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Freespace tabletop game will "gauge interest" in a new PC release

Freespace2-01 copy

The Freespace games, particularly Freespace 2, were tremendously good space combat simulators. We scored it 93/100 in our January 2000 review, and developer Volition, now known for the Saints Row series, admitted a few years ago that it would kill people for the chance to make Freespace 3. In an odd twist, the Freespace IP actually went back to Interplay last year for just $7500, but it's not the company it used to be, and so excitement over that development was somewhat muted.

A new, official Freespace project entitled Freespace Tactics actually hit Kickstarter a few days ago, which very briefly raised my eyebrows until I realized it's not for a videogame, but for a tabletop miniatures game "inspired by" the series. I prefer my Freespace with a joystick, but the team behind the game has said that there is actually a videogame connection, of sorts.

"Part of why we are doing with this project is to gauge interest in the FreeSpace universe," FreeSpace Development Corp., the creator of the Kickstarter, wrote in the comments. "If this is successful, it will certainly help us get a couple steps closer to a new PC game."

Cynical readers might see it as not-overly-subtle way of building support for this project by tying it to the fate of something that people very much want, and the crowdfunding success of Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen would seemingly make a new Freespace videogame a sure thing. Of course, the question of whether or not Interplay could put together the resources to make such a game looms large: Its most notable actions over the last few years include losing a high-profile legal battle with Bethesda, resurrecting the Black Isle name (although the website at blackisle.com appears to have gone offline), and, mostly recently, shutting down a fan remake of the original Descent.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.