January 14, 2016 – Entering its third year since official release, Bohemia Interactive today revealed some of their plans for Arma 3 in 2016. Via a new video blog, Creative Director Jay Crowe provides an overview of the ten most significant highlights of 2015, and a list of the ten most important things to look forward to in the upcoming year. Among the most anticipated items will be the release of the Arma 3 Apexexpansion, which will bring players to the 100 km² South Pacific island archipelago of Tanoa. The Apex expansion will be supported by new vehicles and weapons, a co-op campaign – and a free platform update that will improve Arma 3’s graphics, audio, usability, and more.
In terms of updates, the year will be kicked of by the release of the free Arma 3 Eden Update in February. This update will introduce the Eden 3D Editor – a brand scenario editor which will enable users to place and edit objects, define waypoints, set mission objectives, and more, directly within the 3D game environment. This represents a massive leap forward from the classic scenario editor, which has been a staple of the Arma series since its conception. Another welcome addition will be the new Launcher-based Server Browser, which will make it much easier for players to search and join a multiplayer server of their liking. Another highlight of the Eden Update will be the audio improvements, which come in the form of new audio configurations and samples. The update will be further complemented by a variety of usability improvements. Among the changes will be the replacement of the in-game font, which should make in-game text better legible.
Next up in line is 2016’s Apex. Similar to previous Arma 3 DLC, the Arma 3 Apex expansion will deliver new premium content, and a free platform update available to everyone who owns Arma 3. In terms of premium content, Arma 3 Apex’ crown jewel is Tanoa – the new terrain which was first revealed at E3 last year. In addition, the expansion will include new vehicles and weapons, and a co-op campaign. While more specific details will be unveiled at a later date, new vehicle classes, namely Light Strike Vehicles and VTOL aircraft, have been confirmed to be among the Apex arsenal. To make the new content shine, the free platform update will provide a graphics upgrade that will apply to the entire game. The upgrade includes an overhaul of the game lighting configuration, and introduction of new Sea Shader and Screen-space Reflections technology.
Bohemia Interactive also plans to build upon their new (web-based) service, Arma 3 Units. Launched in basic form at the end of last year, Arma 3 Units aims to connect players and Arma community groups. In the near future, Bohemia Interactive will increase the functionality by enabling users to join units with their Bohemia Account, manage unit roles, schedule events, post announcements, and more. Further down the line, the studio intends to integrate parts of the service into the game itself.
The Arma 3 Apex expansion, and the supporting free platform update, is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2016. As of today, enthusiasts will be able to pre-order the Arma 3 Apex expansion on the Bohemia Store (regular price: 29.99 EUR / 24.99 GBP / 34.99 USD – pre-order price (20% discount): 23.99 EUR / 19.99 GBP / 27.99 USD). Those who are new to Arma 3, but want the most complete experience, can choose to pick up the Arma 3 Apex Edition (price: 59.99 EUR / 44.99 GBP / 69.99 USD), which includes the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, all Arma 3 DLC released so far (Karts/Helicopters/Marksmen), and the Arma 3 Apex expansion.