|Publisher||Infinite Game Publishing|
|MSRP||Free to Play|
MechWarrior Online is an upcoming BattleTech-themed simulation game currently under development by Piranha Games and Smith & Tinker for Microsoft Windows. It was originally intended as a reboot of the MechWarrior series of computer games and announced as "MechWarrior" (frequently referred to as "MechWarrior 5" by fans, as the series had four previous installments).
As of yet, the game—announced as an online, free-to-play multi-player game—has not been launched.
When asked, BattleTech Line Developer Herbert A. Beas II stated in an official chat that the game would not be canonical per se. Player factions (Houses and Merc Corps) will be fighting for worlds, therefore diverging from canonical lore. To maintain some essence of a canonical timeline, planets central to lore will be reserved by PGI's development staff so that major canonical events can be played out in the game's persistent setting.
That said, no video game iteration of MechWarrior has ever been considered canonical.
Jordan Weisman, co-creator of BattleTech and co-founder of FASA, is also the founder of the software firm Smith & Tinker. He negotiated the BattleTech/MechWarrior license back from Microsoft who had left the property idle for years. Russ Bullock from Piranha Games was a long time fan of the series and wanted to start a joint collaboration with Weisman. He contacted Weisman to develop a prototype project that would become the new iteration in the MechWarrior series of video games. Production of the new MechWarrior game first began on October 2008, where the two studios started discussing the project on pen and paper. After coming up with a presentation for a prototype scenario, both studios began ramping up a full-time team to work on the new game in March 2009.
A trailer with supposed in-game footage was released on 9 July, 2009, depicting a Warhammer fighting invaders on Deshler in 3015. This storyline/setting has since been abandoned for the game (see below). The words "in-game footage", clearly seen in the trailer, has caused confusion among fans. At the time it was created, the intent was to attract a publisher. So PGI used the UE3 game engine to demonstrate what a new MechWarrior game might look like. UE3 was stated as the logical engine of choice since the objective was to create a game for PC and Xbox 360. It has since been announced that CryEngine3 will be used for MechWarrior Online making the trailer's in-game footage no longer applicable. A new trailer has since been released based on the current choice of game engine.
Originally, the game was envisioned to be set on the Federated Suns planet Deshler around the year 3015; the player would play as Adrian Khol, fourth son of the ruling noble family and only survivor, when House Kurita launches an invasion on the planet.
This concept was abandoned when the game's development was resumed near the end of 2011 after a year-long lull. The reworked concept now aims to produce a multi-player online game with a setting starting out just before the Clan Invasion, and then following the in-universe timeline at a pace of one day per real day.
Official Web Resources
- MechWarrior Online
- MechWarrior Online's Facebook
- MechWarrior Online's Twitter
- MechWarrior Online's YouTube
- IGN MechWarrior Q&A with Smith and Tinkers' Jordan Weisman and Russ Bullock of Piranha Games
- MechWarrior Trailer
- IGN Rewind Reveal Video