Offworld Trading Company is an economic real-time strategy game developed by Mohawk Games and published by Stardock Entertainment. In the game, money, not firepower, is the player's weapon. Players must stake their claims to resources and wrest any advantage they can buying and selling on the real-time marketplace – but greasing some palms on the black market for a timely pirate raid on a rival's supply chain can make all the difference.
The marketplace is the core of Offworld Trading Company. Supply and demand are the only rules, and the player who can most effectively craft their strategy to buy low and sell high generally takes home the prize. Running steel mills without iron mines is perfectly possible, if you're willing to pay market price for iron to keep them fed – and it may even be a winning strategy, if iron is abundant and the market is flooded with it.
Along the way, players upgrade their headquarters to increase the number of tiles they can claim, and construct special buildings like the Patent Office that have wide-ranging gameplay effects. Though direct conflict is not possible – you'll never send space marines into an enemy base – a variety of skulduggery is available on the black market. It isn't cheap to pay someone to smuggle an EMP into a rival base, or pirates to raid a competitor's supply line, but it can be extremely effective.
Ultimately, accumulating the capital needed to build an orbit-capable launch facility and thereby access to astoundingly lucrative offworld markets drives the endgame. The player who can buy up the shares of every rival gains dominance over the Martian market for good.