Will $120m video game Star Citizen ever be ready to launch?


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/23/will-120m-video-game-star-cit.html


#2

Here’s hoping none of these issues derail the game I’ve been waiting for for years now. I’ve watched the 2.6 beta videos now and it’s already absolutely amazing what they’ve done. Every since I played Starflight way back in the 1980’s I’ve dreamed of a fully immersive space game that felt like really being in space, and this seems to come to closest to that dream. Fingers remain crossed, adding the toes.


#3

There are a ton of games like this that make the money and then don’t get made. Of the three campaigns I’ve donated to only one of them has flat out failed to the point where the creator says they’ve given up and are going to refund the money. One thing that looks favorable with this one is they are actually updating on the progress of the game.


#4

Sooooonnnn…


#5

I think on the largest scale, Star Citizen looks to take a big assed bite out of many other mainstream media empires, and has done so without the strings of major players in those industries such as EA and Fox.

That aside, I imagine modern publishers expect a certain amount of status quo when it comes to game quality; then along comes this titan, and after playing SC for a reasonable price, why would gamers go back to killing ten kobolds or gunning down generic soldiers or whatever crap that’s slopped into the trough these days?


#6

I wouldn’t lump disgruntled employees together with the industry has-beens. I’m making more of a general comment, rather than a statement specifically about Star Citizen, because I haven’t bothered to read the denouncers, but as a general rule, I would say that when you have a significant number of disgruntled employees (or disgruntled ex-employees), something has gone horribly wrong. Maybe not wrong in a way that prevents a game getting shipped, but it’s not a sign of an especially healthy studio.


#7

Part of a grand tradition including the likes of Battlecruiser 3000, Daikatana, and Duke Nukem 3D, methinks.

[quote=“beschizza, post:1, topic:86042”]The game looks beautiful.[/quote]Will the day ever arrive when pre-rendered cinematics will not be regarded as somehow representative of gameplay?


#8

The business model seems to be working well. Why fuck it up by releasing a game?


#9

It’s no Daikatana. Looks like more of a Peter Molyneux joint, where what is is alright, but it isn’t what could.


#10

Well, I guess I’ll just keep playing free games like Galaxy Online and Gemcraft.


#11

Anyone know what the latest eta is?


#12

People never learn.


#13

I’m not normally a fan of YouTube comments, but…


#14

Talk about investing into the future!

What would be even funnier is if it was finally released with space ships are an actual thing.


#15

The irony is that Star Citizen is the only Kickstarted game that I know of that actually raised a full development budget (even if most of it was away from Kickstarter). The rule of thumb for video game Kickstarters is that they provide 10-25% of the full budget. (If you ask for more, you just won’t get it.) Normally it’s only the Kickstarters for physical goods that run afoul of being too successful (hitting the point where they can’t ship all the items without a lot more resources). A $125M video game is a large AAA game, and that requires some pretty on-the-ball management (which increases disproportionately to team sizes, generally). Given that they’re making a game that isn’t asset heavy but feature heavy, careful management oversight is that much more important (because the coordination required to get all that code working together is a very different challenge than having a bunch of content that needs to be managed).

They suffer from the opposite problem - too little money. Just about every other game development team on Kickstarter is using outside funds for at least three-quarters of the budget - and those are usually their own savings. Which can work fine if carefully budgeted and the developers know what they’re doing - unless there’s a problem that requires someone to drop out, at which point they can’t actually hire anyone to replace them because they don’t have money for salaries.

Because you don’t have an alternative? Even big developers can’t afford to put up $125M of their own money to develop a game unless it’s a sequel to a hugely successful franchise (e.g. Grand Theft Auto). It’s not remotely sustainable, even if they had the money. (The number of AAA developers has steadily decreased over the years because that’s become less and less sustainable.) Even most famous game franchises (e.g. Tomb Raider) can’t support that kind of development. It’s not like crowdfunding can provide that kind of budget, either - Star Citizen is an absolute outlier here, and they only achieved it by promising a game of a type that was much in demand and by using “free-to-play” dynamics to raise money. Once the game is released, there will inevitably be a lot of pissed-off and disappointed backers, no matter how good it is. We’ll probably not see the likes of this again.

Feels like par for the course in the game industry. Although that may just be because so many studios are so poorly run…

The videos that people have been responding to is all in-game footage, supposedly. That can also be hugely misleading, especially in early stages of development, but for different reasons.


#16

Minor correction. Duke Nukem Forever was famously in development for a long time (1997-2011), not Duke Nukem 3D.

http://duke.a-13.net/


#17

Acht! But of course. How clumsy of me.


#18

After what happened to No Man’s Sky, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to keep Star Citizen in beta forever.

That way they won’t have an army of reddit trolls generating huge lists of things that were promised (or even just kind of implied) but not delivered in the first release.

Though they already have a problem with people requesting refunds.


#19

I’m thinking people misunderstood the developers when they said the game is set in the 30th century :confused:


#20

Awww, five long years, boo hoo hoo. Just try waiting for Half Life 3.