If all goes according to plan, most, if not all, Ashes players will have Escalation in the next few days.
Why are we expanding the criteria?
Simply put: While people like Ashes of the Singularity, the overwhelming message is that the community needs to be merged together.
We originally planned to allow players to play MP against each other but as time has gone on, it has become increasingly apparent that this would have both technical and fairness issues (i.e. do Ashes players get strategic zoom in MP vs. Escalation players? How much work is it to let players of SCU 1 play the players of SCU 2?).
And even if we meet those challenges, what about multiples forums on Steam and GOG that split the community? What about modding?
Since we are in this for the long-run, the best way is to just merge all players bases together into a single player base with Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation for everyone and then we can create a "simpler" in-game game mode.
We will have more information soon on this. I want to thank everyone for sharing their ideas and feedback on the various options that have been presented. I realize that some people will be pleasantly surprised to see their suggestions actually utilized by a game company, but sometimes the best ideas come from without.