Regular as clockwork the ghost of a new iteration of this game gets unwarranted air. Even though the problems have been explained on every previous occasion, we again have simplistic and unrealistic statements made.
1. The OP has no credibility when it comes to official contacts and developments. Plank holders will know exactly which misrepresentations have been made in the past.
2. So people here think crowd funding will suffice. Any of you cared to do the most simple arithmetic.
(a) how much do you think a new game iteration would sell for? $USD 50 perhaps. Surely $USD 100 would have to be the upper limit.
(b) how much would individuals be willing to donate in a crowd funding exercise? More than the game's upper sale price limit of $USD 100? Maybe a few would give $USD 200 or $USD 300 on the basis that even though it is paying well over the odds it is necessary just to get the game made but many more would give less than $USD 100.
(c) how many people wold contribute money? A hundred forumites perhaps, a number made possible only if a considerable number of lurkers contributed money. Let's say a great wave of enthusiasm is generated amongst the lurkers and we get financial contributions from 300 lurkers.
So a very optimistic scenario results in 300 contributors at an average of $USD 100 each. That totals $USD 30,000 raised. How much professional coding time does that buy you? Answer, not much, certainly a lot less than the coding time involved in developing AE. I'm not going to repeat, again, the details of how much effort went into AE but it took 4 calendar years and involved more than 4 coders plus researchers plus team leaders. All up about 18 people, excluding the testers.
So what exactly is the point of crowd funding. You will never raise sufficient funds to professionally fund the R&D. You don't need to crowd fund if the work is done by volunteers.
3. Matrix will not release a new iteration without it being playable against the AI. Approximately 80% of sales are made to purchasers who only play against the computer. As always the most vocal supporters of a new iteration do not play against the computer. They have no interest in spending their time to develop a new AI module. AE has been out for 10 years now and in that time no one other than the dev Andy Mac, I repeat no one, has bothered to develop a new AI script. Every single modder has found it to be much more important to "correct" the hair colour from blonde to brunet of the chorus girl the third from the left in the back row. This level of insignificance is all that draws the attention of our modders rather than the professional importance of AI.
When one is merely tinkering with a private mod which is not sold, one can waste as much time with the appearance of that chorus girl. However, when producing a professional product which is sold for money, all that non sexy work which cannot be done on the basis of looking up some dubious wiki article, is integral to the R&D.
4. Some on this thread have stated we don't know the parameters which impact the R&D. They haven't done their research because we know the parameters. Again just look up all the previous threads on this subject. Hint in terms of legacy issues too much emphasis is being given to Grigsby/Matrix whereas Henderson Field Design has been neglected.
AE has been out for 10 years. Every 6 months or so it seems someone opens a thread on this subject. Why do you think there has been no iteration. After all, classical WITP was only about 18 months old when AE development began, and AE was released some 5 years after classical WITP. After release AE still received sustained dev work for another couple of years. Personally I would be ashamed to show my face in public if I peddled the false hopes which are regularly created on the forum. There is a way to get a new iteration done but it will never result from these false peddlers who lack the skills to deliver. My advice instead is to go search for the Maltese Falcon, at least that is the stuff of which dreams are made of.