"Freelancer is a space trading and combat simulation video game developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Game Studios. 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 role of spacecraft pilots who fly single-seater ships, exploring 48 known star systems, and visiting planets and space stations in them. The player-controlled pilots can engage in combat with other ships to protect traders or engage in piracy themselves. Other activities include accepting bounty-hunting jobs and engaging in commodity trade. The single-player story centers on Edison Trent, as he 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 whatever role and explore anywhere from the start."
Source: Wikipedia, "Freelancer_(video_game)," available under the CC-BY-SA License.