Star Citizen: A $400+ Million Gaming Project With No Release Date In Sight. (2021)

This article is an in-depth look at the funds Star Citizen has raised and its controversial past to present.

$400+ million dollars and 10 years of development has resulted in the alpha space game you may have heard of: Star Citizen. But should you buy it? Let’s find out!

If you’re in the market for a good space game you may have ran across Star Citizen during your search. But before you hit buy on that starter package it’s a good idea to know just what you’re getting into. This article will cover:

  • How much funds Star Citizen has raised
  • The troubled past of Star Citizen
  • Insane ship prices and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) practices employed by CIG
  • The controversy surrounding Star Citizen and Squadron 42

Alpha After 10 Years and $400+ Million

If this isn’t your first time hearing about Star Citizen then you likely know a lot about its troubled history of development. Helmed by Chris Roberts, development officially started in 2011 with the Kickstarter first launching in 2012. It smashed through its funding goals, raising a total of $2.1 million.

However, funding didn’t stop there. They continued adding stretch goals with each funding milestone they passed until they reached the $65 million milestone. Fast-forward to today and they’ve managed to raise over $380 million in crowdfunds alone. With the extra Calders investment of $46 million that puts the total funds the project has amassed to over $400 million.

A Never-Ending Tale of Missed Deadlines and Setbacks

Star Citizen’s development has a long and troubled history. With development starting in 2011 and the first release date set for 2014, it’s likely no one thought that it would still be in an alpha state 7 years after the first missed deadline and $400+ million.

Back in October of 2012, Chris Roberts did an exclusive interview for TheMittani. In it he was asked if the game could really be done given its size and scope to which he replied:

“We’re already one year in – another two years puts us at 3 total which is ideal. Any more and things would begin to get stale.” -Chris Roberts; TheMittani October 2012 (Editor’s Note: TheMittani is down, but here is a backup source to the interview.)

Chris Roberts seemed confident at the time that all it would take was 2-3 years. But 9 years since the Kickstarter and the project is still nowhere near finished.

Freelancer Vs. Star Citizen – The Past Repeated

Star Citizen is touted as being a spiritual successor to Freelancer, a game that was also originally planned by Chris Roberts. But not everything goes according to plan and after being hit with delays, Microsoft bought out Digital Anvil, the studio behind Freelancer. Roberts remained as a consultant on Freelancer, but Microsoft proceeded to cut out a lot of the over-ambitious features while trying to adhere to Roberts’ vision. It was finally released in 2003, six years after work had begun and well after its intended release date.

Even back in the early 2000s, people noted how long Freelancer had been taking. In an article on Gamespot, Amer Ajami notes that “it’s been in development longer than most every other PC game.” In that same vein, Star Citizen is on track to breaking the record for the longest non-released game in active development. Many backers are expecting the game to take at least 5-10 more years which would surpass the development time-frame of Duke Nukem Forever.

In his original pitch video, Chris Roberts mentions how 10 years ago he got burned out on making video games. Taking a look at his LinkedIn profile reveals that since January of 2001 until the creation of Cloud Imperium Games, he was not involved in the gaming industry at all. He was working as CEO of the film company Ascendant Pictures, followed by working as chief creative officer for Bl!nk Media International.

Star Citizen was going to be his comeback to the gaming industry however, as he was not just going to build a video game, but a universe; something he’s always wanted to create. However, he wanted to fund it via crowdfunding:

“One of the things I like about crowdfunding is cutting out the politics and the noise of the big publisher.” – Chris Roberts; Pitch Video

While it’s true that crowdfunding is a great way to fund a project, it also comes with a significant amount of risk for those who choose to back certain projects. Kickstarter projects often fail, leaving backers with little to no recourse of getting their money back. In Star Citizen’s case, with no publisher oversight it has amassed a significant amount of money and over-ambitious stretch goals that will likely not be in the game for years, if at all.

Star Citizen’s “Scope Increase”

Why is Star Citizen taking so long? When asking this question a common answer is that the majority of the community voted for an increase in the scope of the game. Once Star Citizen reached certain funding milestones, various polls were released asking backers how funding should continue. They were released at the $19 million and $40 million milestones respectively.

The poll after reaching the $19 million funding milestone
The poll after reaching the $46 million funding milestone.

In both polls, it appears that most backers voted to keep up the crowdfunding counter while adding more stretch goals. However, 88% of 21,363 backers voted for more stretch goals in the first one while 55% of 34,819 backers voted yes to continue offering stretch goals as certain milestones were reached in the second. That is 17, 090 and 18,600 voters for the scope increase respectively.

While the polls seem to indicate the majority of backers wanted the increase in scope, as of November 19, 2012 (the year before the first poll was released), the Kickstarter had gained support from 34, 397 backers. But by September of 2014, Star Citizen had about 534,000 backers, three months after the $46 million poll was released. This means that the majority of the community did not actually vote for the increase in scope.

The Scope Before and After

Even though increased scope is often the scapegoat as to why the game hasn’t been finished yet, is that really the problem?

With the most recent addition of the location Orison to the game, Star Citizen finally has one “finished” system. That said, it is far from optimized and it is full of game-breaking bugs. Most backers report that you need at least 32 GB of memory to run the game smoothly. That said, let’s take a look at the $6 million stretch goal from their campaign:

Their $6 million stretch goal was 100 star systems on launch. This stretch goal was passed on November 18th, 2012, well before the scope increase via additional stretch goals. But it has taken 9 years since then and $400+ million for one complete star system missing the majority of its gameplay features.

Even if you include Squadron 42 in the total development budget, that’s still at least $200 million a piece; half towards Star Citizen and half towards SQ42. It is also important to remember that both games share assets.

Here are some other stretch goals, keeping in mind that all of these were already stretch goals well before the polls were released:

At the $4 million stretch goal we see that an additional system will be added for every $100,000 pledged. Players will also be given professional mod tools. There is a mod manual you can purchase on the RSI store right now on how to mod private servers despite both the tools and servers not in the game. It doesn’t even have a picture associated with it:

Modding Manual as featured on the RSI store

We’re already seeing an impressive amount of very ambitious features being added to the campaign at the $4 million stretch goal. At the $10 million stretch goal we see the addition of a mocap studio:

Squadron 42 has an original cast of A-list actors. They include the likes of Gary Oldman and Mark Hamill. In 2008, Gary Oldman earned a $3 million salary for his role of James Gordon in the movie The Dark Knight. In The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill was paid between $1-3 million where all he did was stand and take off his hood, as reported by TheThings.

In addition to high actor costs, running a mocap studio isn’t cheap. A single Rokoko suit costs $2500 and that’s supposed to be on a budget. According to Cloud Imperium Games, a single day of motion capture “costs between $25,000 and $50,000 and provides roughly 200 “moves”; simple gestures, limb movements, and so on”-Chris Roberts; RSI Forums. Keep in mind this was for the $10 million stretch goal as well and does not include development costs nor the 9 other actors that make up the main crew.

The answer seems pretty clear that the alleged increase in scope is not the reason Star Citizen and SQ42 have taken this long. The scope was already massive before funding had even reached $10 million. Years later, there’s only one un-optimized system in place missing many features and core tech that would greatly help realize Chris Roberts’ vision.

The stretch goals continue up until the $65 million funding milestone, the majority of which haven’t been implemented into the game. In spite of that, thanks to concept sales of ships among other things, funding has continued to soar.

Ship Prices and FOMO Practices Employed By CIG

If you thought microtransactions that nickel and dime you at every chance they get were bad, wait until you see CIG’s revolutionary macrotransaction setup! In fact, it’s so revolutionary that the editor being used to write this article thinks the word is misspelled! Let’s take a look at some of CIG’s insane ship prices that you can pledge (not purchase) to support development of Star Citizen.

1. The Javelin – Standalone Price: $3,000 (Concept Price: $2,500)

The Javelin as featured on the RSI store.

2. The Kraken Privateer – Standalone Price: $2,000 (Concept Price: $2,000)

The Kraken Privateer as featured on the RSI store.

3. The Kraken – Standalone Price: $1,650 (Concept Price: $1,650)

The Kraken as featured on the RSI store.

4. Idris-P – Standalone Price: $1,500 (Concept Price: $1,250)

The Idris-P as featured on the RSI store.

5. Idris-M – Standalone Price: $1,000 (Concept Price: $1,000)

The Idris-M as featured on the RSI store.

As of writing this article, none of these ships are able to be spawned by players into the game. There is a mission that involves an Idris in the game, but there is no interior. Of course, all you need to do in order to play the game is pledge a $45 starter package and many ships are purchasable with in-game credits if you’re willing to grind in order to get them.

That said, a lot of the ships that have been released into the game aren’t able to be utilized to their full extent. For example, the Carrack, a $600 ship that is purchasable with in-game credits, is an exploration ship. But many players are still waiting for meaningful exploration gameplay.

While Star Citizen does have some gameplay loops implemented, they are primarily bare bone versions of what they’re supposed to be. A recent thread on the Star Citizen subreddit asked what gameplay loops backers would want if it could be 100% completed. Many backers asked for exploration. Others wanted trading and mining. Some added they just didn’t want certain bugs/desync in the game.

Poll on the Star Citizen subreddit asking what gameplay loops players want.

The most desired, fully completed feature backers wanted was trading, followed by the ‘other’ category which includes racing, piracy, and exploration. Based on the responses from that thread, it’s safe to say a significant portion of those that voted ‘other’ wanted exploration. Third place goes to salvage, a feature that has been constantly pushed back on the roadmap.

With only one system in the game and many gameplay features missing, the majority of ships are empty shells of what they could be. However, CIG continues to sell ships and vehicles that are not in the game as a means to continue funding development. There is even a Legatus Pack you can pledge that costs an astounding total of $35,000.

For more information on ship pricing, you can find a comprehensive list here.

Standalone Prices Vs. Concept Prices: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

You may have noticed while browsing ship prices that there are standalone prices and concept prices. In addition to those, there are warbond prices as well. This reflects a FOMO tactic (Fear of Missing Out) used by CIG to entice backers to buy ships at cheaper prices.

Buying a ship at its concept price in most cases means you will get it cheaper than when the ship is released in the game. Though some prices remain the same, many increase in price. As you can see with The Javelin, the concept price was $2,500 while the standalone price is $3,000.

While it is true that you can buy a starter package at a $45 price point, CIG is well-known for aggressive marketing techniques. During concept sales, the company will put a limit on how many digital assets are available to pledge as a means to generate artificial scarcity. Here is an example of one of their marketing emails:

The Scorpius, Crusader Hercules Starlifter, and Tumbril Nova cost $220, $400, and $120 respectively. Right now, there are 162 ships in Star Citizen with 111 of them being “fly ready,” though not necessarily feature complete.

Star Citizen and Squadron 42’s Controversy

In parallel with Star Citizen and Squadron 42’s troubled development, the project has garnered a lot of controversy over the years. In 2015, Chris Roberts is quoted as saying:

“By the end of this year, backers will have everything they originally pledged for, plus a lot more.” -Chris Roberts; Polygon, March 2015.

That was supposed to include the single-player campaign, Squadron 42, along with a very early alpha of the “persistent universe” by the end of the year. At bare minimum, they planned to have trading, mining, piracy, combat as well as other core features developed by then. However, as of right now SQ42 has no release date and the most fleshed out feature in Star Citizen is arguably mining.

Where is Squadron 42?

On their previous roadmap, CIG was supposed to have Squadron 42 enter beta by the end of 2020. But that changed when Q3 of that year came and went with no indication the game had entered beta. In a response on Spectrum in October of 2020, Chris Roberts said “Squadron 42 will be done when it is done” and that it “will not be released just to make a date.”

In his reply, Roberts points out Red Dead Redemption 2, Last of Us 2, and Cyberpunk 2077 as examples of games that had taken longer than planned. Granted, they also weren’t in an alpha state after 10 years or selling ships for thousands of dollars that weren’t in their games yet.

A Roadmap to a Roadmap

In an attempt to maintain transparency with their backers, Cloud Imperium Games released a roadmap to a roadmap:

“In the immediate future, we plan to deliver the following communications:”

1. Give an explanation of the goals of our new Roadmap and what to expect from it
2. Show a rough mockup of the proposed new Roadmap
3. Share a work in progress version of the Roadmap for at least one of our core teams
4. And then finally transition to this new Roadmap

-Tyler Witkin; Spectrum July 2020

This news hit the internet by storm. The company was criticized by backers for not communicating the status of Squadron 42 until MassivelyOP and Kotaku had published articles regarding the issues. Tyler Witkin, whose handle is @Zyloh-CIG on Spectrum, claimed that “no one reacted because of an article” as “it’s not where we place value.” (Spectrum Forums, July 2020).

Interestingly enough, Tyler Witkin also supposedly played through all the SQ42 missions back in 2016:

Reverse The Verse, July 2016

Squadron 42 was apparently playable enough to get through every mission back in 2016, yet as of August’s update report, the entire first half of chapter 05 is just now playable from start to finish.

“It has been great to see all this work pay off as the entire first half of chapter 05 is now playable from start to finish. This was no easy feat, as there were lots of animations, two walk-and-talk sequences, and plenty of technical challenges involved.” – Gameplay Story Team

Squadron 42 is supposed to be a trilogy. Last year, CIG released an update video regarding the single-player franchise. It primarily showed the developers walking through an empty space station, theory crafting about what you could potentially do, and then showed some basic interaction with NPCs.

Something you could do or the AI could do is you could come over to one of these consoles and interact with some of the screens and basically, like, get access to these server racks. And you could actually interact with them and then kind of have them lower into the floor.” -Ross (28:43)

In their series called Squadron 42: The Briefing Room, Ross goes over things you could possibly do in the event you were in a room with enemies. But rather than show any actual gameplay, the discussion revolves around the idea of what a player would be able to do. After 10 years and $400+ million, it seems the long-awaited single-player game is still a long ways off. And this is just for Episode One.

Physical Products From the Kickstarter Are Still Not Delivered

Various physical products from the original Kickstarter have not been delivered to backers. Here is a list of them, excluding rewards that are duplicated at each tier:

$125 Tier

  • Spaceship shaped USB
  • CD of the game soundtrack
  • Fold-up glossy full-color map of the game universe
  • Hardcover copy of Star Citizen manual

$250 Tier

  • Set of 5 ship blueprints
  • 3-inch model of in-game ship
  • Hardcover copy of ‘The Making of Star Citizen’

$500 Tier

  • 4-inch model of in-game ship

$1,000 Tier

  • 6-inch model of in-game ship

$2,500 Tier

  • Hardback bound 42-page SQ42 manual
  • Hardback bound engineering manual for modders

$5,000 Tier

  • 8-inch painted model of in-game ship

$10,000 Tier

  • 10-inch painted model of in-game ship

While CIG has stated that most of these items would be shipped when the game is complete, by this point the CD soundtrack is outdated given that CDs are rarely used nowadays on PCs beyond installing OS systems and certain software.

Despite the fact these physical goods have never shipped, CIG sells physical merchandise on their store ranging from ship ornaments to Pico plushies:

The Pico Plushie as featured on the RSI store.

While some players have reported receiving models, it is unclear whether those models were from the Kickstarter or purchased via the store. CIG has on occasion sold models such as The Constellation on its store for $125. Additionally, the higher tiers offered video conferences and even meeting Chris Roberts and key developers in-person, but those have not been included as the physical products. CIG has since invited people to their studio multiple times.

While it’s typically not a problem for a company to not ship physical products to backers until a project is complete, is it okay for a company to sell physical products on their store when they haven’t even delivered the physical merchandise from the original Kickstarter? What do you think?

The Court of Public Opinion

The controversy surrounding Star Citizen and Squadron 42 stretches back years. CIG has been sued by both companies and players. Crytek sued CIG for copyright infringement (a case which was ultimately settled outside of court) and a backer sued CIG for a $4,500 refund, but lost.

While legally, the courts seem to side with Cloud Imperium Games, the court of public opinion is harder to convince. Star Citizen has been called an outright scam by many, while others often make the joke that money laundering is involved. The majority seem to think it’s simply mismanagement; an underestimation about how long it would take to get certain things done.

But is it really a scam, mismanagement, or simply ambition? Let’s be honest… at the very least, it’s not money laundering. If you want a good, fairly hilarious and neutral outlook on the project, have a look at TechLinked’s video where they approach the project from both sides of the coin. However, they’ve said some arguably questionable things:

From TechLinked’s Star Citizen video.

How can something not be a scam and yet people be scammed by it? You can’t get scammed by something that’s not a scam. In this segment, Murdock says that Star Citizen wasn’t “presented” as an ongoing alpha project, but that it was constantly portrayed as something that was two years from release. He “blames” Chris Roberts and CIG for constantly acting like the game would be “released within the next couple years.”

And frankly, he’s right. The game always seems to be two years away. It’s actually become a meme at this point within the community. CIG is constantly putting the carrot in front of the horse, only to end up releasing a feature in a literal Tier 0 state. This has often caused friction within the community and as a result caused people to lose faith in the project.

No Refunds After 30 Days – The Grey Market

From actual refunds to the subreddit starcitizen_refunds, finding a way to recoup losses is a common theme when it comes to Star Citizen. After years of waiting, many backers decide they want out, but now that you cannot get a refund after a 30-day time window of purchasing the game, the only recourse a player has is to go through the grey market.

The grey market is where a backer can sell their ships to other players in an attempt to get back their money. This is a win-win for both the backer and CIG as the backer gets back some of their money and CIG loses none. In some cases, a backer may even get more money if they’re selling ships they bought at the concept price.

There are actually multiple sites where you can get ships. You have Star-Hangar and Space-Foundry that will help players either buy or sell ships. It’s important to note however, that it’s easy to get scammed selling things on the grey market in general. Always know who you’re dealing with when going through the grey market.

The refunds subreddit can also be a helpful resource when it comes to the grey market. There are users that often help those wanting to sell their ships and recoup what they’ve spent on the game. The community is also responsible for the album of quotes created by the user QuaversandWotsits that sources various quotes from CIG, some of which are featured in this article.

Should You Get Star Citizen?

Whether or not Star Citizen is a game you should get is up to you. Are you comfortable with backing a game that is still in alpha with a lot of bugs? Are you okay with supporting a project that has been delayed many times with the director saying he is unwilling to compromise?

It’s been 10 years since development started, 9 since the Kickstarter, and $400+ million. How much longer will be needed to develop the project? Chris Roberts seems to have the answer:

RSI Forums, September 2020

There is a freefly going on right now where you can give the game a shot and make the decision yourself without paying a dime. Who knows, maybe you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

Crowdfunding is basically the Wild West of gaming. It’s the American Dream of the virtual world, but will you find milk and honey along with streets paved with gold? With high risk comes great reward. Just remember to use common sense and never spend more than you’re willing to lose.

34 Comments

  1. The only addition I could add to this is at this point, CIG doesn’t like to set dates anymore, at all. On the very rare occasion that a date is mentioned on camera, it is ALWAYS presented as a tentative date. If anyone tries to say CIG still dangles carrots (dates) in front of their community’s eyes, they’re lying. They do try to release quarterly patches with meaningful feature updates. Features do get delayed, and less often, even released early. All there is now for judging when to expect certain features is the Roadmap, which is admittedly incredibly detailed and informative.

    • The controversy primarily stems from the fact that every deadline CIG set for themselves they’ve missed. Even if it’s just a tentative date it is still a date. Even certain features on the roadmap like the bartender AI were hyped yet when it finally “released” it was in a Tier 0 state. With regards to Squadron 42, that has certainly been marketed as always being two years away up until last year when CIG got rid of release dates altogether and Chris Roberts said “it’s done when it’s done.”

    • I would encourage you to check each source and let me know if there is any incorrect information. I have gone through each source to make sure they’re accurate. Thanks!

      • It’s not the info that’s in question, it’s bad writing, twisted facts, insinuations, and obvious negative bias. It’s a shame you wasted all that research and time, only to write heavily opinionated trash that no one is going to take seriously, and now need to beg the Refunds subreddit to back you up.

        • None of the facts are twisted. If it comes off as negative then that just means the truth isn’t positive. I do not consider this article a waste of time. The only people not taking it seriously are the fans which is to be expected.

          However, I do appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback and read the article. Thanks!

          • So out of curiosity I went for a quick skim over of the article, because it did seem rather fair and:

            “How can something not be a scam and yet people be scammed by it? You can’t get scammed by something that’s not a scam.”

            That is beyond an insinuation that is is a scam. It is tacitly calling the game a scam. Which may not be bias, but it is not reporting fact, as CIG has not been convicted in a court of law for scamming anyone, not to public knowledge. It’s not reporting, it’s speculation.

            “CIG is constantly putting the carrot in front of the horse, only to end up releasing a feature in a literal Tier 0 state.”

            Carrot in front of or on a stick is not said without negative connotations. And expecting anything other than tier 0 out of an alpha product is unreasonable. To expect a developer takes a game out of alpha or beta stage because, we, people who do not have access to the code think it should be is, respectfully, absurd. Because as someone who has backed multiple EA/Kickstarter products in alpha and beta stages, I never get the impression that it’s “two years away” because it has never looked so. It has never been close to it’s original goals, that is evident when they still haven’t even finished the ships.

            So I could see where they believe that it is biased. Thanks for reading and not giving me a canned response.

          • Asking a question is not the same as making a statement. So no, I did not call the project a scam. But thanks for your input and I aporeciate the feedback!

        • Where is the bias? You don’t get to whine and shrilly shout “bias!” simply because you don’t like what is being said, precious snowflake. I’m a backer. Where is my game? I’ve been waiting a decade, I was tired of waiting FIVE YEARS AGO.

          Where’s your limit, little friend? 15 years? “It’ll be out when it’s out, we’re not going to try to make a date,” what if it’s 2028? Will you be upset then? Or no?

          Have some BASIC self-respect. When WILL Chris Robertson paying himself and his family millions of dollars a year for a game that still isn’t launched nor anywhere near it be ridiculous?

          “Bias.”

          Utterly childish.

    • The article misses a bit of balance, it focuses on citicising the schedule of the game and draws conclusions that means things promised won’t happen.

      The balance missing from this piece is one of perspective. Take something people considered a “grand scale” game like Skyrim.
      – It took 6 years. It’s core system was an evolution of Oblivion.
      -It’s lore already well documented,
      – it’s an rpg/Fps tech that had been around for a decade
      – from a studio already matured with long standing employees familiar with the dev methods, tech and systems.
      – the public didn’t get to watch it in this level development and criticised it for slipping schedule although it likely did even though it was far more predictable.
      – it was a single player endevour not MMO

      No one would be able to argue against the SC project being far greater scale and ambition that introduces new gameplay systems and fidelity on a scale never seen before. It is already there in the alpha to see.

      A new studio was built from scratch, tech brought together and uncompromising approach to the end vision. Regardless of previous over ambitious date targets a completed project of this scale in about five years would be a great achievement, not a failure.

      • If you promise enough you don’t have to deliver anything.

        The simple fact is that nothing SC has done is really revolutionary. It’s obsession with fidelity is a joke, resulting in soda cans you can read the back of, which is a worthless nothing, but a huge list of bugs you also have to read to navigate a game that is virtually unplayable. SC’s lore is an embarrasment. As for an uncompriomised vision Roberts has already sold to investors and outsourced the game in a last ditch effort to milk chumps.

        If Skyrim took six years then SC is at 11. 11 years and they only recently installed something resembling a flight model, and have yet to release a singleplayer portion, which by your logic should be well done. Even the much touted Theatre of War was scuttled because of how slapdash everything is. CiG couldn’t release a first person shooter mode from their jank FPS game.

        The priorities of the company are very obviously skewed. They didn’t develop basic systems while instead adding in worthless geegaws, because they know that’s how they make their money. Anyone with a passing knowledge of gaming knows that finishing the game engine/systems should be the first step, the skeleton of the game so to speak. Unfortunately, Chris Roberts is a has-been that even in his hey day could not reliably release a game, because he’d rather make a movie. You’d think that some people would’ve wised up, but even now people are pining their hopes on Tony Z, who’s experience in gaming is a mediocre action game two decades ago. They honestly expect him to be able to single-handedly revolutionize AI. That’s of course why they’ve outsourced SC to Turbelent who is going to

        The truth is that many SC fans have sunk in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars into SC, and if Chris Roberts were exposed as a fraud they would kill themselves.

    • Sadly, yes. Primarily negatives described with a very shallow info research which made an extremely biased overview of the project. Nothing about the tech, the actual work, gamers’ feedback, actual progress being made etc.

  2. >Gaming “journalism” ladies and gentlemen

    This was actually a fine article. I think you’re simply too stupid for articles like this. It’s not written for you

    • I think this is far from being a “fine article”. The main problem is that it is presented as an impartial view on Star Citizen’s past and present, when in reality it is actually an opinion piece. The author, while not shamelessly hiding the data, presents it with an obviously polarized opinion and ignores the parts that don’t go well with their narrative. For example, he says that the majority of people didn’t vote to extend the project’s scope, while the same can be said about people not voting to NOT extend it. You can also see the bias in the final questions asked at the end of the article:

      “Whether or not Star Citizen is a game you should get is up to you. Are you comfortable with backing a game that is still in alpha with a lot of bugs? Are you okay with supporting a project that has been delayed many times with the director saying he is unwilling to compromise?”
      Which state actual facts, but conveniently ignores and don’t even mention a single good reason to get the game, when everyone can agree that there are people who enjoy the experience as it is right now and people who believe that it may someday become the game that was promised to us. There’s no way od seeing the future, and I’m certainly skeptical about Chris Robert’s ability to achieve this, but no one can predict the future.

      There’s nothing wrong with presenting a biased opinion as long as you explicitly say that it’s just that: an opinion. But the way this article is written, is gives the vibe of being some sort of documentary about the project’s history, and that is kind of dishonest.

      • This is exactly how it comes across. It’s filled with negative connotations, and thinly veiled negative bias. The Techlinked article is probably the least biased article to date, yet here this article is going full straw man on it.

        It’s a shame really, because there’s a lot of time and research gone into this article, only to trash it with badly written, negative bias, and then going off to Reddit to try and garner sympathy from the Refunds crowd, and blame the readers for not liking it.

        • Hello, I appreciate the feedback! I enjoyed watching TechLinked’s video as well which is why I featured it in this article. I’ve not blamed anyone for not liking this article. I can understand if someone doesn’t like it and that’s perfectly reasonable. I have also not made a strawman out of anything TechLinked has said considering it’s quoted directly with context provided.

          Once again, thank you for taking the time to respond. It’s much appreciated!

      • You think he’s biased and being subjective because he didn’t list reasons TO get the game? That list would be subjective. Period. Those would be HIS reasons. That is, impossibly, a personal opinion. Do you want him to be objective or just subjective in favor of your perspective? It seems to be the latter.

        Chris has already said he won’t compromise, that’s a quote. Is he wrong in stating anything he asserts above? No. Even based on your comments, no. You just feel like your perspective and preference aren’t being supplicated to. CIG isn’t owed the benefit of anyone’s doubt at this point. They’ve missed all of their own initial measurements, while begging (note: “begging” is a pejorative. I am not unbiased. Because CIG keeps begging for money while promising much and giving little) for more funding. This is the most expensive video game ever produced. It is more money than the most expensive film ever made.

        AND IT STILL HAS NO RELEASE DATE.

        The author is biased? Sounds like reality is biased.

    • I don’t agree with how they’ve framed certain things; mainly this idea of “FOMO” which is almost completely bullshit since the overwhelming majority of ships will be in-game purchaseable as well as the whole “2 years till release” thing which hasn’t actually been a thing at all for a while. But other than that its pretty fair and factual.

  3. So I feel a big thing that was left out when covering Chris’s film career. Most of the films his studio produced were to specifically take advantage of the infamous German loophole tax that filmmakers like Uwe Boll used to finance their movies.

    The studio folded as soon as the loophole was removed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Roberts_(video_game_developer)#Point_of_No_Return_Entertainment/Ascendant_Pictures

    Which shows a lot on how CIG is currently being run, it’s there is make quick money and Chris really doesn’t care about quality. I’m sorry but you really can’t be impartial about Star Citizen anymore, it’s there to make fast money and to scam people. Selling concepts of ships at ridiculous prices, constantly demanding more money so this boondoggle of a video game can continue, they spent so much funds on ridiculous office appliances and upgrades then brags about them.

    It just needs to die at this point.

    • It wasn’t Chris Roberts abusing this funding scheme, it was the company financing these films. Chris Roberts was legally cleared of any wrong doing on his part. I assume you know different from the court system, though?

      Should you go to jail, or be held accountable, if your bank manager misappropriated funds for your home loan?

  4. I am so angry all of these opinion pieces, I think it’s pretty undoubtable that CIG will make hallmarks in the history of gaming, at some point, and well, if time is price to pay for perfection so be it, I for one, have already started crowdsourcing the best way to cryogenically freeze myself and I await with great fervor the day that Chris will deliver onto us.

    I can already see my thriving farms, lush green forest spilling onto my land claim, hear the quiet sound of a bustling alien fauna buzzing and chirping around me, feel the rumbling of the sandworm beneath my feet as it drills away. I will cath the player driven news network as SATAball results are posted, I will salvage, explore, farm, hack and when tired of the complex nuance of my citizenship will drop by for some quick ToW.

    And I am sure it probably won’t take that long, whenever server meshing and ICache are finalized, which will totally be soon, like, 5 years, tops, they will start making churning out systems like a well-oiled machine.

    And, I get it, sure, maybe CIG has been a bit bad at estimating delivery dates, and maybe the pace has been a bit slow, but I have my faith and re-mortgage riding on this train, and I’m not getting off until we hit the final destination: Success.

    Well, or bankrupcy.

  5. I feel like this didn’t start as a scam but it’s sort of become one, since at this point there’s more money in continuing to release ship jpegs than there is in actually finishing and releasing a game.

    On a fundamental level the game’s been designed backwards. Instead of starting with low-poly spaceships and figuring out how to make them move and interact and working on, you know, the core mechanics of the game, they made their Alpha a bunch of HD high-poly objects dropped in a skybox and tried to make them interact.

    Like they still don’t know how they want the ships to fly. A lot of them just sorta whip around with no inertia or momentum which looks silly. Those physics should be the first thing you nail down for a space sim!

  6. Even now, in alpha, it’s the most fun and easily the most beautiful game I have. So, well worth it already. 😉

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  8. I’ve been carousing the web looking for information on this game, as I’ve been contemplating supporting it for about a year or so. Came across this article, found it an enjoyable read, read all the comments below, now want to put my 2 cents in as someone who is neither critic nor fanboy.

    About this article: I found it level-headed and factual. I also did find it skewed critical rather than supportive or centered. There are quotes from people who felt their money has gone to waste, but no quotes from players thoroughly enjoying playing the alpha. For the article to be centered or unbiased, I feel both perspectives need to be addressed, and this article only really shows the one side.

    Why on earth would I be considering supporting a game that has gone through this much development, missed all of its own deadline goals, and seems to be pushing concepts rather than products? Simple, really. I’ve heard from and watched videos by players in the alpha that show a game that looks fun, even for as bare-bones as it might be. I love the crisp design, the attention to detail, and the fact that there are a lot of things that can be done in-game, now. I have also looked at the detailed roadmaps for the game, and within the last year or two anyway, it seems Cloud Imperium has been achieving milestones at a much rapider pace than they had in the past. They just seem much better organized.

    Do I still have major reservations? Well, yes and no. Yes because this is a game that may never come out. In which case, I will have played a pretty cool, albeit buggy, alpha. No, because maybe I think the money I pay is worth playing that pretty cool, albeit buggy, alpha. I’m on the fence whether I personally feel this game will ever actually see the light of day. I don’t know. No one does. But the side of me that wants to spend a little money to get in on the alpha certainly hopes so. And so as I skew towards getting the alpha, the more my mind begins to see things from the biased perspective of “yeah, this game will probably get completed”. Had I been a backer/supporter in 2012, or 2014, or 2016 …. I’d probably find the whole thing laughable by now. I would *never* spend more than a hundred bucks on a game like this. I’ve spent more at a casino. I can afford it. We’ll see if those thousand+$ backers and supporters get anything for their investments. I will never have that worry.

    In the process of writing this, I have made my decision, and am currently downloading the game. Maybe I’m one of those “suckers born every minute”. Or maybe I’m about to get a few months (or years) worth of having a good time leading to a game release that will surely make the history books as one of the most highly-anticipated game releases of all time. And I will have been on-board from the get-go, which will give me some satisfaction. I guess we’ll see. The amount I paid for this experience (whatever it amounts to), I have already deemed a fair, affordable amount (unless the alpha doesn’t work at all for some reason – in which case all those thousands of player-made videos were strategically-placed to hook me on the line). So, short of a totally non-working game, I cannot “lose”.

    But I do find this whole story utterly fascinating, where I waver between thinking Chris Roberts is a genius who is overseeing the most ambitious game ever produced, and a grifter, who is overseeing the most ambitious money-to-personal-account scam ever produced. Where I stand now is that the guy is a bit of both, which does nobody any favors.

    I waver between thinking this game is now within about 5 years of completion and this is a game that will never actually come out.

    I waver between nodding my head along to the critics (like this article’s author) and the fanboys whose videos and websites I’ve enjoyed.

    In other words, I’m right in the middle on everything here. But I did take the plunge and now we’ll just see where that plunge ultimately goes.

  9. Have you actually played the game? As a potential player I must say I am mildly interested in the financial behind it. I can see it costs more or less 50 usd to get a starter ship and would be interested in knowing how the game is different from others and if investing some time and money is a good idea. It seems the article hardly discuss about these aspects. That’s a pity.

  10. I don’t think people understand what a scam is. Star Citizen, although far from finished, is playable…..bug ridden, yes….. but playable, right now. They are actually producing stuff with the money they take, and sharing what they have with the backers. It may be taking forever, but taking a long time to do what you said you would isn’t what I would call a scam.

    If you want to see a real, genuine, space game scam…..I would look at Star Atlas. They have a pre-rendered trailer and photos. The only fully functional thing they have is a cash shop that sells bitcoin and NFT’s (both of which the game economy will supposedly be based off of). Now that’s what I would call a scam.

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