The point of a rocketry program is to launch yourself so far away from your planet that you never have to come back. That is also the story of one of the best games about building rockets.
Publisher Take-Two Interactive, best known as the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K Games, has acquired the rights to Mexican developer Squad’s Kerbal Space Program game. In a blog post on the Kerbal website, the sim’s development team said that this won’t mean a lot of sweeping changes. Instead, the team, which moved to Take-Two as part of this deal, is promising to continue support for its space-flight simulator. In Kerbal, you design and launch space ships, landers, and rovers either in a sandbox mode or as part of a series of missions. Its physics engine is so robust and realistic that Kerbal has actually won over some fans like engineers at NASA and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Kerbal has more than 1.7 million owners on Steam, according to data-tracking site SteamSpy — and it still peaks at around 10,000 concurrent players at any one time.
“Squad and the current development team is still here and we’re hard at work on KSP and its future updates,” reads the development team’s blog. “But now we are fortunate enough to do so with the help of an experienced publisher like Take-Two, and we couldn’t be more excited and happy to see where our joint collaboration will take KSP forward.”
Kerbal Space Program first debuted as an unfinished game in 2011, and it caught on with a dedicated group of fans before finding a wider audience as part of a release on Steam’s Early Access portal for incomplete projects. In April 2015, Squad published the 1.0 version, and it has since kept up with regular updates. Kerbal also made the leap to consoles in July 2016 with versions for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The development team is now trying to reassure fans that Take-Two isn’t planning to spoil the game, and the studio touched on some of its future plans.
“Right now, we’re still focused on the Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion and we’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress,” the team wrote in its blog. “And yes, we’re keeping our promise of free DLC for everyone who purchased KSP through April 2013! We’re continuing to work closely with Blitworks on the updated version of KSP for consoles, which will be available on the Xbox and PSN digital stores when it is complete. This will be a free update for anyone who already owns KSP on Xbox or PS4.”