This week on PC Invasion we’ve talked about the Star Citizen crowdfunding situation in the news and podcast following the update from Chris Roberts announcing that the FPS module’s development had stalled. It’s been a hot topic.
Like some backers, we are concerned about the scope of the game and the amount of funds it’s raised with little to show considering how long ago crowdfunding started. Today developer Derek Smart, who you will know from the Battlecruiser series, posted a blog update looking at the current situation with Star Citizen, the funds it has raised ($85 million to date), and why he thinks it’s just gone to far.
He’s been bold enough to ask a few questions in the lengthy update which you can check out in full. While Derek has struggled with releasing feature complete games for many years (he explains why at great length in his post) there are points in his update that should not be dismissed.
Here’s a few choice snips:
“This game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever. There isn’t a single publisher or developer on this planet, who could build this game as pitched, let alone for anything less than $150m.
“I have it on good authority that it’s not even on hold (FPS module), but that they’re probably not going to finish it because a) it won’t work within the current framework b) it wasn’t in the original design as spec’ed, since it has ballooned to what it is today. So naturally, it’s the first thing to go, or put on indefinite hold while they figure things out.
“Remember, the game, first and foremost, is a space combat game, not a first person combat game.
“It doesn’t matter than you have an “open” development process with feedback loop to backers. Plus, from what I know, it’s not that open anyway, because there’s only so much that you can tell the public, without inciting panic which is likely to turn off the money spigot. It’s no different from not coming clean with your investors, or publisher, because you don’t want to deal with the drama, or lose funding. Or you’re just being dishonest.”
“The problem that RSI is now faced with, is something that us vets all saw coming a mile away. This level of exposure, all the press, the promises, the hype, the glorious anti-establishment chanting and rhetoric etc – all of it, has a very bad downside.
“And it’s not like the rumblings haven’t been there. Every time there is new press about a funding milestone, or yet another ship concept cash grab, there is some derogatory rhetoric associated with it because most backers are fed up, and just want the game they were promised back in 2012.”
As a backer myself, I have to agree with some of the comments from our readers this week here on PC Invasion. I backed a space sim not a shooter so the fact that the FPS module has stalled can only be positive for the rest of the project.
Earlier this week I mentioned the continual funding of concept ships, and while I know backers are getting caught up in the hype, this really does have to stop. Once there’s an actual game to show as outlined in the pitch then by all means start adding new ships and charging for them. Until then RSI need to stop taking the money and show more progress.
I know Star Citizen will be released at some point, but as Derek states in his blog, it’s unlikely to deliver all the features that have been revealed since feature creep set in. It could take some time for all promised features to appear after an “official release”.
CIG need to prove themselves with a piece of content that is an actual game and hopefully they will do that with Squadron 42. Why the FPS module was pushed ahead of that is a bit of a mystery. StarLancer, which was developed by Warthog here in the UK, was a great game and many of the same team are involved with Squadron 42. Hopefully they will deliver a quality single player experience again.
All backers of Star Citizen want see the game get made, and also have CIG prove that a big budget game can be achieved through crowdfunding without a publisher. We’ll just have to wait patiently and see if that actually happens.
Update: There a also few worrying signs with the rumoured departure of Executive Producer Alex Mayberry.