Star Citizen development timeline – Should backers really be concerned?

Star Citizen development timeline – Should backers really be concerned?

Let’s now take a look back at all the key updates to illustrate what exactly has been happening with the game’s development. Seeing it listed like this may alleviate or raise concerns, depending on your point of view. The timeline runs in descending order, from recent events to the initial pitch back in October 2012.

Update: By the end of 2016 it became apparent that Star Citizen was not going to reach any of its development targets so we decided to halt the timeline updates. Should it look like Star Citizen is getting back on track we’ll look at resuming the updates once again and bring it up to speed.



15th – Free Fly week announced giving access to Star Citizen Alpha 2.3.1, Arena Commander and Social Module

9th – Video of EVA (Extra Vehicle Activty) transitions


18th – Behind the scenes of Squadron 42 with Andy Serkis

14th  – $110 million reached. 1.3 million investers

12th – Try Star Citizen alpha v2.2.2 for free

4th – Star Citizen Alpha 2.2 released


23rd – Star Citizen 2.2.0 now live on the PTU

11th – Star Citizen – Can we keep the faith? [PC Invasion Article]

9th – Star Citizen Squadron 42 “split package” explained – Free Fly extended


30th – Star Citizen 2.1.2 patch released – Play free for the next week

26th – Star Citizen’s Star Marine is still coming when FPS is more complete

21st – Star Citizen video has Gillian Anderson discussing mo-cap sessions

19th – Johnny Depp rumoured for Star Citizen (Updated)



24th – Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts, “2.0 shows the naysayers it can be done!”

24th – Star Citizen 2.1.0 now on PTU for everyone

18th – Watch Chris Roberts attempting to play Star Citizen live. It’s priceless

17th – Star Citizen trailer shows procedurally generated planet system

12th – Star Citizen reaches $100 million

7th – Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 finally releases


20th – Mark Hamill character revealed in Star Citizen

7th – Star Citizen video shows revamped ship UI


23rd – Star Citizen Alpha 1.3 released with fixes and more added to Area 18

12th1 Million PC gamers have now backed Star Citizen.

11th – Star Citizen Squadron 42 stellar cast revealed and stacks of new videos

5th – CIG threaten legal action over “slanderous” Star Citizen article


25th – Star Citizen loses at least six more staff to departures and firings

4th – RSI respond to Derek Smart’s Star Citizen demands

3rd –  RSI respond to Derek Smart’s demand letter.


28thStar Citizen Alpha 1.2 released with Social Module

24th – Derek Smart issues legal ‘demand letter’ to Star Citizen devs

18thIllfonic no longer working on Star Marine, development brought in-house.

7thGamescom multi-crew and FPS module demonstration.


21st – Chris Roberts massive statement on the state of the game.

18th – Arena Commander patch V1.15 released.

17th – Derek Smart puts up $1million for forensic accountant to look over CIG’s books.

14th – CIG refunds Derek Smart’s pledge money.

14th$85 million. Nothing unlocked.

11th – Progress report on Star Marine (FPS) module.

9th – Statement from CIG’s Ben Lesnick, addressing departures and progress.

6thFrankfurt officially opens with 21 staff to work on the CryEngine technology.

5th  – Senior Producer, Alex Mayberry leaves. Travis Day has also left to join Blizzard.


30thFPS module (Star Marine) stalled.


26th – 48GB of data leaked.

10thFPS details released.


12th – Arena Commander patch V 1.1.1 released. Turrets added.


15thFree play for Arena Commander to coincide with PAX and SXSW.


20th – Arena Commander patch V 1.0.3 released.

7th – Arena Commander patch V1.0.2 released.


24th$70 million. Nothing unlocked.

21st – Release timeline revealed

20thVAT to be applied to purchase of digital items in UK.

8th$69 million. Nothing unlocked.

2nd – Chris Roberts interview “can’t imagine us flopping“.



20th – Arena Commander patch V1.0 released. New PDF manual. 14 new flyable ships. New ship components. Public Test Universe. HUD added.

11th – Arena Commander patch V0.9.2.2 released. Gladiator ship added.

6th$66 million. Nothing unlocked.

1st $65 million. Enhanced Ship Modularity unlocked.

1st $64 million. Pets unlocked.


27th$63 million. MISC Reliant unlocked.

22nd – $62 million. Genesis-class Starliner unlocked.

15th – Arena Commander patch V0.9.21 released. 315p added. Liquor cabinet flare item added.

9th$61 million.  Espera Prowler boarding shipped unlocked.

7th$60 million. Aegis Bulldog-class Twin-Engine Deep Space Fighter unlocked.

1stFPS module revealed at PAX Australia.


31st – Arena Commander patch V 0.9.2 released. Includes control improvements.

29th – $59 million. Anvil Aerospace Crucible unlocked.

24th – FPS (Star Marine) Q&A.

17th – Arena Commander patch V released. The 325a now flyable.

13th$58 million. 10,000 UEC (in-game currency) credited to each backer.

11th – All five Arena Commander ships available to all backers for free for a week.

4th – Arena Commander patch V released.

1st$55 million. Ballistic Gatling unlocked.


30th – Arena Commander patch V 0.9.1 released.

26th$54 million. More detailed AI activities such as Bar tender entertainer, nurse, sanitation worker, security guard, shopper, tourist, vagrant and vandal unlocked.

15th – Arena Commander patch 13.0.1 released. Matchingmaking fixes.

12th – Arena Commander patch V0.9 released. Murray cup racing mode. Vanduul Swarm Co-op, flyable M50 and 350R, friend codes, updated ship performance, hud update, new hangars, 6dof movement.

12th – M50 trailer released. Top Gear parody.

12th$53 million. Independent Arbitrator’s Guild unlocked.


31st – DragonCon 2014 attendees given free tester access for a few days.

30th – Arena Commander patch V0.9 delayed.

25th$52 million. BB-12 jet packs unlocked.

18th – $51 million. Web-based Known Universe Map unlocked.

16th$50 million. Alien languages unlocked.

15thConstellation ships revealed at Gamescom.

9thCapture the Core mode activated in Arena Commander.

9th – Free Hangar posters released.

7th – Arena Commander multiplayer opened to all backers.

5th $49 million. Xi’An Space Plant unlocked.

3rd 50,000 more players added to Arena Commander multiplayer testing.

1st – Arena Commander Patch 12.5 released.


15th$48 million. Retaliator commercial.

3rd – Arena Commander Patch 12.4 released.


26thCrytek‘s financial troubles won’t impact CIG.

24th$47 million. Engine Tuning Kit unlocked.

21stXi’An Scout ship on sale for $150.

19th – Arena Commander Patch 12.3 released. More players added to multiplayer.

18thTony Zurovec joins as Director of Persistent Universe. Formerly of Digital Anvil and Origin Systems.

13th – Arena Commander Patch V 0.8.2 released.

13th$46 million. Updated Scanning Software unlocked.

7th$45 million. Hadesian Artifact unlocked.

4thArena Commander launched. Originally planned for 29 May.


25th$44 million. Stellar Cartography unlocked.

13thAlex Mayberry moves from Blizzard to work as Executive Producer on Star Citizen.


29th$43 million. Omni Role Combat Armor unlocked.

17thAlpha slots run out. Only $5 module passes available.

16th$42 million. Updated Observist Guide. Explorer-class mobiGlas Rig, Gladius fighter and towel unlocked.

11thDogfighting module (Arena Commander) revealed at PAX Boston

1st$41 million. Procedural Generation R&D Team set up.


12thKythera third-party AI system to be utilised.

10th$40 million. Kabal System and Orentani System unlocked.


28thOculus Rift support patch for Hangar Module.

21st$39 million. Javelin class destroyer unlocked.

5th£38 million. Cano System added.


22nd$37 million. Tanga Star System unlocked.



23th$35 million. Drake Herald ship unlocked.

17thDogfighting module delayed for a couple of months.

7th$34 million. MISC Hull C (Discreet) ship unlocked.


27th$33 million. The Surveyor and The Anvil Carrack ships unlocked.

26th$31 million. RSI Orion mining platform unlocked.

25th$30 million. Origin 890 Jump unlocked.

23rd$29 million. Enhanced Mission Design for Squadron 42 added.

19th – $28 million. Mustang starter ship unlocked.

18thConfirmation no console version unless strict criteria set by RSI are met. PS4 devkit spotted on dev’s desktop.

12th$27 million. Banu Merchantman unlocked.

4rd$26 million. Enhanced Capital Ship Systems unlocked.


28th –$25 million. Enhanced Alpha with geographically wider infrastructure for early testing.

23rd – $24 million. Public Transportation System unlocked.

20th – Illum mod released by fan allowing players to fly ships.

18th – $23 million. Xi’an Scout ship unlocked.

13th – $22 million. Facial Capture System unlocked.

12th – Cloud Imperium Manchester studio opening to work on Single Player.

11 – Modding contest for fans to design a ship announced.

8 – $21 million. Salvage Mechanic unlocked.


6th$20 million. First person combat on select lawless planets.

17th$19 million.Jane’s Fighting Ships style manual. Manage Space Stations. RSI Museum will air monthly, with a new game featured each time! First female character unveiled.

18th$18 million Exclusive star system for pre-launch backers added. First hint at expanded FPS.


31st$17 million. Every pledger who backs before $17 million will receive a ship upgrade package containing an engine modifier. Battlecruiser ship class unlocked.

31stStore opens selling items for credits.

30thHanger module released.

24th$16 million. Arena mode added. Every pledger who backs before $16 million will receive a laser pistol.

1st$15 million. Escort Carrier ship class added. Free digital 42-page Upgrade Handbook manual.


8th$14 million. Hibernation Mode unlocked. Professional-quality feature-length “Behind the Scenes of Star Citizen” documentary film. Fourth landout option on Earth.

5th – $13 million. Frigate ship class unlocked. Command and Control Center added to supervise battles from.

2nd – $12 million. Move Star Citizen’s sound production from a home office to high tech facilities. The Hangar Module will feature Oculus Rift support.


29 – $11 million. Move CIG Austin to a larger facility that supports expanded development.

23rd – $10 million. Cloud Imperium Games will build their own mocap studio to create cutscenes.


29th – $9 million. Roberts Space Industries Class II space suit added to hangar.


15th$8 million by 142,000 pledges.



22ndRSI release pledge to backers.

19th$6.2 million. Star Citizen will launch with 100 star systems. Bengal carrier unlocked. Full orchestral score. The first Squadron 42 mission disk, Behind Enemy Lines, free to all backers who pledge before $6 million upon release.

19th – $5.5 million. Professional motion capture for the Squadron 42 cutscenes. Exclusive RECORD BREAKER ship skin and 1000 additional credits on launch for all backers who pledge before the $5.5 million stretch goal.

18th – $5 million. Enhanced boarding options: melee combat, heavy weapons, zero gravity simulation, suit HUD options and EVA combat. Increased ship customization. Tablet companion application to check on inventory, commission or find missions and get the galactic news feed. The RSI webcast will feature a monthly Town Hall Q&A with Chris Roberts. Squadron 42 will feature celebrity voice-acting including at least one favorite from Wing Commander and 50 total missions. Will launch with 70 star systems. Will feature an additional base type. Can you discover the alien derelict?

17th – $4.5 million. Will launch with 60 star systems. Will feature additional playable ship class, the cruiser. All Kickstarter goals unlocked. All backers before October 29, 2012 will start with a Class I Repair Bot in their garage. All backers before November 8, 2012 will start with 500 additional credits. Extended hardcore flight sim controller support: Flight Chairs, multiple monitors, Track-IR, MFD (Multi Function Displays) and more on launch. Will feature four additional playable ship classes: Idris class corvette, Origin M50, Drake Interplanetary Caterpillar and destroyers. Will feature two additional base types: Vanduul trading posts and hidden smuggler asteroids. Will feature an additional alien race, the Kr’Thak.

16th – $4 million. New star system added for every $100,000 pledged, with descriptions posted to the Comm-Link.

  • $3.1M: Odin System
  • $3.2M: Tyrol System
  • $3.3M: Kellog System
  • $3.4M: Goss System
  • $3.5M: Orion System
  • $3.6M: Ellis System
  • $3.7M: Cathcart System
  • $3.8M: Tal System
  • $3.9M: Geddon System
  • $4.0M: Chronos System

The RSI website will feature a monthly “Wingman’s Hangar” webcast from the development team. Professional mod tools will be provided free to all players. Squadron 42 will feature a richer storyline and 45 total missions. Will launch with 50 star systems and feature an additional flyable ship, the Drake Interplanetary Cutlass.

15th – $3.75 million. Aegis Dynamics Retaliator ship unlocked.

14th – $3.5 million. Cockpit decorations. Ship boarding.

12th – $3.25 million. The MISC Starfarer ship unlocked.

8th – $3 million. Increased community updates at the RSI website. Squadron 42 will feature 35 missions. Citizens with appropriate packages will receive access to the Star Citizen universe with 40 star systems for persistent online play upon release.


31st – $2 million. The Anvil Gladiator ship unlocked.

25thReaches funding goal of US$2 million. Regular community updates. Citizens with appropriate packages will get to play in the multiplayer dogfighting module. Citizens with appropriate packages will receive access to the 30-mission Squadron 42 campaign upon release.

24thInitial Kickstarter goal reached – stands at $540,000.

19thKickstarter launched.

10thWing Commander creator reveals PC-only space sim, Star Citizen.

Original article on next page.

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  • Paul Younger

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

    • DickyDee

      Interesting overview there.

    • Jack Pott

      This is a really useful list, hope it’s kept up to date at least until the main core of the game is released.

      Now the FPS module is in house I have my fingers crossed it will improve.

    • asadachi

      someone is making a butt load of money of suckers

    • SnazzyTurtle

      They have 87.5 million$. Not 85 million$.

    • SnazzyTurtle

      haha Smart, 1 million for forensic, what? Where? What the hell has this delusional fail developer to do in a list of Star Citizen? Besides I eat my hat if this wasn´t more of his usual troll bullshit, so who´s going to claim his fantasy monopoly money he made up out of thin air? Which currency? Yen? Pesos? Besides, I´m offering 10 milion $ for a living pink Unicorn delivered to me by tomorrow.

    • Irefuse Tocomply

      I like to use this little gem for those who don’t understand…

      • SnazzyTurtle

        October. We´ll see cool stuff from the land of Oz.

      • Paul Younger

        Here’s hoping, it’s what I am wanting to see.

    • Logicsol

      Wait, you want the FPS portion scrapped?
      So, then what’s the point of:
      2)Space stations
      3)Walkable ship interiors
      4)Boarding mechanics
      or summed up with
      5)The ability to get out of your ship at all.

      FPS is also part of SQ42.
      Remove it, and a huge portion of the game goes poof.

      It’s also worth mentioning that the FPS module is still being worked on by Illfonic, likely for another month or two.
      IIRC they’ve reassigned 3 and laid off 3, but that’s not everyone they have working on it.
      Most likely scenario is that Illfonic was contracted till the release of the SM module, which is itself still an alpha module. It doesn’t look done, because well it’s not.

    • Anon

      “The most disappointing aspect of the whole presentation was Star Marine,
      a part of the game I’m still convinced should be shelved.”

      They’re not making the FPS module/’Star Marine’ for the hell of it! You know that, right?

      The FPS game-play (recall that it’s not just shooting they’ve been demonstrating here) is fundamental to almost everything you do in the universe, and the FPS module is the development of this. Every aspect of the ‘Star Marine’ game mechanics, animations, environment design, and engine sub-systems, will be used in the ‘Persistent Universe’ in a much more dynamic way. Why do you think we have ‘Arena Commander’? It’s for the same reason: i.e., to establish and incrementally develop the space flight and combat game-play design – ‘Star Marine’ is no different.

      • Paul Younger

        Yes correct. Get the FPS look and animations right but let’s not make a game of it.

        • Anon

          I don’t see how they’re making a “game of it”, when it’s no different to
          the rationale behind the existence of ‘Arena Commander’. It’s primarily
          engine system development.

          Most of the resources being put into ‘Star Marine’ will be on facilitating the mechanics required for these aspects of the game-play. The fact that Cloud Imperium are providing modular releases takes very little away from the actual task-at-hand, and provides a more rigorous environment for testing too. In addition, the payment and development model being what it is affords the devs a unique opportunity to take early feedback from backers whilst they effectively act as testers in specific areas. ‘Arena Commander’ received the same treatment, and benefited from it as a result. Sure, the devs have to sugar-coat aspects of it (fairly polished levels, models, environments, etc) because it’s for public-/backer-consumption; however, in the grand scheme of things that’s inconsequential when weighed against the advantages the process provides.

          To suggest they shouldn’t “make a game of it” would imply it’s unnecessary; however, I posit that it’s highly necessary and, in fact, possibly quite vital.

    • DamienKnight

      Besides the fact that I backed for the minimum and want to see this game come to light, I also really want to see Derek Smart eat his hat.

      I get that the project has a chance to fail, which I knew/was warned up front about, but what a douche that guy is to go to such lengths. His “legal” department is probably some ambulance chaser.

      I’m all for skeptics, but he is strictly a troll that cannot stand people trolling his own questionable “games”. AGAIN, IF this fails, then the “whales” will do all the screaming/crying for the rest of us.

      We don’t need “saving” you F%%%ing douche. Just go back to releasing tiny bug fixes for your disaster (or was it supposed to be something else?) game.

      Interstellar Douche – Derek Smart … claiming the new title from John Edward (for the South Park fans).

      • Tsais

        Never heard of that guy, but obviously, the internet is full of shills who will praise or disparage for a few cents per word typed.

        We know it form the smart phone and some other markets, there’s no reason to assume that it doesn’t happen in the games market.

    • Tsais


      I don’t agree that FPS development was pulled from Illfonic to save money. As far as I’m concerned, they just couldn’t do it. Possibly because of the Unified 1st and 3rd person animations. At any rate, the key tasks to make FPS animations look good had been re-assigned to CIG’s own people a bit back.

      I think its a matter of CIG realizing from Illfonic’s lack of progress that they have to do it in-house to get a streamlined focus on fixing it between Cry-engine devs and newly hired animation specialists.

      There must be a good reason that all FPS games have kept cheating with 1st / 3rd person animations for many years.

      So just going by that fact, it would seem pretty much proven what CIG is trying to do is very difficult and time consuming.

      Nobody will be happy about this delay, but then, the only time to try to achieve within this game’s development is now.

      I’d prefer having private servers and modding tools first, before all these stretchgoals that came much later. But I can also see that they can’t arbitrarily change the order in which they build things.

    • Raptor Jesus

      I paid for ‘Squadron 42’, a modern Wing Commander game. WHERE IS IT? I DID NOT PAY FOR A FPS, SO WHY ARE NOT MAKING WHAT PEOPLE PAID FOR??????

    • James Reginald Worthington

      lol You can’t scrap “FPS”. It is the backbone of the game, unless you want to go back to the standard space sim fare where you don’t leave you ship. Star Marine isn’t a COD tack-on. Its the testing ground for all on-foot gameplay. Not a throw-away feature.

    • Disapproving Puckermouth

      Don’t worry, we have crack MBA from UCLA Sandi Gardiner to help make this project work! Wait, what’s that? She lied about her degree and is really just a failed actress who sleeps with the boss? Never mind.

    • Dre’ Reavis

      Three year development…expected. You want a rush job, you get LofD (refuse to give that guy free press).