Elite: Dangerous goes into development after 15 years of false starts

david braben

David Braben has been threatening to make Elite 4 for a decade and a half. According to the iconic game designer, he’s even started work on it a number of times. His studio Frontier Developments has worked on the game in different incarnations repeatedly since opening in 1994. Even now as Braben and Frontier took to Kickstarter to independently raise funds to fuel development of the open world space simulator, it looked like the studio might not hit its goal. With just over one day to go, though, Frontier Developments finally has the money to make a new Elite.

Frontier opened a Kickstarter to fund Elite: Dangerous on Nov. 5, with the ambitious goal of raising £1.25 million (just over $2 million) to fuel the game. That’s a hefty sum, but other classic game developers have handily raised similar amounts, including Obsidian Entertainment and its Kickstarter-funded game Project Eternity as well as InXile Entertainment’s Wasteland 2. Those games as well as projects like Tim Schafer and Double Fine’s new adventure game, Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen, and a number of others have demonstrated a real thirst for classic franchises and genres, but Elite: Dangerous struggled to meet it’s goal, extending the Kickstarter for two months rather than the usual one.

Braben said upfront that the Kickstarter campaign’s first goal was to guage interest in a new Elite. “We’re using Kickstarter both as a means of test-marketing the concept to verify there is still interest in such a game that extends beyond the individuals who regularly contact me about the game, and raising funds to do so,” said Braben, “[As] long as we hit the threshold, it commits us to making the game. From where we are now, $2 million will get us the minimum game but I am hoping we can get more than that as it will allow us to be more ambitious with content and platforms.”

Ambition has been one of the factors keeping Elite 4 from completion all these years. Back in 2000, Frontier was developing the game as an early MMO but cancelled it that same year. Braben committed to working on the game once work was done on its equally ambitious project, the cancelled PS3/Xbox 360 game The Outsider, but that version never materialized last decade.

Elite is often credited as being the first “sandbox” game, the first to let players explore a wide open world at their own pace. Elite: Dangerous is coming out in a very different game landscape than the one that birthed it.

Gaming

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.
Movies & TV

The Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars spinoff might be a TV show, not a movie

After years of reports that Obi-Wan Kenobi would get his own Star Wars movie, rumors indicate that the fan-favorite Jedi Master might star in his own streaming television miniseries instead.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.
Gaming

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.
Gaming

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options. Fan-favorite third-party and exclusive games are also included.
Gaming

Fortnite squads up with Ninja, Chan, and Samsung for exclusive K-pop skin

The Galaxy S10 Plus has features that make it great for mobile gaming and just like last year, Fortnite and Samsung have joined forces to bring an exclusive K-pop skin to the phone. Here's how you can get it.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.