Rumblings began a few days ago, the idea that there might be something from Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander, Privateer and Freelancer. Something that may or may not be called Cloud Imperium. Then there was a countdown clock, ticking down to 3pm today. And then... 3pm happened. And now we know slightly more, but still have a lot more questions.
The big news is that Chris Roberts is making games again, after nearly ten years away. The bigger news is that it might be something that’s not only multiplayer centric, but perhaps massively so.
There’s a big announcement up over at the site, if you can guess your way past the clue of ‘The answer to the universal question’, before being taken to a whole bunch of different articles and allusions. The major announcement, where everything will be detailed, is happening on the 10th of the 10th, so in a month, over at GDC Online.
Here’s the announcement:
If you’ve made it here, you probably know who I am. Maybe you have heard of Wing Commander and its sequels, or perhaps Strike Commander, Privateer or Freelancer.
If not, you’re still welcome!
I grew up making video games. I sold my first game at the age of 13 and created Wing Commander when I was 21. But 10 years ago, at the height of my career I took a break. Not because I stopped loving or playing games but because I had become frustrated with the limits of the technology at the time to realize my vision.
I decided to pursue my desire to create detailed worlds and tell sophisticated stories in film. I always said the moment I became interested in making games again was when I was going to come back.
With the power of today’s computers and the reach of the internet I finally feel I have the tools to build the connected experience that I always dreamed of. A world that would be more satisfying and richer than any film I could work on.
With films you tell stories but with games you create worlds.
If you’ve played my games, you’ll know that’s what I love to do.
I’m here to tell you that I have been working on something for just under a year, something that embraces everything that my past games stood for but takes it to the next level.
I hope you’ll be as excited by it as I am.
My new endeavor is still in its early stages but I invite you to take the journey with me. If you register below you’ll become an insider that will not only give you early access to the game’s website and forums, but you will also get the opportunity for rewards and privileges that no one else will get. It’s my way of showing how important your early involvement and support is.
The full announcement will be at 10am Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on the 10th day of the 10th month of this year.
My name is Chris Roberts.
And if you would indulge me I would like to create a world for you.
The important part is “I finally feel I have the tools to build the connected experience that I always dreamed of.” Freelancer had multiplayer, but it was a temperamental, limited thing, clearly aiming at something far higher, but not nearly capable of reaching it. Now the infrastructure is in place, and the power is there, for Roberts to pursue something far more ambitious.
I’m just glad there’s going to be something happening with the space simulation genre again. After the brilliant swan song of Freespace 2, I was worried it might have died off forever. Welcome back, Mr Roberts.