Frontier's upcoming space game Elite: Dangerous will be releasing for PC on December 16, 2014.
Elite: Dangerous that has been in different states of alpha and beta through 2014, is available on EliteDangerous.com for £35.
"No game is ever truly finished in the minds of those making it," Frontier head David Braben told Eurogamer in an interview.
Taking about the game, David Braben also said, "When you are close to a project for a long time, you tend to see the things that have annoyed you; those things you know could be improved upon; those things you are afraid might not work well for people that are not 100 per cent au fait with the game. For me this makes a public alpha and beta process quite difficult, but it also helps focus on the bigger picture. I think the best definition is that something is launch-ready when it is a great game.
"There are two types of things that can happen at this stage," he continued. "The first is endless 'feature-creep' - new features are added which in turn cause problems that have to be fixed. The second is polishing what is there. The latter reaches a point where there are diminishing returns, but the challenge is always to be able to judge when that will be long in advance. At Frontier we have been doing this for a long time, so we are confident the date we have announced is a sensible one."
Elite: Dangerous was started as an initiative on Kickstarter and was successfully crowd-funded in January 2013, where the company managed to raise £1.5m from 25,000 backers.
But that was just a small part of their total budget of £8m, and apart from Kickstarter the studio themselves have also put in a large part of the sum. The only seems to have grown since then.
Braben insisted that Frontier’s decision to avoid signing up with a publisher has been solely for the game's benefit.
"Back in December 2013, immediately after we had released Alpha 1.00, we were looking at Oculus Rift, and there was a buzz internally about possibly supporting it, both internally and amongst our backers on the Frontier Forums," Braben said. "If we were with a publisher, there would be very many layers of decision making to go through, including making a detailed business case for supporting it - which was, at the time, virtually non-existent, given that the Rift was only available as a piece of development kit, and you had to register as a developer to get one - and essentially it would most likely have been kicked into the proverbial long grass, until after release at least.”
He further explained by saying, "As our own publisher, we understood from our own experience that the Rift had been bought by many people who loved our game, so we decided to take a punt. I think this was vindicated, when we released an update for the Alpha that included early Rift support, and by the end of the Christmas period, nearly 10 per cent of our backers had played the game with Oculus Rift."