Developer Stardock has revealed its next project: Society, a massively multiplayer real-time strategy game. The game, which will apparently be free to play, will include both city-building and wargame mechanics. The game will take place in a world that consists of about 30,000 separate territories, each of which should be "the equivalent of a map in a traditional real-time strategy game." Over the course of the game, players will acquire different resources, build cities, and acquire larger holdings, territory by territory. While the game will take place in a persistent world (where other players will fight battles even after players sign off and go to sleep), only 25 percent of any player's holdings may become vulnerable to attack while they're not around. Players will also be able to consolidate their holdings into "empires," and should one player's territories come under attack, any fellow players that pitch in to defend will receive additional credit toward purchasing new benefits.
The game is being developed with an all-new project lead, Paul Kerchen, whose previous credits include tenure at Maxis working on such games as SimCity 3000 and the canceled project Simsville. No official release date has been confirmed for Society, and Stardock suggests that it plans to release some kind of public beta test sometime next year.