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The creator of Wing Commander and Freelancer has revealed his new space sim, and our friends at PC Gamer are pretty excited about it. The new game titled Star Citizen promises exploration, combat, and a living universe, all in a graphically rich pay-once-with-microtransactions package.
Roberts told PC Gamer the title has already been in development for a year and will feature both single-player and multiplayer elements. He also did a quick demonstration of the Squadron 42 campaign, in which players enlist to fight off hordes of spacefaring barbarians either on their own or with friends.
While Squadron 42 is more akin to a traditional linear narrative, the game will also have a full open world with expanding regions for discovery and support for advancing as a trader. He described it at his Game Developers Conference Online panel as something like EVE Online meets Battlefield.
“The overarching game is a big persistent universe, but there is this single-player aspect you can play offline, sort of like the Wing Commander experience," Roberts said. "So imagine that you’re in this massive persistent universe, but you sign up for a tour of duty on the front lines against the barbarians — that’s your single-player experience. Then after that you’re out in the world to make your fortune.”
The game's website (which is at the moment experience service outages from high traffic) features a Kickstarter-like pledging mechanism. Roberts hopes to raise $2 to $4 million from the crowd, which will then be matched by private investors once consumer interest is guaranteed.
Supporters will be awarded with early beta access, as well as a range of credits and ships depending on their pledges, when the game goes live for $60 in late 2014.