Planetside developers Daybreak Games. We don't know what, if anything, this changes about work on Planetside 3, but it's one of the latest pieces of news about the studio we've gotten, absent any real information about the game itself.
Prior years hadn't really been kind to Daybreak. laid off employees in April and December 2018, and again in October 2019. In January 2020, it unveiled a new business structure that assigned its games to newly-created studios within the company. Rogue Planet Games was in charge of Planetside, last we heard.
What about the other Planetside games?
With the original Planetside closing shop back in 2016, it's a fair bet that Planetside 2 will do the same sometime after the third game in the series releases. But that could be many years off, considering Planetside 3 still seems to be very early in development.
Peak players for Planetside 2 have hovered around 1000 for awhile now on Steam, which isn't great, but not totally dead either (and notably, Planetside 2 has its own launcher and was ported to the PlayStation 4 as well). Planetside 2 continues to get support, with the April 2019 update adding robotic mercenaries to address population imbalances, DirectX 11 support, UI updates, new content, and a lot more.
Battle royale shooter Planetside Arena hasn't had the warmest reception, losing members of its team in the mid-October layoffs and having to change game modes to accommodate player numbers. Those numbers are looking pretty critical, with Steam being below 100 concurrent players in October.
Will Planetside 3 have cunning disguises?
I have my fingers crossed that The Schnoz will make the leap to the third entry in the series.