26 March 2013

'Elite: Dangerous' To Be Launched In 2014 Thanks To Kickstarter Funding

A release date has finally been set for ‘Elite: Dangerous’, thanks to more than 22,000 hardcore gamers funding the project via Kickstarter. The game will now be released on PC in March 2014. The original game, Elite, was first released in 1984 for the BBC computer by Acornsoft and anyone who was playing games at the time (myself included) will go all nostalgic and weak-kneed at the mere mention of this classic game. Of course back then it had none of the imagery or characters of modern games and contained no landscapes or movie-like cut-scenes. It was a game that took up less than 23K of memory, (probably less than the word document I am currently typing) and yet in that 22k, using lines and dots it managed to pack eight galaxies with hundreds of planets, star systems and days upon days of flying, trading and fighting, (not to mention a good few frustrating hours learning to dock the ship at a space station - before you were able to upgrade and buy a docking computer). ‘The Frontier’ follow-up contained billions of planets and the complete Milky Way and most of us remember playing it for months on end, desperately trying to upgrade our characters to ‘Elite’ status.

An Outpouring of Nostalgia
The original Elite rewrote the rulebook on game design, moving games from arcade platforms to a wider, more expansive vision more akin to the MMO we are used to today. And though there have been numerous aborted or botched remakes over the years, the news that Frontier Developments and David Braben would be remaking the game properly if they could find funding on Kickstarter has brought a massive outpouring of both nostalgia and funding. By the end of January the Kickstarter call to arms had topped £1.3 million. David Braben said of the funding pledges that it was a good example of how people power could help smaller companies compete with the big money men of the gaming industry and whereas publishers of the bigger games are driven by their profit margins, this was driven mainly by nostalgia. He also added that because the big players preferred the money-makers like Call of Duty, the industry as a whole had gone a little state.

New Funding Levels Set
The game’s Kickstarter page can be found here and so far 25,681 people have pledged money to a total of £1,578,316. Because they have now reached the next level of funding there will now be a Mac version being released a few months after the PC version. There are also going to be a further 10 playable ships added to the game thanks to the extra funds. Details of the latest developments, including new images from the game and videos from the Elite Developers are constantly updated on the Kickstarter page and on Frontier’s own website.

About Today's Guest Writer:
Alex is an old school gamer, comic book fan and sci-fi geek who writes about anything that takes his fancy over at Otakupop.com
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