I am one of the backers for the Elite Kickstarter. I think the 'strings attached' bit is probably quite important for an elderly game like Elite. Lets say hypothetically that worst case, someone like EA was the publisher. Everything would be micro-transaction, autolog bullshit with an annoying soundtrack you can't turn off and a 'hey radical' southern-california commentator giving you a mind-meltingly droll tutorial on how to be the hottest, slickest new pilot in the galaxy with pats on the head every 5 minutes. It would need to be themed on a music festival, surf exhibition, frat party or some other 'down-with-the-kids' irrelevance. Of course there has to be a leader board from which some 16 year old ass-hat leaves an audio-message for everyone declaring his teabag is the biggest.
You would have to deal with the fallout from some EA Exec demanding that every time you destroyed another ship, crashed in to one or came with a few metres of one, you get a 3 second cut scene that pauses the action because "it's more 'Michael Bay' that way". When you finally dock after many, many, wooshing, spinning, exploding menu options, you get the pretty much compulsory option of using real money to get rid of your wanted status or whatever, which is probably the only way to progress since like an Ikea store, there seems to be no way to circumvent what you don't want. Every couple of AU that you travel you'll get.... an achievement! Awesome! You will be able to buy 50 achievements with your real money and then sell them for new ships or some other weird artificial game mechanic, all while enduring commercials from "out trusted partners". This certainty was all but avoided because of Kickstarter. I rest my case.