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Frontier pulls standalone Elite Dangerous: Arena from sale

Not enough players.

Frontier has pulled the standalone Elite Dangerous: Arena game from sale over a lack of players.

It's been removed from Steam, Frontier's own online store and the Xbox Games Store.

Frontier released Arena, the PVP portion of space game Elite Dangerous, as a standalone back in February 2016 priced £4.99. It's the same mode (previously named CQC) available from the main Elite Dangerous menu.

At the time, Frontier hoped releasing Arena separately would boost the number of active players online, something the mode certainly needed. A year later, it seems safe to say the experiment failed.

In a post on the Elite Dangerous forum, senior community manager Edward Lewis explained the decision.

"We've been looking at our metrics which suggest that the vast majority of new and regular Arena players tend to play Arena through the main Elite Dangerous client rather than the standalone Arena one," he said.

"We've made the decision to remove the standalone version of Elite Dangerous: Arena in order to reduce the number of builds that have to be maintained and managed across Steam, Xbox One and in 2Q'17 PlayStation Network, as well as clarifying the choices for new players of Elite Dangerous on these storefronts."

Of course, Arena is still playable and, Frontier said, will continue to be supported as part of the wider Elite Dangerous game.

"Existing and new players that join the Elite Dangerous galaxy will continue to be able to enjoy the fast-paced action of Arena through the main menu," Lewis said. "Existing Elite Dangerous: Arena client owners will still be able to enjoy Arena as they have always done.

"Not much change but we just wanted to give you a quick heads up, to avoid any confusion.'

A cursory glance at the posts in the Elite Dangerous forum reveal that CQC in the game continues to have problems.

User Ziljan wondered why Frontier hadn't created a mechanic for players to easily get a game: "The major reason I don't play more CQC is that waiting in the CQC lobby for a game is as dull as a staring at a box of nails. If I could queue from my ship while playing the main game, I'd be queued for CQC all the time."

JosiahD called on Frontier to add bots to the mode: "I'd like to be able to continue to enjoy the action but can never find a match on the few occasions I bother to try any more.......add bots please!"