Not content with expanding the galaxy with aliens and gargantuan ARGs, the makers of Elite: Dangerous and Planet Coaster are venturing into a new frontier: licensed movie tie-ins.
In an interview with Rolling Stone’s Glixel, Frontier Developments founder David Braben, who also made the original Elite, announced that his studio was “working on a third franchise” following the success of Planet Coaster.
“It’s a license of a movie franchise of worldwide renown,” Braben explained. “It’s because we’re a listed company, and that we have to announce things that might be deemed ‘market-sensitive,’ but we didn’t want to announce what the franchise was.”
Braben went on to say that the franchise was “a biggie”, which sounds like it’s either a superhero franchise or something sci-fi. We know it’s not Avatar, because Ubisoft Massive – makers of The Division – are working on that already, and EA and Disney have locked up the rights for anything Star Wars related. The Frontier founder added that they’d announce more details about the game this year, with a scheduled release for 2018.
As an aside, Braben also touched a little on the effect that Freelancer had on publishers over a decade ago. Freelancer is one of the most beloved space epics of all time, but the case was very different commercially. Here’s his response on why it took so long to make another Elite game:
I think what happened was, by that time, I talked to publishers about doing a fourth Elite game, but some things happened. Publishers were skeptical of space games in general because of the financial failure of Freelancer, an early 2000’s game. It was delayed. It’s a nice game, but in that period, they were just incredibly skeptical.
You can read the full interview over at Glixel. It touches on the future for Elite: Dangerous, Braben’s history as a dev, and incorporating factional politics into games.