BREAKING NEWS: Chris' Clock Counts Cloudward (September 9, 2012)


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Zeether and WalterK came by #wingnut to tell us about a couple of websites they came across. There has been considerable excitement and discussion on the Freelancer fansite and on Reddit regarding Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games and frankly we're intrigued!

Both websites seem linked to Chris Roberts newest business endeavor. Chris Roberts' public linkedin profile now lists his current position as "Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at Cloud Imperium" having apparently moved on from Bl!ink Media Inc.

If there is any doubt that the Cloud Imperium Games website is connected to the Cloud Imperium Chris mentions on his linkedin profile, note that the domain name was registerd by Freyermuth and Associates Inc. Ortwin Freyermuth was a lawyer/producer hired by Chris Roberts to work as legal advisor on several of Ascendant Pictures's films. In 2007 he was listed as being on staff at Ascendant as "production counsel".

While we're certainly excited, we're not entirely surprised fans have dug up some pretty cool breadcrumbs. Back at the CIC birthday bash in August, Chris Roberts stopped by to surprise everyone in #wingnut and answered fan questions for over two hours. EddieB asked Chris what his next project would be. Chris Robert's response?:

Chris_Roberts: eddieb - I've got something I'm going to announce soon - and in about three weeks I'll give you guys an early heads up

So what exactly is Chris Roberts working on? Chris didn't say though much of the evening's discussion did revolve around what he would do if he were to ever make a new Wing Commander game with today's technology. The Roberts Space Industries site hints that we may just have a bit of a better idea what this special project is come monday morning. The website is running a countdown timer that runs out at midnight Pacific Standard Time Sunday night. Is it a new space combat simulator? Is it a follow-up to Privateer or Freelancer, or a spiritual successor? Is it something else altogether?

Moving on over to the Cloud Imperium Games website we note that there's a nifty spaceship banner at the top of the page which would certainly indicate that whatever it is is likely space related just as the name "Roberts Space Industries" promises... though, I guess, for all we know it could be the social version of "Spaceship Parts Factory Tycoon" set in the dusty Texas back-country of the near-future.

But wait! There's another clue! WalterK pointed out that following the URL to full image of the Cloud Imperium website banner reveals the following beautiful piece of concept art which doesn't just mildly suggest a Privateer/Freelances style game!

Check back often as you can be sure we'll be looking into this with a fine-toothed comb!

Original update published on September 9, 2012
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Privateer Style Game without the Licence? Looks so..
Ship Dealer, Mercenaries and Merchants Guild, Bar, Repair. OMG ! NEEED!!! :D
after flying through Cybertron and it's vast cities, I wonder if the concept can be carried over to this genre: instead of space separating ports, a couple of dozen mega-sized city blocks... just musing.
Nice, but i was more hoping for a true mission-based space combat sim,not that big on the trading thing.
Definite link with the Guilds' shop fronts. And nice use of the Stop font, too.

Mace, if it's anything like the original Privateer, you should be able to have both.
Mace, if it's anything like the original Privateer, you should be able to have both.
It's a matter of personal taste, while I like the idea of the privateer series, I finished privateer getting pretty bored with the missions in the end of it, and privateer 2 I disliked 20 minutes in the game. I want to play a military fighter pilot in war scenario, not a delivery boy in an armed transport who has to solve mysteries.

Well, let's first see how the game turns out before I pass judgement on it, and what platforms it will be out on.
Whenever Chris has talked about revisiting games, he's talked about cinematic story telling, so I doubt what he's working on is going to be an "Elite" clone. But a full, cinematic Privateer type game complete with ship customisation would be pretty awesome.

It does appear that it won't be an EA/Wing Commander sequel/reboot though - which is a huge shame. Not hugely surprising I guess. He did state in the CIC birthday IRC visit that-
Chris_Roberts> Mike - I love WC, but EA owns it, so its not eay for me to do another one on my own terms

If I had to guess, I'd say he approached EA, who had to many conditionals on greenlighting a new WC game. Hopefully, if this new game is successful, they'll see that they should allow him to make the WC game he wants and give him the level of creative control he feels he needs. I can only hope. :)
Having said that, I wonder if this is a bit of deliberate mis-information. Just seems that there's been so much circumstancial evidence popping up in the last year or so. Given Chris stated that any project he worked on would be animation "[similar to] Avatar", instead of FMV, and then Tom Wilson's tweet from August last year...

I did a voice over session for a project so secret that they made my sign a form, and shredded my script right after. Disregard this tweet.

Again - I can only hope. :)
Just to be clear, the countdown has been adjusted slightly, and our intelligence operatives are reporting that the new time is indeed correct. ... the site will be online at about 7AM PST.
Why do I feel like one of the only people in this thread doesn't have an inside line on this thing.

CIC staff are in cahoots with CR on this, I tell you! ;)
Anyone else have problems with enlisting? I get the activation e-mail, but when clicking on the link it shows yet another password window which asks for the registration key. Using the key part of the sent url doesn't work either :-(