Soren Johnson's new company Mohawk Games has announced their first game, a combat-free real time economic simulator set on Mars called Offworld Trading Company.
What is Offworld Trading Company? The short answer would be: M.U.L.E. The long answer would be better found on the game's website or in Soren's blog post, but I'll steal a small bit of it from the site:
Money is the heart of Offworld Trading Company. Players gain cash by selling excess resources like carbon, fuel, and silicon on the open market, and spend it buying the resources they’re short on. Prices fluctuate in real time; dump a bunch of iron on the market and its price will crater, making it cheap for other players to buy up (and making their stockpiles worth much less in the near term).
Resources are extracted from the planet from concentrations visible on the map, or created by a player’s industrial buildings like a hydrolysis station turning water into fuel and oxygen. However, each building – extractors, processors, or special facilities like patent offices – requires a claim to be spent acquiring the land to build it on.
Claims are acquired by leveling up your colony (at a hefty resource cost), or for cash at the black market (at an escalating and significant cash price). Getting a new claim in Offworld Trading Company is a lot like claiming an expansion site in a traditional RTS.
Finally, the black market allows for more direct interactions than manipulating the price of silicon. Drop a wad of cash to hire pirates to harass your opponents’ supply chains, smuggle a crippling EMP device into their factories, or send a power surge through their facilities – but don’t be surprised when your corporation finds itself on the receiving end of some of these effects.
A good article/interview can be found at Ars.
Intro videos from Soren himself: