Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts is returning to the games industry and has unveiled his new title, a big budget hardware-heavy PC space sim called Star Citizen.
The game will be a return to the space combat simulators Roberts is famous for, having worked on both the Wing Commander series and Freelancer. He is aiming to fund it through a mixture of private investment and crowd funding with a target budget of $10m-$12m.
Star Citizen will set out to tax modern PC gaming rigs and Roberts intends to bring back a hardware-challenging mentality to the PC gaming scene and to help bring back the space sim genre.
'The traditional publishers don't believe in PC or Space Sims. Venture Capitalists only want to back mobile or social gaming startups. I say they're wrong,' says Roberts on Star Citizen's crowd funding page. 'I say that there is a large audience of PC gamers that want sophisticated games built for their platform.'
In terms of funding, Roberts is seeking between $2m-$4m through crowdfunding which his new company, Cloud Imperium Games, is handling directly as opposed to going through a platform like Kickstarter. The project has already raised more than $120,000.
Star Citizen is approximately two years away from being finished according to Roberts. When it is launched, he intends it to have a similar monetisation model to the Guild Wars games with players required to buy the game but then play online for free.
'I want to make a game again. I feel like I've got something to say,' Roberts told GamesIndustry International. 'The changes in the technology in the industry will allow me to do a much more immersive experience. The original Wing Commander was always about the immersion.'
Roberts claims that Star Wars has influenced almost everything he's done since seeing the film as a 'wide eyed eight-year-old'. He left the games industry in 2000 following the sale of his studio, Digital Anvil, to Microsoft and after directing a film adaptation of Wing Commander has since had a successful career producing films. He has a producer credit for films including the 2004 Punisher film, Lord of War and Lucky Number Slevin.