Elite 4 turns to Kickstarter

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 06, 2012 6:45am PST

Fans of classic sandbox space sim series Elite have clamored for a sequel for yonks, but creator David Braben's studio Frontier Developments has been occupied putting out games like Kinectimals and Kinect Disneyland Adventures. Now it's finally ready to give a new Elite a proper go and has turned to Kickstarter (where else?) for $2 million, but the pitch is remarkably barebones, hoping that tugging at your nostalgia gland will be sufficient.

Frontier's Kickstarter campaign for Elite: Dangerous doesn't even offer a video or single piece of concept art as it asks for £1,250,000 (about $2 million US). Instead, there's a textual description of what it hopes to offer: the classic Elite fun of a procedurally-generated universe and freedom to do as you please, whether that's trade, become a pirate, hunt bounties, explore or what have you.

"Fundamentally this is the game I want to make and have wanted to make for a long time. I want to make this game for myself – it is the sort of game I want to play," Braben said. "There are many more like me at Frontier that want this for themselves too, and, I hope, out there in Kickstarter-land."

$2 million is a huge initial target for such a skimpy pitch. Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts was also looking for $2 million for his sandbox space sim Star Citizen, but his pitch also included swish in-engine cinematics, screenshots, actually showing what's being made. That's currently approaching $3 million, by the way, between Kickstarter and its own crowd-funding scheme.

Frontier is hoping to release Elite: Dangerous on PC in March 2014. Hopefully it'll have more to say soon, or this may go the way of Loot Drop's Old School RPG, which scrapped the Kickstarter after acknowledging the pitch was weak.

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