Mega-sized RTS Ashes of the Singularity is now bigger, totally for free. Escalation, the stand-alone expansion that took it from reasonable but missing key features to one of the better RTS games on the market, is now part of the base game. Anyone who paid for the upgrade has been given the season pass for this year’s Escalation DLC.
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The news comes via a blog post by Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, explaining the decision.
“Many people who bought Ashes of the Singularity paid $49.99. Thus, even a $20 discount to get ‘the game they wanted in the first place’ seemed unfair to them,” he explains. “More seriously, it split the community.
“Coming from the software side, having a standard and a Pro version of your product isn't a big deal. But in the gaming world, especially recently, it is a big problem and one that has proven impossible for us to bridge. For example, even if we solved the multiplayer community fragmentation, what about modding? What about community discussions on strategy and tactics? What about future expansions?”
All this added up, plus the acknowledgement of it possibly causing some short-term pain, means the two are now one. It keeps the Escalation name, and more highly-rated Steam page, the original’s simplified ruleset will be added as an option and everyone goes home happy.
Full blog post is worth a read if you want to know more about the whys and wherefors. Wardell also mentions that currently in the works is a naval units patch, and Episode 3 DLC that will add a new campaign along with multitude of maps, game modes and scenarios.