Escape From Tarkov PvE Scandal Leaves Players Enraged

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Escape From Tarkov PvE Scandal Leaves Players Enraged

The devs of Escape From Tarkov have announced that they would be putting the PvE mode behind a paywall after promising free future content. Here’s the scoop!


Escape From Tarkov is a tactical first-person shooter game developed by Battlestate Games. It is exclusively an online-only game released for the PC. However, since its debut in 2017, the game has been plagued by a plethora of controversies. As yet another controversy surfaces, the game continues brandishing its anti-consumer decisions. The recent scandal enraged its own audience so much that players have been dropping Escape From Tarkov in droves. So, what happened in Escape From Tarkov? What did the developers do? To answer that, we’ll need to first understand what the Escape From Tarkov PvE scandal is about.

What is the Escape From Tarkov PvE Scandal About?

Everything started with an announcement. Battlestate Games announced that owners of Escape From Tarkov: Edge of Darkness Edition would receive free access to all future DLC for the game. However, in January of this year (2024), the Edge of Darkness Edition was discontinued. 

Then in April 2024, Battlestate Games issued another announcement. They confirmed the release of another edition of the game called The Unheard Version. This edition packages the PvE feature of Escape From Tarkov with a price tag of $250. This announcement sparked widespread criticism. Moreover, not only did the devs back-peddle on their promise of free future DLC, but they also stated that current owners of the game will only have six months of free access to the PvE mode. 

What Are the Issues Relating to the Recent Announcement of PvE Mode?

On Reddit, Twitter, and Discord, players who purchased the Edge of Darkness Edition say they feel misled by the promise of full DLC access, which has now been effectively negated by semantics. The Unheard Edition trailer on YouTube is also bearing the brunt of 31,000 dislikes, compared to just 5,200 likes. 

Anger over the new edition is also being fueled by a general upset with the state of the game overall, including widespread complaints about the prevalence of cheaters and the perceived slow progress toward full release. Despite having been around since 2017, Escape From Tarkov at least technically remains in closed beta.

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The Tarkov Discord server has been in open revolt since the announcement, with all attempts at “normal” conversation being drowned out by players repeatedly spamming the same message over and over, accusing developers of “blowing off” long-term supporters and being disrespectful to the community in pursuit of profit. Further disruption is encouraged: “To everyone who feels the same way, don't be silent. Spam, make memes, spread the word wherever it's relevant. This cannot be tolerated.”

What Did the Developers Do About the Community Backlash?

Escape From Tarkov PvE Scandal Leaves Players Enraged

With the massive disapproval expressed by the players, the Escape from Tarkov developers did make some effort to ease the situation. Nikita Buyanov, the game director, has stated that all Edge of Darkness edition buyers will be given access to the PvE mode. They will, however, only receive it once Tarkov exits beta and enters 1.0 mode.

At this point, there is no concrete release date for the 1.0 update. But the devs previously announced that a full launch has been scheduled for 2024. They also promised to incorporate new features with the launch. The developers also went back on another announcement they made previously, now stating that the new Unheard Edition upgrade will cost the Edge of Darkness owners $50 instead of $100.

But what about those who already got the $100 update? As compensation, they will be given a key for the Left Behind Edition, which could be used for a new account. The Escape from Tarkov team is also reportedly working on providing the PvE mode as a standalone purchase. This means that players who own the standard version will be able to get access to the feature without having to pay more for the Unheard version.

If you own the Edge of Darkness edition and are interested in pre-ordering the PvE mode before launch, as opposed to upgrading to the Unheard Edition, you can receive a pretty nice discount. Though Buyanov continues to claim the new game mode is not DLC, he explained that the free content EoD owners will get is planned to launch after Tarkov hits 1.0. So, any content after the official launch of the game is yours for the taking.

He additionally stated that although the PvE mode continues to require you to connect to one of their online servers, they do not at the moment have the technology to make it accessible to all EoD owners, who cover a significant proportion of the player base. 

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What Other Controversies Were Battlestate Games A Part of?

Taking a look back, Battlestate Games has always been in hot water. For instance, what upsets us the most was a sexist remark the devs made in 2016. In an interview, one of the game's developers commented, “Women can't handle that amount of stress. There's only room for hardened men in this place”. This comment was made to clarify why there would be no women or configurable female characters in the entire game.

The company was obviously dragged through the mud by people for this statement. This controversy led them to apologize eventually. They would go on to clarify why there would be no playable female characters. This time, they denoted ‘game lore and more importantly, the huge amount of work needed with animations, gear fitting, etc’ might be too much for a woman. 

They have also been accused of abusing YouTube's DMCA system to remove negative videos of Escape from Tarkov. One YouTube user called Eroktic uploaded a video on YouTube. In the clip, he accused the company of leaking user information. Battlestate Games, as a response to this, issued DMCA’s on 47 YouTube videos posted by the user. The reasoning they selected was ‘spreading false information’ for two of the videos. Other videos were removed allegedly for spreading ‘negative hype’. 

Eroktic was not the only user who faced such harassment. Another YouTube user claimed to have had the same issue, resulting in a loss of views and finances. What concerns me is that one of their employees aimed an empty gun at his head and subsequently pressed the trigger while live on the website. As a result, Battlestate Games' Twitch account was temporarily suspended in December 2019. 

Current State of Battlestate Games

Battlestate Games has always been part of controversies. They always explained their side of the story and simply expected everyone to follow suit. However, despite all the previous allegations and controversies, it did not leave much of a dent in player numbers. But this time, there are so many players who are enraged that they are basically done with the game. They don't plan to continue playing the game regardless of what the developers offer. 

For more news, guides, and tips on Escape From Tarkov, keep your eye on ESTNN!

Escape From Tarkov PvE Scandal Leaves Players Enraged
Thealchemist
Who knew combining a love for cheesy one-liners and Valorant would lead to a writing career?