In 2009, Piranha Games released a trailer intimating that they were working on a new MechWarrior title. Recently, the company announced MechWarrior Online, a free-to-play multiplayer mech simulator set in the Battletech universe.

In a dev blog, Bryan Ekman, Creative Director of Piranha, explained how the company’s attempts to secure a publishing deal redefined and ultimately derailed the MechWarrior project they had planned. The game was pitched as an Xbox 360/PC release, but “the scope and budget required to develop a console reboot needed the support of a PS3 SKU and we just couldn’t convince publishers to take a risk.”

The PC-exclusive MechWarrior Online will feature a first-person cockpit view and Ekman hopes to include joystick support. Ekman’s also trumpeting urban combat zones and “information warfare” as the game’s two big design pillars. Fighting in (and hopefully destroying) details cityscapes should ameliorate issues of excessive long-range sniping, and disrupting or controlling the flow of information should encourage players to experiment with a wide variety of mechs.

The specifics of the free-to-play plan are scant, though Ekman assured PC Gamer, “Anything that would affect or give you a tactical advantage, you can’t purchase with real cash. You have to earn that by playing the game.”

MechWarrior Online is slated for a 2012 release. Those looking for more information or looking to register their pilot name ASAP should head to Piranha’s site.

Source: Piranha Games, PC Gamer

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  • ender707 - Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - link

    The console spin-off that you are referencing did not do the mechwarrior series justice, that is not debatable.

    However, there is no reason that the PC version of this game could not be ported to the Xbox / PS3 and controlled with the game pad.

    I think games like Mass Effect have shown that complex controls can be made intuitive on the game pad by using radial menus mapped to the bumpers, among other techniques.

    Yes I know the PC is superior in every way, blah blah blah.
  • xcomvic - Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - link

    Sigh...let's keep some PC exclusives please...I like this idea. Kthxbai.
  • shashank7040 - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City Preview...........
  • Jamor - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - link

    Sounds pretty good actually. MW is one of the game types that really want to be multiplayer. Just hoping they'll do it right, not wrong. Glad it'll be free to try once finished.

    Don't expect my cash for new paint jobs or unique purple lasers though.
  • caggregate - Thursday, November 3, 2011 - link

    MechWarrior is from the BattleTech universe??? Consider me educated.
  • MadAd - Thursday, November 3, 2011 - link

    Uh Oh.

    Lets hope its not a money leeching disaster like Battlefield Play For Free has turned out to be.

    If someone reviewed the free to play games I'm sure that would be rated the worst rip off of them all.

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