Star Citizen Release Date(and a Few Other Facts)
Star Citizen never seems far from the headlines. For a game that isn’t even out yet, barely a day goes by without a game website mentioning news, gossip, problem or some feature or other. So when is it out? What will the game contain and will it be worth your time and money?
Star Citizen began with a Kickstarter campaign from Cloud Imperium Games back in 2012. It quickly exceeded its target and extended it to include a bunch of other features. To date, it has raised around $180 million. You would think with that kind of money and six years of development time a game might be ready. Not a game this ambitious!
What is Star Citizen?
Star Citizen is a collection of games rather than a single title. They include Squadron 42, a single player element. Social, the MMO side of the game in a persistent universe with other players. Star Marine, a Battlefield style shooter based on land or in zero G environments. The Star Citizen element combines other game styles in a mixture of genres, from Eve Online to Elite Dangerous with other mysterious content and styles thrown in.
It is hard to accurately describe Star Citizen as not all of it has been made public and it changes every so often. It is accurate to describe the game as the most ambitious space game ever and it’s probably best to leave it at that.
Squadron 42 is a single player campaign that will include all elements of the game. It will feature space combat, ground combat, co-op mode and probably more. Think Mass Effect with better dogfighting and you’ll be on the right track. Cloud Imperium Games has hired some Hollywood A-listers such as Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Liam Cunningham and Mark Hamill to provide voiceovers for Squadron 42.
Social is the MMO part of Star Citizen and seems the most interesting by far. Think Eve Online with combat, politics, trading, fleets, wars and all that good stuff rolled into a (hopefully) accessible package. Social will use a single instance, so everything that happens will affect all of the game universe.
Star Marine allows 16 players to play a Battlefield-like game in a range of environments and situations. We don’t know much about it as yet.
When will Star Citizen be released?
Good question! The answer is, we don’t know and it is likely that Cloud Imperium Games doesn’t know either. October 2017 saw the Alpha 3.0 release which was the last big update. Smaller updates have been released since and we are currently at Alpha 3.2.1 (July 2018).
The release date has been a big bone of contention among fans, the gaming press and the public at large. The game has earned a ton of money with some people putting in $25,000 or more. Development seems to be taking forever and there is no sign of a release date yet. But, nobody said it was going to be easy.
Roberts Space Industries, the game website released an infographic that includes expected dates and targets for development. It shows work going on until the end of the year, so release will not be any time in 2018. The development map is a little clearer to read and shows the next 5 months’ worth of development. The word release is not mentioned.
If you’re a backer, you already get to play portions of the game. It began with hangar mode which was just a showcase of ships. Arena Commander came next which was a combat dogfight simulator. The Social part of Star Citizen went live in 2017 giving an idea of the MMO side of the game. The Star Marine module is next, which will add the first person shooter element to the game.
The release date for Star Citizen was originally slated for 2014. It then slipped a few times and now doesn’t have one. This didn’t go down too well with backers and the games industry but was inevitable I think. The sheer ambition of this game is huge so it was going to take longer than anyone thought.
Will Star Citizen be any good?
The million dollar question. Will the game be any good? It’s hard to say without seeing it. I’m not a backer as I’m still not sure the game will ever happen but I am excited about the potential if it does arrive. The game isn’t cheap. Star Citizen game packages start at $54 and go all the way up to $330. Some ships cost from $90 to many thousands.
You don’t need to spend this kind of money though. Once released, Star Citizen will have a box price like most other games. What that will be is anyone’s guess. Cloud Imperium Games have promised no subscription fee at release though. Even though you can buy one now for $12 a month, once the game is released, there will be no charge aside from the upfront fee for the game.