Braben launches Elite Kickstarter

Elite: Dangerous looking for £1,250,000 in funding

Frontier Development has taken to the newly UK friendly Kickstarter to restart work on cult sequel Elite: Dangerous.

The team has 60 days to raise £1,250,000 and in return promises "an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope."

"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 the funds to do so," explained Frontier's Braben.

The £1.25 million target will allow it to make the "minimum game" and Braben expressed hope that the funding would go beyond this, to allow for more content and platforms. The game will use artist-directed procedural generation to keep the budget manageable.

"It also means it becomes a viable project to avoid the conventional publishing route - something that I don't believe can deliver a game like this successfully."

With 59 days left to go the project already has 829 backers and £42,851, a total that is rising even as these words are written. One contributor has already pledged at least £5000, winning themselves dinner with Frontier Developments and a star system named in their honour.

"Looking at all the high quality games we at Frontier have produced, from RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 to Kinectimals to LostWinds to Disneyland Adventures, I think the risk of non-delivery is small," Braben reassured contributors.

"We already have a large team who are very experienced at delivering complicated projects, and the key high-risk components (like networking) are already in place. If necessary then we will delay the release beyond March 2014, but I do not believe we will need to do so."

The deadline for funding is January 4 2013.

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Latest comments (14)

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 7 years ago
You can have my money Frontier. If only your deadline was after my wedding next year then you could have more of it!
I absolutely adored Elite, and when the sequel emerged, the amount of gameplay elements completely caved my head in (in a good way!). If I was in my teens or older at the time of release then I think it would have had more play time that and the fact that the physics made space battles incredibly hard.

Looking forward to reading more about how the game is going to shape up and what their ambitions are.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago
I would praise this except I have sour memories of how long it took him to actually do Frontier. I 'm genuinely not prepared to wait 5 years to see the end result of this so I'll let someone else throw their money at it.

Nice idea but, the reality of the production speeds at frontier make it a bit of a nonsense.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Dwyer on 6th November 2012 9:10am

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I like Elite, but i really wonder if it will be produced on time on budget with the right resources. As Andreas says, above I think Chris Roberts has something deliverable, has already a work in progress element that can fire up the imagination of folks.
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Show all comments (14)
Liam Wong7 years ago
I agree with Andreas.

A great project for a UK Kickstarter, but no video, no pics... £1.25m? I think that's pretty poor coming from such a well-known developer. I can't be the only one who only backs projects which have a decent pitch? Here's hoping they update it.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
I'd agree with some of the others here. Not quite sure what he's pitching, but it seems to me to be a blurb based on appealing to sentiment and asking people to fund the risk while the developer rakes in what profit there is from it. I'm sure if David really believed in it, then he'd be able to raise the money easily enough instead of going down the Kickstarter route - can't imagine he's short a bob or two.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters7 years ago
"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 the funds to do so," explained Frontier's Braben.
The cynical side of me thinks he's just sick of having people pester him to make another Elite so he's put this up there to say "well go on then, put your money where your mouth is". Probably hoping it'll fail so he can go "see, now stop asking". :)
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Andrew Animator 7 years ago
I really want to help fund this.......but with Star Citizen out there too....

Elite Frontier was one of the biggest games of my childhood. I get the impression that for David Braben Elite is a personal thing, which is why it has been slowly developed in the background at Frontier for decades, but Elite 4 has been so long promised and so little has been said about it. I'm not sure.
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Who knows how many times Elite has tried to be could be with the recent focus on Outsider, it was make or break...
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Glad that DB is going for a kickstarter - but I would need some transparency in what is being proposed and the site is light on detail. Questions are is it true that some of this funding has to pay off a large publisher that retained the rights from Telecomsoft? I would also like to know the reason why the first publisher approached regarding creating this latest title turned down the prospect?

I had the pleasure of reviewing the original title as a fledgling BBC Computer reviewer, and had links to Acornsoft - I just wonder if living off of past glories with rose tinted glasses can still turn a coin?
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe7 years ago
Also agree with Andreas.

I'm not sold on Kickstarter yet anyway, but it would seem super-foolish to pledge money to this when Braben (a) should surely be able to raise funding anyway (especially just £1.25m), (b) hasn't made an effort to 'sell' the pitch in any way, and (c) has a track record of tortuously slow development on this particular IP.

And Fran, that's exactly where my mind went too!
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And because there is no risk what soever to the developer once the target is achieved, it could be a nice holiday for everyone to kick in the sand. who knows...but at least Star Citizen has a more concertized vision
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Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief7 years ago
Wow, what a very cynical set of responses
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago

Not cynical just realistic. His pitch is basically "Give me money and I may, if I can be bothered, do another Elite or something like that but, I'm not too sure"

Frontier has shown itself to be large on ambition and quite frankly poor on delivery and realism. It's almost as if Braben has gotten to the point where he thinks the industry owes him free money because he once did a game called Elite (may have had some major help from a guy called Bell but, you wouldn't know that from the attitude).
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 7 years ago
Bad pitch... Anyway there is already a game called Dangerous that is also a space trading game and its rather good and has been out a good while. I hope they don't think they can just ignore this fact and potentially damage the developers.

Sadly Braben and co completely ignored the question when asked via twitter and email by the developers.
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