Egosoft's long-running space sandbox sim series will return with X4: Foundations on November 30th, the developers announced today. X4 is meant to be a return to the values of the core series--and a return to being good--after 2013's disappointing X: Rebirth. It'll once again turn players loose in a big sandbox galaxy to fly any ship, build space stations, establish a financial empire, grow a fleet, rob, shoot, and all that, while NPC characters and empires do the same with their own objectives. That's the plan, and you can see a little of the reality in a new video below.
Egosoft say that "X4 will be the first X game to allow our races and factions to freely build and expand their empires" so the sandbox could change a fair bit over time. And talk of players being able to pull tricks like spacewalking to attach explosives to a station does make this sound kinda Star Citizen-ish. Only singleplayer. And without the planet-side stuff. And out in two months. And from a studio with a track record of finishing games. Bit of spacebanter, there.
The studio were quite open about some of X: Rebirth's problems, especially its buggy state at launch, which they talked about with us in 2014. Patches did a lot to fix the game up, but at heart it was still a different sort of game, not really what many X players were after.
X4: Foundations is due on November 30th. It'll cost $50/€50 on Steam and from Egosoft. Expansions with new alien races, missions, and all that will follow, with Egosoft expecting to launch the first within a year or so.