For fans of galactic-empire building games, four years has been a long time to wait for news on a prospective follow-up to the Master of Orion games. The wait for the series' next installment can now begin in earnest though, as Hasbro announced Master of Orion III last week at E3. The original Master of Orion set a standard in space strategy, hitting shelves two years after Civilization and taking the Sid Meier classic's mix of exploration, empire-building, research, and diplomacy into space.
Like its predecessors, the game will be primarily turn-based. Space combat will now be in real time, however, and it is intended to emphasize scouting and early tactical maneuvering. Master of Orion III will take place in a galaxy that is three times larger than that of the previous game, and it will be populated by eight unique alien races. The multiplayer game will let up to eight players execute their strategic planning simultaneously in timed turns, reducing the waiting often associated with online turn-based strategy games.
Master of Orion III is being developed for a fall 2001 release by Quicksilver Software, whose recent creations include Star Trek: StarFleet Command, and Invictus.