Harebrained Schemes have announced the development of a new BattleTech game, which they will be funding through Kickstarter this autumn.
Harebrained founder Jordan Weisman is noted for creating the Shadowrun roleplaying game in 1989 and being behind the recent Shadowrun Returns franchise of Kickstarted RPGs (consisting of Dead Man's Switch, Dragonfall and the imminent Hong Kong, slated for release on 28 August). However, he is arguably even more famous for co-creating the BattleTech miniatures game in 1984 and its spin-off RPG line, MechWarrior. The MechWarrior RPG spawned a successful four-title videogame series in the 1990s and early 2000s, with MechWarrior 2 and 4 being particularly acclaimed.
The new BattleTech game takes things back to the beginning. This will be a strategy game featuring turn-based combat as well as RPG elements and the ability to create new mech designs. The game will also be open-ended and will draw inspiration from Mercenaries, the name of the expansions to both MechWarrior 2 and 4. This sub-series features player choice and a branching storyline with multiple endings, as opposed to the more linear storytelling of other games in the series.
BattleTech still has a large, dedicated fan following and following the impressive success of Shadowrun Returns, I suspect this will be one of those Kickstarters which is funded almost instantly.