Mohawk Games today officially announced the title of and launched the website for their upcoming real-time economic strategy game, Offworld Trading Company.

Previously codenamed Mars, Offworld Trading Company aims to be a focused multiplayer experience (with games expected to last around half an hour to 45 minutes each) that completely removes combat from the equation, instead relying on economic might and shrewd reading of the game’s internal markets to strengthen your tenuous grip on Mars. In an interview with Ars Technica, Mohawk co-founder Soren Johnson states, “If you look at the top 100 games on BoardGameGeek, you’re gonna see an immense variety of topics, an immense variety of mechanics, different pacing, different scales… and I want strategy games, or [real-time strategy games], to be that varied. And Offworld is like an attempt at that.”

Playing as one of several companies, battle will occur over the game’s thirteen resources, which are necessary both for maintaining your own buildings and accruing wealth. With the game world randomised each play-through, and a hard limit on the number of claims players can make on land, Offworld Trading Company will hopefully avoid the optimal build malaise that affects so many static strategy games. Johnson seems acutely aware of the danger, and is tightly integrating the stock market with player actions. Prices fluctuate with sales and buyouts, while failing to provide for your employees will see them buying essentials from your competitors. Black markets and espionage will also play a part.

As I’ve said before, it sounds much like an incredible update to M.U.L.E., Danielle Berry’s classic multiplayer economic sim from 1983. While details are scant at this point, you can visit the website for a more detailed breakdown of the mechanics, or just relive M.U.L.E. here. Alternatively, read this paper about the economic viability of Mars.

Source: Offworld Trading Company website

Via: Ars Technica

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