Creator of Star Citizen, Chris Roberts recently posted a new “Letter from the Chairman” address, his blog on development progress. In it, he tries to ease concerns about the space-sim’s FPS mode, Star Marine and much more.
Roberts stresses that Star Marine is coming and it will be sooner rather than later. “We’re hard at work on the FPS — and you will have it in your hands sooner rather than later.” Developers Cloud Imperial Games had planned to release a version of Star Marine in April, but it was delayed. It was also announced that the game’s executive producer, Alex Mayberry had departed the studio for personal reasons. These issues had fans worried that the game might be in trouble.
“With a company the size of CIG and its subsidaries there is always going to be turnover. We are a very large company now,” Roberts explains, “We have four development studios: Los Angeles, austin, Wilmslow, UK and Frankfurt, Germany. Our internal headcount has gone from five at the end of 2012 to 59 at the end of 2013 to 183 at the end of 2014 and to 255 now.”
Roberts points to his previous employers as having similar turnover. It is simply a fact of having a large company. The difference with CIG, Roberts says, is the openness of the development process. The visibility of the company’s inner workings makes the situation seem more dire than it is.
The massive project has raised over $85 million and as a result, it has added a lot of features that weren’t originally part of the plan. Roberts says, “There are people out there who are going to tell you that this is all a BAD THING. That it’s ‘feature creep’ and we should make a smaller, less impressive game for the sake of having it our more quickly or in order to meet artificial deadlines. Now I’ll answer those claims in one word: Bullshit!”
“Star Citizen matters BECAUSE it is big, because it is a bold dream,” he added. “It is something everyone else is scared to try. You didn’t back Star Citizen because you want what you’ve seen before. You’re here and reading this because we are willing to go big, to do the things that terrify publishers. You’ve trusted us with your money so we can build a game, not line our pockets. And we sure as hell didn’t run this campaign so we could put that money in the bank, guarantee ourselves a profit, and turn out some flimsy replica of a game I’ve made before. You went all in supporting us and we’ve gone all in making the game. Is Star Citizen today a bigger goal than I imagined in 2012? Absolutely. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not: it’s the whole damn point.”
“We count on the community’s continued support to build the game to the high level that we set out to accomplish. Allowing independent authors to do more is the point of crowd funding, and going beyond our limitations is the entire point of Star Citizen.” says Roberts.
Roberts explains the struggle of satisfying fans who want more complexity and intricacy and fans who want the game now.
Would you rather have the base game now or a more complex experience? Feel free to leave a comment below.