It might not be as likely as you think. Escape from Tarkov is one of the more first-person shooter video games. Your main objective is to go on raids, loot what you need, and extract safely. Otherwise, you lose everything you have on your person if you fall, save for those in secure containers. Though there are ways to get them back, the risk of losing all your Tarkov items is the most prominent driving force of the game. However, the most pertinent question about it is when it will be officially released.
Stuck in the Testing Phase
If Escape from Tarkov ever goes on Steam (just a hypothetical*), it’d be forever in ‘Early Access.’ The game has been in its Closed Beta phase since 2017. That’s five years of testing, and other games would have their release in at least 1 or 2 years. EFT’s been in Closed Beta for 5 years, and players are wondering if there ever will be an actual release. It has not been released on Steam, and the devs have no detailed plans to release it on that platform (or any other) either.
Why EFT Should Have an Official Release
If you think about it, the game’s current state is similar to a live-service game. Although wipes aren’t usually implemented in those, it works for this particular one. The feature keeps veterans from curb-stomping newcomers and maintains the community’s health. After all, it doesn’t discriminate, and players start over from square one again.
The best example of a live-service game is an MMO. It’s a multiplayer game you can access at any time (except when servers are under maintenance) and receives regular updates. Players who pre-ordered get access to the beta, and they can enjoy the game.
Despite being in testing, Escape from Tarkov garners positive responses from those who play their pre-order copies. The gameplay differs from other shooters, and its realism adds to the challenge. It’s a far cry from the usual team or battle royale games. Maps are distinct from each other, and nobody can predict what will happen in a raid. You could have a good haul one time and die in the first five minutes the next.
Of course, the developers are still at work improving the game. But they can still do that after an official release, can’t they? That’s what updates and expansions are for in MMOs. The point is, Escape from Tarkov might benefit from a proper release. Though it has a huge player base already, there could be more. Many players are turned off by unfinished games, so the release could make the numbers boom.
Possible Reasons Why EFT is Stuck in the Testing Phase
Though we can’t say precisely the developers’ reasons for not releasing it, there is some sense in taking time. Some recent AAA releases get so much flak for having so many bugs upon release. The community gets up in arms when a highly-anticipated release doesn’t match expectations.
Escape from Tarkov having a prolonged testing phase could mean a thorough quality check. While bugs will always be a problem no matter what, getting the most prominent ones out beforehand is better. At least you don’t get a bug-ridden release.
The developers are also using it to test many of their ideas. You’d see it in how the game has changed over the years. It’s easier to keep changing things under the guise of testing, which could be one reason for delaying the game’s release.
There is some speculation that EFT won’t have an official release, as it was only meant to raise funds for the developers’ other projects. Somehow it became too popular to let go of, leaving it in ‘Early Access’ limbo. This is only a theory, and no explicit mentions of a timeframe when the game will be ‘complete’ or otherwise. Still, players can’t wait too long. It’s working for now, but there could be problems.
Even though EFT isn’t out yet, it’s possible to enjoy the game by pre-ordering it and making a Tarkov account. Surprisingly, many players have done so and are contributing to the game’s improvement. They’re also enjoying what content there is, and there’s actually a substantial amount already. While a release makes sense, ultimately, it is the developers’ decision. Since they’d rather keep the game’s current status, we can’t do anything about it. You’ll need to wait longer if you’re waiting for an official release. It could be next year or in 5 more; no one truly knows. Enjoy Escape from Tarkov, shoot some Scavs and collect those Tarkov items!