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Beta Date! Gameplay Video! New Partnership! Exclamation Points!!!

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)
Hey everyone, Mitch here.  

I’m happy to tell you that our Kickstarter Backer Beta is on track for release on June 1st. The game’s looking good, playing well, and the team is firing on all cylinders but we need to take some more time to further test and bugfix our multiplayer code before confidently releasing the beta into your hands - that way, we can minimize networking issues and everyone can have a good time on day one.

Now we know folks are itching to see the game in action, so our Game Director Mike McCain and I recorded a friendly multiplayer match to give you a peek at what to expect in the Beta. Full disclosure here - Mike is one of the better players in the studio and I… am not. Nevertheless, I think I put up a pretty good fight as you’ll see in the video. Hope you like it! 

For those of you interested in even more detail than Mike and I provided onscreen, Designer Ryan (RedMenace on the forums) wrote a post annotating our gameplay. Check it out here.

New Partnership

Right now, somewhere in Sweden, BattleTech & MechWarrior creator Jordan Weisman is announcing a partnership between Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive to publish BATTLETECH on PC. As our Backers, we feel it’s important that you get this information straight from us before it hits the press, so here’s the deal in a nutshell: Paradox will provide marketing support, localization services, and funds for additional testing in exchange for a cut of the game’s sales. This allows us to focus all our efforts on making a great game while maintaining complete creative control.
I’m really excited that HBS will have the chance to work with Paradox as they are the clear category leader for PC strategy games. We respect the quality and depth of their games and they have lots of players and fans in our studio. Equally important to us is the way that Paradox respects and engages with their community, values we share.
(Plus, they’re huge fans of our work on the Shadowrun Returns series and are really excited about our game - good qualities in a publisher, right?)
So why is this a good thing?

  • Because with Paradox’s additional test funding, we’ll have more professional testers banging on the game earlier so we ship the highest quality game we can.
  • Because with their help, we can also deliver higher quality localized versions of the game to our overseas players and spend far less time managing the process. 
  • Because we won’t need to divide our attention away from making the game in order to sell the game. We’re not marketers - we’re game developers, and we want our focus to be firmly on delivering the best BATTLETECH experience we can. 
  • Because we all love BattleTech and the more attention that Paradox can bring to the game, the better its chances for success in an incredibly crowded and competitive marketplace. As I’m often quoted, “In success, all things are possible.” Paradox’s marketing support will hopefully result in increased sales of the game and allow for years of BATTLETECH expansions and sequels for all of us to enjoy. 
We’re happy to be working with a publisher who knows how to make great strategy games, loves BattleTech, and respects BattleTech fans. Nothing has changed, except that our chances for success are now even higher.  
How ‘bout a little video to get the hype train rolling??? 
We figured you might have questions so we wrote a little FAQ about our partnership. Please take a look and let us know if you have any other questions on the BattleTech Forums.


Is this the real reason the Backer Beta was delayed?Absolutely not. Our new relationship with Paradox had nothing to do with the delay of our Backer Beta. See the explanation in Kickstarter Update #36 for details.

Does Paradox have control over the design of the game?Nope. HBS has complete creative control of the game. Paradox has lots of BattleTech fans who have opinions (just like our Backers) but HBS is not obligated to take their feedback. That said, the company has lots of experience with strategy games and we’d be dumb not to listen.

Who is responsible for testing the game now?
Harebrained Schemes controls the testing of the game. Paradox is funding it.

Who will handle customer support for BATTLETECH?
For our Backer Beta and service to our Backers, it’s Harebrained Schemes all the way.

Once the game launches, Paradox will handle customer support. They have a full team of experienced support staff and a history of quality customer support. They will (of course) team up with our development team for investigation and vetting of technical issues.

What happens to our personal information from the Kickstarter? Does Paradox get it now?
Definitely not. We take your privacy very seriously and will not be sharing any information gathered via Kickstarter with Paradox or anyone else.

Will the game still release on Steam, GOG, and Humble?
You bet. BATTLETECH will release on Steam, GoG, and Humble on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Nothing has changed there and, as we mentioned in an earlier update, we're looking at a late Summer/Fall release.

Will I still be able to download a DRM-Free version of the game?
Yes. A DRM-Free version will be available on GOG.

You mentioned expansions. What's the plan for post-launch content and DLC?
In success we hope to release full-fledged expansions to the game and intend to focus on that over small pieces of DLC.

What about sequels? Does Paradox have a say in those?
We have no agreement with Paradox to release sequels to the game at this time. If our relationship goes well, we’ll consider it in the future.
RC, Karl Dawson, and 326 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Shane Vincent on

      Just curious... How do we (as a backers) get a cut of the game’s sales (like Paradox)? We (as backers) helped fund the game, thereby helping you (HBS) to hire coders, to make the Beta, etc...? If you are going to share equity... It seems only fair that your true fans should get some too. We did put our money up, before anyone else, and all we ever asked for was a good, completed game (which it appears you are on track to deliver).

    2. David S on

      really great looking game
      disappointed you still cant fire weapons & melee as that really hurts heavier mechs who are likely to have weapons that will outdamage melee attacks - even the hunchie would benefit from melee & weapons fire
      also would prefer performance decreases for high heat rather than damaging my own mechs

    3. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @TheHolyLancer - the Backer Beta contains single player skirmish vs the AI and head-to-head multiplayer.

    4. Missing avatar

      TheHolyLancer on

      Is this the multiplayer beta or the skirmish beta or the beta that contains both?

    5. Jacob on

      so far looks good, just don't let paradox touch your games, i don't really care for their games, so i tend to avoid them all now, so hopefully in the future if you do decide to do more games paradox will just let you do what you guys do best, make mech games. i am all down with them helping funding and distributing, and since paradox is helping you i might give their games another try.

    6. James on

      So stoked Linux is still listed for main release, you guys seriously rock!
      I can't wait for this game!

    7. [E] Caladus on

      Great update! I'm looking forward to streaming some Battletech Beta goodness! I'm not familiar with the brou-ha-ha over Paradox. But from what I've seen in the update I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds like Paradox is providing financial influx and other support in exchange for a percentage of profits while HBS maintains full creative control. Of course, Paradox people can offer up ideas but HBS doesn't have to follow them. Seems legit to me. Can't wait!

    8. Missing avatar

      theo c on

      Really excited about the beta getting a release date, but I have to say Blockade is a horrible urbie pilot. You guys should "hire" this guy, the demo might've turned out differently for Mike:

    9. Missing avatar

      Daniel McCarthy on

      Great news on the Paradox decision - more time to focus on the game!! Keep up the good work!

    10. Remember Citadel on

      Not sure how I feel about the Paradox deal. Gameplay looks really sweet though :)

    11. Missing avatar

      Grimbrand on

      While I've got hope for this game, the partnership with Paradox does not thrill me. Despite the company's long run, I've yet to see a single game from them that I actually enjoyed playing.

      I'm glad that Harebrained Schemes is getting money out of this deal, but whatever 'advice' Paradox may have to offer should probably be taken in very small doses...

    12. Geomancer on


      Most of the people saying things like that are older and saw a time when a lot of that kind of stuff *was* given away in free updates. Game makers and publishers did just fine financially, the concept of DLC is still somewhat 'new' in the history of video games.

      Previously, before the internet, significant extra content was sold as full up expansion packs. These often would include for a game like this an entire new campaign, new mechs, new equipment, new mechanics/systems, new maps, new faction(s), and perhaps more music. These entire packages would be sold for around $30 compared to the base games $50.

      As a simple example look at Starcraft Brood War. It was $30 and included 3 new campaigns, 7 new units, new technologies to research, new music tracks, and new map tilesets.

      Today, that content is split up into individual DLC, with a combined price tag of 2 to 3 times as much. And that is what really rubs people the wrong way. You can argue inflation, however the video game market is astronomically higher now than it was in the 90's, mostly due to the number of buyers increasing. More buyers = more sales = more revenue.

    13. mixedsignals on

      Sounds great. Total confidence in HBS, based on the Shadowrun series.

    14. Missing avatar

      David on

      Looks great.
      I love the effort you people are putting into this beloved franchise.
      I'm totally looking forward to putting this through its paces soon to help nail down bugs and gameplay issues.
      Thanks for letting us come along on the ride. =)

    15. Michael B

      Ugh- out of everyone out there Paradox? This game probably just went to garbage. Paradox does not have a very good rep. I will cross my fingers but will be real disappointed of their involvement kills this effort

    16. Eminus Sleepus on

      "Does Paradox have control over the design of the game?Nope. HBS has complete creative control of the game. Paradox has lots of BattleTech fans who have opinions (just like our Backers) but HBS is not obligated to take their feedback. That said, the company has lots of experience with strategy games and we’d be dumb not to listen."

      the question is will Paradox have the say on when to release the game? I REALLY HOPE THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAY ON THIS AND HBS WILL STILL BE THE ONE CALLING THE SHOT ON WHEN TO RELEASE IT.

      I don't mind delays and I think most of the backers do, but for Paradox I can't say for sure

    17. Charles Hudson on

      little worried reading some of the posts. but what I saw in the video. I am really impressed.

    18. Eric Loken on

      I'm glad everything was essentially done before Paradox got involved, because that company has a horrible reputation. I've bought their games in the past, and they are a buggy mess on day one, They will release three patches, no more, within the first year, and if the game is good after that time, good for you, and if not, sucks to be you.

      The other thing about Paradox games is they they MUST be modded to be good, At best their games are 'okay' on their own if not 'ho-hum' or even 'bad' (and that is after the buggy mess stage), people have to mod them to make the AI not be totally stupid, and generally be an interesting play.

      They also don't take criticism, At all. They will ban your ass from their forum if you criticize them on it.

      Personally I think their reputation will hurt post release sales as many people will see Paradox and think 'buggy mess, I'll wait until it's patched', and probably wonder what mods will be necessary so it will actually be BattleTech and not some Paradox facsimile of BT.

      I know you guys did all this work before Paradox got involved, so I'm less concerned, but people coming in fresh that have been burned by them in the past won't know that,

      Seriously, I think this was a bad choice for publisher.

    19. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      @Patricia-Jean Cody Beta will be on Mac, too.

    20. Some furf on

      Glad I only paid the bare minimum for this project. Paradox is a bad joke and now they own you, don't you ever try to suggest that they won't have the game done their way.

    21. Missing avatar

      Patricia-Jean Cody on

      I'm still catching up on the news but has anyone said if the Beta will be for PC only or will there be a Mac client?

    22. Stormcry on

      Just do it right. Paradox, sure. You want more money and help P.R. and distribution wise, ok. But don't blurt DLC when there's not even a game yet.

    23. Jake Kinkaid on

      I am not sure WHICH Paradox company it is to be honest, but it was the one that dealt with Kerberos and Sword of the Stars II series, refusing them to rights to create a DLC or even continue work on their own game once they sign a publishing agreement.

      Let's just hope it is not the same Paradox that caused that entire problem.. Any company that takes control away from actual indie devs like that, I would not trust in any manner.

    24. RC on

      MechWarriors! Remember, Paradox Development Studios is not Paradox Interactive the game publishers. They're two different companies. The Paradox publishers which publish 3rd party games (like BATTLETECH) are known for being hands-off 3rd party game devs content.

      Paradox Interactive seems to in the mix to help promote/spread the word, and distribute BATTLETECH. Not interfere with how Harebrained Schemes develops their games, which has given HBS the awesomely positive reputation they've garnered through their previous Kickstarter projects.

      I think we're safe from the Paradox paradox. ^_^

    25. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on

      Regarding DLC: Paradox does not control our post-release content plan. As I said in the FAQ above, in success we hope to release full-fledged expansions to the game and intend to focus on that over small pieces of DLC.

    26. Brian Wetherell on

      While I realize that paradox has had a few hits, they have had a lot more misses with their games, so I receive this news with a great deal of skepticism. The entire reason for kickstarters is to avoid publishers altogether, so you do not have terms dictated to you, nor do you have to share the profit. I'm disappointed to see HBS has gone after a publisher. To me, it seems like going back to an archaic system that we gamers have been trying to get you developers to break out of for several years now (via kickstarters and other means).

      I have a hard time believing there weren't other alternatives getting money and marketing. A small business loan would have paid for the testing, and a marketing firm, and you would not have had to share the profit beyond what you owe them. That said, I realize there may be the question of expertise, and that, I can understand, I guess.

    27. John Vanderbeck on

      @Derrick C nice but not financially sustainable, plus like I said you then essentially have people giving away their work, and it is getting to the point that players are actually demanding this as the normal course of things!

      There are human beings behind the scenes laboring their day to day life to make these games and I feel like consumers these days just crap all over them. I work in VFX and that is thankless enough, I can't imagine what it is like for game people :(

    28. Zhylaw on

      Hate paradox, they specialize in nickel and diming with trash DLC, poor customer service, and pulling servers and support on games after they get older.

      That being said I understand the desire for a publishing partner, as long as your contract allows YOU to decide the amount and scope of DLC and protect the integrity of the online features I guess this could work.

    29. Eminus Sleepus on

      This game just became sour milk, hate paradox

    30. Missing avatar

      Alistair Pope on

      So long story shot HBS are in financial trouble and need to be bailed out

    31. Missing avatar

      Richard Jordan on

      Thanks for not forsaking the non PC platforms. Seen that happen with other kickstarter projects once they get the wintel version going they lose interest in the smaller groups and just 'change their minds'. I'm delighted I'll be playing Battletech on my Mac against a friend on his Linux box in the not too distant future.

    32. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    33. Derrick C on

      @John Vanderbeck Re-digit Makers of Terraria did a whole bunch of updates/dlc for free they never changed the price of the game and they have more than doubled the size of the game. Not saying HBS should do that though. at the end of the day they have to make a profit but im saying it 'can' be done. If it was it might bring a bigger fan base. just food for thought.

      I know im ready for the game and anything that comes with it be it DLC or Expansion or otherwise.

    34. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    35. Patrick Wong on

      Paradox won't be afraid of BattleTech's complexity, so at least we can be assured that the gameplay will retain its integrity.

    36. Jalister on

      I can't speak for everyone, but I don't really like DLC. I find it annoying to buy little bits and pieces of additional content. It does feel like nickel-and-diming. I prefer traditional expansions. There are less purchases and and pieces to keep track off, and I feel like I'm actually getting something worthwhile with a full blown expansion.

      I'm a bit disappointed that the next Diablo 3 expansion was cancelled, and turned into DLC.

    37. John Vanderbeck on

      Personally I am getting sick of people complaining about DLC. It is like you expect to get everything under the sun, for the standard game price. Life doesn't work that way, and even if a company wanted to do that and could manage to do it without going bankrupt, the simple fact is companies like Paradox provide new content via DLC for years, even decades it seems like sometimes, and those are all ideas for things no one even HAD when the game was being made. So if we didn't have those DLCs then the game would never have had those features at all.

      If you don't want DLC it is real simple, don't buy it. For the rest of us who aren't cheapskates and like to get new content and reward people for you know, working, we can buy the DLCs if we like them.

      Hundreds of people pour thousands of hours into making games and players these days just crap all over them expecting them to work for sweatshop wages or something so that they can sell games for $10 and then add more content later for free. Get real people, this isn't socialism.

    38. John Vanderbeck on

      Paradox. I approve.

    39. Vernon Burt on

      Good to hear it's Paradox. They have a good track record of satisfying fans when they do an IP. Looking forward to the beta. Will it have a feature for random dice to fly across the field and knock over battlemechs? You know, for the full tabletop realism.

    40. RC on

      @Geomancer As I understand it, Beta will have BOTH single-player Skirmish mode, AND multiplayer PvP. No doubt we'll get more info as we get closer to the Beta launch on June 1st ^_^

    41. Matt on

      So much doom and gloom, but the Internet loves to complain. With four successful, fan-friendly Kickstarters under their belt I trust HBS to do the right thing.

    42. Brian Wright on

      DLC is always a mixed bag. You might have a game that launches with 10 levels and picks up another 20-30 through DLC. Without it maybe you get 12-15 levels but the price is higher to start. Paradox in particular I think the DLC is mostly meaningful to long time players. They don't just add units they add systems to keep things fresh. As far as battletech goes I hope its successful enough that we get all sorts of mechs to buy that couldn't fit in the time and budget of the kickstarter. That we get to see all sorts the the wacky level 3 systems and scenarios in new places. IE DLC means development isn't done at ship date.

    43. Micael Ebbmar on

      Happy to hear the great news! In my experience Paradox they have done some great games and marketing. This partnership will most surely let HBS focus on what they do best, game design and let the marketing and shipping be done by Paradox.

    44. Missing avatar

      Christopher Stevens on

      I can't really say that I'm excited about this. To be fair, I'm not just skeptical of Paradox as a company, I also don't enjoy their games, so I'm not entirely objective.

    45. Hell-Nico on

      Erf, Paradox, really?

      Let's hope their cancerous DLC habit won't blight the game.

    46. Missing avatar

      Timothy Vargas on

      While I'm happy with your partnership with Paradox, the only thing I really have to say on it is please don't adopt their DLC/New Content policy. They have a shrewd vision on what is good for their games and their pricing models for newly released content. Other than my fearmongering, please keep up the excellent work, I'm looking forward to all the things this game will offer.

    47. Todd Pollman on

      Congrats, guys! Hopefully this will mean that with good funding behind it, BT will be even more successful, and we'll get many sequels.

    48. Missing avatar

      Dave on

      Honestly I don't mind Paradox's DLC policy. They have added an absolutely massive amount of content to their games using their DLC model. They've released a few stinker DLC's but considering how much content they include for free in the various updates I think it's perfectly fair.

      I mean look at CKII. That game is still getting support five years after it was released. That's pretty impressive for what was, when it was released a niche game from a niche publisher. Sure, if you want to buy in from ground zero now it's a pretty intimidating purchase, but spread that three hundred dollars (assuming you never once bought a DLC pack on sale) over that length of time and it starts to seem a lot more reasonable.

    49. Elliot Jenner on

      Paradox are known for good quality, but they are also known for nickel-and-diming the HELL out of updates (just look at EU4). I wouldn't want Battletech to end up with expansion content amounting to 5x the cost of the original game in order to have the full experience.

    50. Filena77

      Well i love paradox games, but i really start to hate their DLC policy, si kinda mixed new for me ^^

      Anyway continue the great work !