July 20th, 2015

Chris Roberts on Star Citizen’s future – “I can’t imagine us flopping”

star citizen

As 2015 begins, Star Citizen has a big year ahead and Chris Roberts shares his thoughts and plans.

There’s no doubt that not all PC gamers are convinced by Star Citizen just yet. With money flowing in from a passionate community, it’s enabled Cloud Imperium to expand plans and share their vision openly with backers of the game.

Chris Roberts has noticed commentary on the Intertubes saying that the game will fail but he also knows that he has time on his side to make Star Citizen a great game, maybe not perfect and to everyone’s taste, but still a great game. In his latest update he writes:

“When I read a press article that questions whether we can deliver all the promised features to keep everyone happy, or I see someone that can’t fathom how Star Citizen can have such support and without doing any research jump to cynical conclusions I just smile.

“Because with the community we have and the passionate and talented team of developers I can’t imagine us “flopping” as a few bloggers have predicted. Not because we’re better than everyone else, but because building a game this way, in total lock step with your community, means it’s pretty hard to fail in the long run. Will we build everybody’s dream game? Of course not, that would be impossible! But with this level of engagement and iteration I think we’ll build something special that people can happily lose themselves in even if it doesn’t have every feature they dreamed of.”

It’s going to be a busy year for Star Citizen with the release of the FPS module, a first glimpse of the Persistent Universe starting with a planet side social module, and probably the most exciting, the first Episode of the single player Squadron 42.

The success of the game’s funding can be attributed to two factors, a passionate community looking for an amazing space sim, and the way in which Cloud Imperium are engaging with the community as the game develops. As Chris says himself, “We give more detailed monthly updates to our backers on the game’s progress than I ever gave any publisher I was making a game for!”

Although the game is unlikely to ever be “finished” because it should keep expanding over the years with continual community feedback, the fact is the community is already behind Chris Roberts’ vision during these early stages. That really counts when there are more PC games than ever before fighting for space on PC gamers’ hard drives.

Will it flop as some are suggesting? It’s unlikely. CI will be very careful  how and when they release the game’s different modules, and you can bet they will be more polished than a shiny thing before being completely signed off.

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  • Paul Younger

    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

    • Lirezh

      Open your accounting, show what money goes in and out, that’s the least I expect from a 70 million USD kickstarter funded company.
      A true and up to date business plan would reveal if the money really goes into development.

      The game is at maybe 5% and they seriously asked for another million to add virtual pets into not existing spaceships.
      A whole game can be developed for that money but they want it for a few pets.
      They sell virtual space ships for increddible amounts of money, all you get is a voucher.
      All I see are shiny expensive videos and trailers for a game that does not exist.
      It is all about imagination, not about reality.

      Whenever I read/see something from them I become very sceptical about the success of it. It reminds me of those marketing “tea” parties where charismatic sellers influence a bunch of old people to buy their stuff “now”.

      • EremiticWolf

        They don’t ask for money. The money is raised from people pledging for ships. The virtual pets was a stretch goal, and that if reached they would add them. There have been plenty of these stretch goals.
        The game doesn’t exist? So I take it you are not a backer? There is a module they released that allows us to play/dogfight the single seater ships we pledged for. From the Aurora, to the Cutless.

      • Jeff

        I would also quite like to see CIG release either a prospectus or something similar.

        That said, development takes time and a 3-4 year dev cycle is quite impressive for a game of this ambition. The stretch goals aren’t intended to cost the amount of money they reflect, will the pets cost $1m? depends on how many pets they have, but probably not. Will the alien pot plant for the hanger cost $1m? No.

        Likewise having raised $70m or close to it, doesn’t mean they’ve spent it, they’ve stated they have more then enough to finish the game and support it for a while afterwards, so at least 3 years worth of expenses in the bank. How true is that, you’d need the accounts to know for sure. But currently I don’t see any reason not to believe it.

        They have released the alpha for the ship combat; It’s being tested by a lot of people and their feedback is being used to improve the experience and first impressions of a lot of features can be seen already which will give a better indication of progress than the pretty trailers.

        With all that said, should you remain sceptical? Yes.

      • Bobby

        how about no. what company is showing their damned books in the gaming industry?

        • Jeff

          Ahh, Any developer that is publicly listed. CIG is a private company and as such doesn’t have to show their accounts. But they are fully crowdfunded and they’ve been extremely open about the rest of the development process and seeing the accounts would be very interesting, even if it was just for the sake of showing what happens to the money during development.

          I will be the first to admit that not everyone can read accounts. And as a result, should they ever show them to the public it’s going to result in a lot of people getting confused and misinterpreting what is going on. But I’d still be interested to see them.

    • Jon Donnis

      Yet Limit Theory is being developed by ONE person and is already looking good https://www.youtube.com/user/LimitTheory/videos

      I’m a Kickstarter for all the games, Elite Danagerous, SC and Limit Theory. People may have a fear SC are going to piss the money away.

      • Gene Machina

        Comparing Limit Theory with Star Citizen is like comparing a lego castle to the Empire State building. They really aren’t in the same class.