The new project's overall title is Star Citizen. Set several centuries hence, it establishes a traditional space opera universe in which characters can fly around and trade between planets and star systems. This part of the game can be played on the public servers, in which case it works like an MMORPG (complete with skill trees and experience for characters). However, players can also play on their own in single-player mode, effectively replicating the experience of the X or Elite series or Roberts's own Privateer games and Freelancer. They can also play in small, closed servers with just friends rather than strangers.
The game will also ship with a mission-based, linear single-player campaign. Though using the same setting and art assets, this is structured differently enough from Star Citizen 'proper' to have its own name: Squadron 42. In this sub-game players can take on military roles and fight in an extended war. This game can also be played co-op with several players on the same side. This mode is meant more for fans of the Wing Commander, X-Wing/TIE Fighter and Freespace games.
Roberts explains the concept in full in this lengthy (but interesting) speech.
The initial release of the game is not expected until 2014.