Elite IV Still In The Works

According to reports leaking out of the GameCity event in Nottingham, UK, David Braben is still working on Elite IV. The game showed up on a slide during his presentation, with the nomenclature “PC, PS3, Xbox 360” next to it. That suggests that the fourth freeform space epic might not be too far off.

It’s not the first time this has come up, of course, as it was first mooted back in 2000, when Braben apparently dabbled with the idea of Elite being an MMO, but shelved the notion due to fear of MMO technological immaturities. Then there was some minor Elite IV rumblings in 2006 during Braben’s first press outings for The Outsider which, damnably, is not coming out on PC. Apparently Braben’s team will be able to use what they’ve learned from the proposed 2009 release of The Outsider in the development of a fourth Elite game. Funny that, when most development teams still haven’t learned from what Elite did in 1984.

And it’s just occurred to me that most of our American readers won’t have a clue who David Braben is, or why we’re excited about Elite… will they? Hmm. Not much we can do to fix that, other than perhaps link to the OpenGL version of Frontier and say that Elite started many of us on the long road towards being the boring old nerds we are today.


  1. Watcher95 says:


    At least this American fan is interested!

  2. Nick says:

    Argh.. docking crash flashbacks.


  3. Thelps says:

    Give them yankees some credit, or at least the larger definition of North Americans. My first encounter with Elite was while I was living in Canada. Once I’d become practiced at docking with those ridiculously quick, rotating space stations, I was smitten. Picking up cargo was another skill that took time to acquire. Ah, what halcyon days.

  4. Seth Burgess says:

    Sigh. This blog entry has finally prompted me to install open-source Elite clone Oolite for my Mac. Looks like that’s the entire weekend down the drain… now, where can I flog my furs?

  5. Pod says:

    Did Elite never get released in America, or something? Surely they MUST know about it. Ever does….don’t they?!

  6. Chis says:

    Ian Bell must find Braben’s continued… absurdities quite amusing. And, hopefully, Oolite a fitting homage to his work.

  7. Incognito_gbg says:

    Its a bit difficult to be excited about a 2010/2011-game, but here´s some:

  8. Kast says:

    YES! Some of my first gaming memories are of Elite. I was -3/-4 when it came out, but discovered a budget-copy when I was about 5.

    Learnt a lot from that game. Mostly not to fly directly at a planet…

  9. Kadayi says:

    How hard can it be to make an updated version of a game that originally came on 1 floppy disc? I really expected to see Elite IV out a long time ago tbh.

  10. Bobsy says:

    Deep down I’m still very excited about this. Deep, deep down.



  11. Crispy says:

    Old news, Braben disclosed it in a lecture at the London Science Museum. He mentioned it had been in development for years and was pretty much put on hold because they needed to push out a new title to fund development on it.

    Also, if we’re talking Elite 4 and what people have learnt, we may as well mention Infinity, a standalone game linked with such buzzwords as “procedural”, “MMO”, “Elite”, etc. There are a bunch of videos out from the team and there’s even an early combat prototype download for it.

    • Bogie says:

      You know i’ve been watching the infinity webpage for a while now and always had a thought waht if this is Elite 4 in disguise. The coder of Infinity is a Genius and would not surprise me if he might actually be David Braben!

      link to infinity-universe.com

  12. Crispy says:

    Oh and how could we forget Vegastrike?

    (OK I’ll admit I only know about this because my friend recently went single boot Linux and wasn’t exactly flushed for good games)

  13. mike says:

    not only do i as an american know about elite…
    i am mildly obsessed with it..
    i was stationed at Chicksands RAF back in the 90s
    i played elite back in college. i could blame it for flunking (but i wont).
    i found elite :frontier while stationed in that fine alcohol soaked nation of yours. The amiga i had was ntsc. i sent a polite postcard to an address i found in cambridge for D.braben and got an extremely kind hand written note back from his wife saying he would get an ntsc copy out to me when they got their international translation issue fixed.
    id like to frame it but i think that would just prove that im a a bit nutty.
    i sell dvds on amazon under the name of cmdrjameson.
    i check the frontier website alot for new videos for “the outsider” because i know the tech used there will be used in elite 4.
    waiting is the hardest part.

  14. Watcher95 says:

    Well, the reason I was obsessed myself is that i was also an American Stationed in the UK with the USAF, RAF Mildenhall myself =)

  15. dwm says:

    Ahh, Elite – Thargoids, fuel-scoops, and landing at space stations at full throttle without the aid of a docking computer.
    Good times.

  16. Justin Sherrill says:

    Don’t forget the Escape Velocity series from Ambrosia Software:

    The first two are Mac-only; the third is Mac and Windows. They are similar to Elite, with very nice interfaces.

    Escape Velocity:
    link to ambrosiasw.com
    Escape Velocity Override:
    link to ambrosiasw.com
    Escape Velocity Nova:
    link to ambrosiasw.com

  17. giblethead2000 says:

    And, of course there are the X series games from link to egosoft.com — which have been called the “spiritual successor” before now. They’re quite good.

  18. Kelly Hrdina says:

    [hooray for thread resurrection]

    I’m an American and certainly know who David Braben is. Then again, I also know what proper football is. Elite was released in the US by “Firebird Software” I think. I still have the box (as well as the boxes for Frontier and F:FE) in my attic.

    That being said, I won’t believe that Elite IV is coming until I actually hold it in my hands. I think it’s been vapo(u)rware longer than DNF.

  19. Urael says:

    giblethead2000: The X series is a close competitor, true, but not nearly a spiritual successor. If you want to spend months painstakingly building a corprate trading empire, while occasionally shooting a few pesky, revenue-threatening bad guys, this is the game for you. I defer to Mr Gillen’s PC-Gamer review of X-Beyond the Frontier, one line of which I can quote/paraphrase entirely from memory:

    “the worst thing about X:BTF is that it makes you workaaaaaargh”

    Plus, I hate the ‘town-square’ sectors with their NSEW jump-gates, reliance on jump-gates to get anywhere (yes, even with the jump-drive, which simply lets you use a number of gates in sequence in one go), the window-dressing planets…

    Comabt’s alright, though. :)

  20. neoanderthal says:

    I played Elite back in the days of yore on my best mate’s 6502 Commodore 64 – it was a never-ending source of frustration that it wasn’t available on my 6502 Atari. I loved that game and shall have to get the x86 version to give it a go.
    It will make a fine addition to Angband, I think.

  21. j39hsieh says:

    And you’ve also got Ad-Astra (www.a-astra.com), Evochron Legends (www.starwraith3d.com) and a couple others now. Hopefully they are still steaming ahead , er I mean rocketing starward, with this game.

  22. j39hsieh says:

    Damn it’s link to starwraith3dgames.home.att.net for Evochron Legends.