Gratuitous Space Battles 2 could be ready by the end of the year

Andy Chalk at

Cliff Harris of Positech Games doesn't think it's much of a surprise, but just in case anyone was wondering, he made it official today that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is in the works. It's all about doing the job properly this time around, he said, and that means the sequel will be "bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at."

That's not to suggest that Gratuitous Space Battles was a flop by any means. In fact, Harris said it sold very well and has remained popular thanks to a dedicated modding community. Yet he also sounded somewhat dissatisfied with the game, writing, "The reason for doing a sequel isn’t financial though (I’d be doing Democracy 4 if it was), but driven more by a desire to do the job properly."

It's all about massive scale and popping eye-candy, a design philosophy perhaps epitomized by support for twin 2560-wide monitors. "As a kid I grew up watching the original Star Wars movies and playing Elite. Space Battles are in my blood and I love them," he wrote. "Game-wise, I *want* to like EVE Online, but I’m sick of being ganked by some teenage boy and his pals for their amusement. I don’t want the lowliest of the low mining ships that gets one-shot killed. I want a huge, fuck-off spacefleet. I want to be Ackbar."

A bare-bones website at gratuitousspacebattles2.com offers a few details about the game and a pair of very sweet screens, including one showing off the glory of a 2560 double-wide battle. The game is being developed for Windows, Linux and Mac, but not tablets, because it's designed for "gratuitously big monitors." Gameplay sounds like it will be much like the original GSB, with custom-built fleets engaging in 2D, hands-off gameplay, but the engine has been "substantially improved" to provide a more immersive, 3D experience.

Other changes include three new classes of ships, overhauled fighter handling, orders and "a big, exciting new feature in the game that we have not announced yet, but [that] will completely transform the experience of playing Gratuitous Space Battles." Oculus Rift support, anyone? (No, probably not.)

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is expected to be ready to fly in either late 2014 or early 2015.