Frontier Developments boss David Braben has told an audience at the Game Developers Conference that Elite 4 is still very much in his thoughts.
"Yes," he told an attendee who asked him whether it was "still on the drawing board" at the end of his GDC 25th anniversary post-mortem on Elite. "It would be a tragedy for it not to be."
Earlier in his presentation, Braben talked about the innocent attitude of early-eighties game developers and how he sees parallels with the current mobile and social platforms.
He and partner Ian Bell had simply sat down to make a game because they wanted to do so, he said. "People like various app stores have created that feeling again," he explained.
"It's a long time we haven't had it and I think it's a very good thing. Hopefully some new blood will come into the industry."
The rest of the presentation talked over many of the interesting technical and design decisions made during Elite's development - from compression shortcuts based on letter pairings and the Fibonacci sequences to the developers' hilarious decision to redo the radar with virtually no time left before release.
Braben also retold the story of how he and Bell retained the film rights.
"We retained the film rights and all other rights, and [Acornsoft] got so hung up on the fact we wanted the film rights," he told an appreciative audience.
"'Do you think there's going to be a film of thus?' Might be! 'Alright then.'
"That was excellent - we had all of the rights, and it was fantastic because it meant we then went on to auction the other rights to other publishers."