On Wednesday of this week, Robert Purchese post an article to Eurogamer.net entitled “Star Citizen – I Am Disappointed”. Now, I am a big proponent of everyone being entitled to their opinions. After all, I offer mine on this blog and to unwitting friends and family from time to time, but I also believe people should be ready for any…constructive feedback that may result.
In the article, Mr. Purchese discusses that while the alpha 3.0 showing of Star Citizen is a visually beautiful screen-grabbing experience, it is otherwise hollow of content. He does make some points about 3.0 being an entry of technology by the developers, Cloud Imperium Games, but mainly follows the popular internet thought that the game is just a let down.
Mr. Purchese’s article is understandable, but comes from the same position as many who casually follow the development. The truth is much more than what he says. His statement that the game feels the same as it did two years ago the last time he played is a giveaway that he doesn’t follow closely. I’m not making excuses for CIG and Star Citizen. They have taken too long and faced vision creep the whole way. They became more ambitious with each million collected (they are up to $175 mil I believe), determined to make a game that could outpace anything while at the same time risking being left behind by trends. Their five years of development is not unheard of, especially when considering they started with eight total people in October 2012 increasing to over 420 today, but their increased vision makes it feel like they are on year two. Star Citizen and the associated Squadron 42 single player game will likely be very good if not great when completed, but it’s the when that bothers most. The release of alpha 3.0 late 2017 brings the start of the base, the technology that will fuel the game to come. However, it is 2018 that will be CIG’s most important year. Will they release content updates each quarter as promised? Will those updates contain substantial new additions? And, most critically, will the single player Squadron 42 be ready for release by December (not promised by CIG, but called for by backers)?
CIG has received fantastic support by backers over the years. Each one of us (I backed in early 2013) believes that Chris Roberts, director of Star Citizen and head of CIG, can make good on his vision just as he did with Wing Commander and Freelancer back in the day. Most of us want his vision to succeed, but we also know that there needs to be something tangible to show for it. CIG needs to push this year. They need to work to get the living universe (or even just planetary system) into the hands of backers and to release a single player game that will compete with any FPS out there. While I won’t ask for a refund, I will be ready to talk about my disappointment if backers are left in the same position this time next year.
If you are interested in learning more about Star Citizen and Squadron 42, visit the Roberts Space Industries website. If you decide to back the game, use referral code STAR-JDXD-5KHN for bonus credits at sign up ($40 purchase required).