Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 04-02-2022
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And I’m not sure if this is a good news or a bad news. I’m not even sure if I still care.
If you don’t know what Star Citizen is, then let me explain in few short words - it was a project started about 10 years ago on Kickstarter with goal of creating an open world game inspired by Star Wars. And it was very successful Kickstarter campaign, in fact it was so successful that they never stopped collecting donations. So far they got over 400 million US dollars from donators plus unknown amount from private investors. It all sounds great, right? Well, yes and no.
The man in charge, Chris Roberts, is by some considered a genius, a visionary, mostly based on his past. He created a very successful series of games called Wing Commander, now he uses this experience to build Star Citizen. And he has been for last 10 years. But there is a small hiccup: for the first about 8 years of the process the game was practically unplayable, even though huge amount of money was pumped into it.
There was problem with engine chosen for the basis of the game, there was a lawsuit linked to it, there were stability problems, there were too high technical requirements problems, there were other things that made this project drag on. But the one thing that did not changed was the flow of money from fans of this... let’s call it a game, even though it was more of a simulator.
The financial success of the project inspired Chris Roberts to change the concept and (again) rebuild Star Citizen - it’s not good enough to make a game (that he promised), he will build the whole persistent universe. And, of course, this will require more time, more money, more precision and much more infrastructure. But at the same time people and investors put some more money into Star Citizen, so development moves forward. I guess. It’s often hard to tell with Star Citizen if progress was made.
And I guess I wouldn’t have problem with that - the developers have money, the investors and donators are happy, the universe is partially playable, but... Yes, of course there had to be a "but". I wouldn’t care one way or the other, it’s not like I invested money in this project, but some time ago Star Citizen started to sell "concept ships". What does that mean? Not exactly what you think. If you think about concept cars, which were made is small quantity just to show off what can be done, you’re heading in completely wrong direction.
Yes, the concept ships are fancy, they are assets for game that still does not really exist, but the "concept" bit means... they don’t exist. They are not assets for Star Citizen, they will be assets for Star Citizen once they are made. So you will be able to use them... when Star Citizen will be made. With concept cars they are made to show off the technology behind it, in this case the concept ships are just assets for video game, that developers have not made yet, but they started to sell them.
Again, it’s none of my business what people spend their money on, if they are happy owning a non-existent asset that might be available for the game that might be finished one day, it’s their choice. To be fair it still is better than owning an NFT, because there is slight possibility you might be able to actually use that asset. However this raises an interesting question - why after 10 years of collecting money, gathering investors, Star Citizen is so strapped for cash they need to sell thing they did not made yet? Or is it just testing ground how deep can they dive into pockets of their fans?
Nevertheless, the news that reached us today is... well, I don’t know what the right word for it would be, so I’ll just pass the news. The roadmap of Star Citizen development was removed by the creators, because, according to developers, people thought that things listed on that roadmap were promises, while in fact they were just sort-of reference points. In another words the roadmap was just a hint where this project might be going and not in any way a plan. A plan, which Star Citizen distinctively lacked for last 10 years.
So why do I think Star Citizen will never be finished? It has nothing to do with selling non-existent assets, deleting roadmaps, pumping a lot of money into project that takes far more time than should, it has everything to do with gaming industry today. As long as Star Citizen is not finished everyone has excuse - you shouldn’t criticize it, it is still in development after all.
As long as Star Citizen is in development Christ Roberts is still considered a visionary and genius, because you can’t judge project before it is finished (like during Cyberpunk 2077 hype). The investors don’t care if it ever will be finished, because people already are paying them good money for it. The fans of the project are happy, because as long as it is in development EVERYTHING can be listed as possible feature of the game (even if it will never happen). I’m not sure if people, who put their money into it 10 years ago, hoping to actually play a game one day, are happy, but who cares, right?
Star Citizen will be in development as long as there are people willing to give them money just for the promise of introducing something into the title, or hoping this will be the game they have been waiting for their whole lives. Developers will be developing project as long as they are paid, investors will be investing as long as they will be getting profits and Chris Roberts will be working on it as long as it builds up his ego.
It’s a perfect match - everyone is happy, the project is (supposedly) going forward and in 10 years time we will be celebrating another record of money gathered for development of Star Citizen. Oh yeah, but by that time the engine used in the project will be obsolete, so the process will start all over again...
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