Star Citizen May Become A Complete Disaster, Says Industry Veteran

Derek Smart, president and lead developer of 3000 A.D. Inc., has something to say about Star Citizen; if you’re a backer, you’re probably not going to like it. Are you ready?

Star Citizen is probably going to be a complete disaster.

If you’re still with us, here’s what’s been going on: Star Citizen, a game pitched back in 2012, was supposed to be launched in November of 2014. This game was fully crowdfunded; they had originally asked for $500,000 and planned to source additional funding from private investment. People saw the promise that this game held and gave it $2.1 million on Kickstarter alone. A further $77 million had been raised by Cloud Imperium Games for this project, far beyond what they had initially aimed for, and the project no longer needed private funding. Backers are yet to see some truly solid results, though.

Cloud Imperium Games has promised a great many things, but the project has suffered numerous delays. They continue to increase the scope of the game, and ask for additional funding by putting up pledge content. This game promises the stars, the moon, the UNIVERSE; yet they can barely give backers a complete early build. Backers will understand seeing only incremental but regular improvements, as opposed to waiting for segments that may not even be released on time, all because what they’ve produced is sub-par and the developers don’t want to show that.

Derek Smart has observed that what Cloud Imperium Games has scoped for the Star Citizen project simply cannot be built. Smart has had his share of development problems, with his own Battlecruiser series giving him a major headache in the past because of hardware limitations. The same could be happening to Star Citizen right now. Smart points out that what Cloud Imperium Games is doing right now – delaying the launch of the game with very little to show – could hurt the game industry’s future generations.

Smart himself backed the Star Citizen project. He saw what the game’s creator – Chris Roberts – had planned for the game, and believed that it was doable, so he backed it. But now he sees that the project has ballooned beyond what is achievable. It’s not what backers want to hear, but it’s what they have to know. Nowhere in his article does Smart say that the Star Citizen project is a sham, he is just pointing out that what Star Citizen wants to do now will probably take a lot more time than the two years they’d promised at the onset.

It’s probably chaotic enough for there to be several studios in different states or countries working on the separate components, but several key people have also left the project; senior producer Travis Day, community manager Chelsea Day, and conceptual artist David Hobbins. The list grows longer with executive producer Alex Mayberry having supposedly left the project. Some backers prefer to remain optimistic, instead considering the possibility that the bulk of the work may be done. Looking back on Star Citizen’s output record, though, that may not be the case.

What do you think of the delays in Star Citizen? Are you worried that the game may just fail to launch, in the end? Sound off in the comments.