The question of the year seems to be "Why doesn't Freelancer support my $400 super flight stick pro with real pilot goggles?" Digital Anvil's Jorg Neumann attempts to explain their decision to support mouse-only gameplay in his latest developer diary over at Gamespy.
One of the important reasons for the mouse interface is our desire to make a highly accessible game that could reach a wide audience. Just about everyone who owns a PC also has a mouse, but many people don't own joysticks or don't feel very comfortable using one. Given how relatively few games require a joystick interface, most of today's game players are simply much better at using the mouse to click on things rather than maneuvering with a joystick. Freelancer always intended to bring a new audience to the genre, and the mouse interface allows players that don't own or use a joystick to engage and succeed in the epic-scale space battles that Freelancer offers.
It makes perfect sense to me but then I've never spent more than $40 bucks on a joystick so it's never really felt all that important. Even games like Mech Warrior 4 work better with a mouse after all, I don't see this being any different.- Certis