Freelancer is a space trading and combat simulation video game developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It is a chronological sequel to Digital Anvil's Starlancer, a combat flight simulator released in 2000. The game was initially announced by Chris Roberts in 1999, and following many production schedule mishaps and a buyout of Digital Anvil by Microsoft, it was eventually released in March 2003.
In the game, players take on the roles of spacecraft pilots. These characters fly single-seater ships, exploring the planets and space stations of 48 known star systems. They also engage in dogfights with other pilots (player- and computer-controlled) to protect traders or engage in piracy themselves. Other player activities include bounty-hunting and commodity trading. The single-player mode puts the player in the role of Edison Trent, who goes through a series of missions to save the Sirius sector from a mysterious alien force. In multiplayer mode, players are free to take on any role and to explore anywhere from the start.