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(Harebrained Schemes Photo)

Seattle-based game developer Harebrained Schemes has launched pre-orders for its upcoming PC game BattleTech, reviving a famous science fiction franchise that began in 1984 as a tabletop game by developer Jordan Weisman’s FASA Corporation.

The new game, to ve published in partnership with Paradox Interactive, was partially funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. It’s a turn-based strategy game with the player taking the part of a mercenary captain in charge of a stable of BattleMechs. The game is set in 3025 at the end of the Third Succession War, at the tail end of a destructive interplanetary conflict that’s threatening to make the entirety of settled civilization backslide into barbarism. As one of the last trained mech pilots standing, you’re a valuable player in whatever resolution can be achieved.

BattleTech has spurred spur comics, a 13-episode animated show, several spinoff video game franchises such as MechAssault and MechWarrior, and most famously, a long line of science fiction novels. This is turning out to be a busy year for the franchise, as in addition to Harebrained’s release, Vancouver-based Piranha Games is currently planning to release a new MechWarrior game, a full 16 years after the release of the fourth one.

Harebrained Schemes founder Jordan Weisman. (GeekWire File Photo).

Harebrained Schemes was founded in Seattle in 2011 by Weisman, a Microsoft veteran and co-creator of Shadowrun, and his frequent collaborator Mitch Gitelman, who produced MechAssault and worked on the first two MechCommander games. Harebrained previously released several PC games in the Shadowrun franchise, as well as the mobile games Crimson: Steam Pirates and Golem Arcana and the procedurally-generated dungeon-crawler Necropolis.

BattleTech’s base game will retail for US$39.99, with a digital deluxe version for $10 more, which includes an artbook, several wallpapers, the game’s official soundtrack, and a usable forum icon and avatar. Players who pre-purchase the game will receive an exclusive skin for the Shadowhawk ‘Mech and an exclusive wallpaper, the latter of which will be delivered when the game launches.

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