Seven years. Over $240 million in cash raised by fans. Plenty of promises.
Man, imagine having invested in the Star Citizen dream, only to wake up one morning and realise that you paid several hundred dollars for a digital spaceship which can only be flown in a game that isn’t even a shell of the universe that you were promised. Star Citizen isn’t anywhere close to hitting the lightspeed switch and finally crossing the finish line, let alone worthy of its current alpha status as feature creep and too much ambition continue to hobble what could have been the return of the space exploration genre in grand fashion.
According to a damning article over on Forbes, the future does not look good for developer Cloud Imperium and its boss, Chris Roberts. Money is tight even with the sale of more spaceships, with developers on the project being tasked to spend their time on alpha demos that are designed to keep the current player base happy, instead of working on the core game itself and the Squadron 42 single-player campaign that features plenty of star power.
“As the money rolled in, what I consider to be some of [Roberts’] old bad habits popped up—not being super-focused,” said Wing Commander IV producer Mark Day, of his experience working on Star Citizen in 2013 and 2014.
It had got out of hand, in my opinion. The promises being made—call it feature creep, call it whatever it is—now we can do this, now we can do that. I was shocked.
The current scope of Star Citizen doesn’t look good. Roberts originally promised a game which would feature a hundred star systems to explore, but as of the time that this post was published, not a single complete one exists. The Forbes article also mentions how time and effort is directed into areas that don’t require an insane degree of detail, as Roberts frequently tasks his team with polishing up details which the majority of players will never notice:
Former employees say Roberts gets involved in the smallest details and pushes huge and complex investments in areas that are not worth the effort. At one point, one of the company’s senior graphics engineers was ordered by Roberts to spend months, through several iterations, getting the visual effects of the ship shields just right. In addition, workers have had to spend weeks on end making demos so that Cloud Imperium can keep selling spaceships—and raising more money.
The future doesn’t look rosy for Star Citizen, as the game continues to descend deeper and deeper into feature creep and incompetent micro-management that holds it back according to the Forbes post which is well worth a read. Squadron 42 is expected to release a beta in 2020, but if the last seven years are any indication of what to expect, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.
Last Updated: May 7, 2019