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Now Two Months Late, Star Citizen FPS Module Delayed Indefinitely

by Mike Futter on Jun 30, 2015 at 08:25 AM

If you happen to have been following the progress of Star Citizen’s now $84.6 million campaign, you may be wondering why you haven’t yet received the promised first-person shooter module. Called Star Marine, the content was supposed to be delivered shortly after PAX East in April. Two months later, it’s still missing.

Roberts Space Industries chairman Chris Roberts posted a letter to fans explaining the delay and updating on other pieces of the puzzle. The good news for fans is that the single-player ship combat campaign, Squadron 42, is progressing. 

However, the road to Star Citizen’s projected retail release in 2016 has hit a roadblock in the form of Star Marine. Roberts opened up after two months of silence on that piece, explaining that Star marine has run into technical issues.

“I don’t want to say that there is no impact: integrating the FPS properly will help move every part of Star Citizen forward, as the tech will help form the blood and sinews of the whole game,” Roberts writes. “But I can’t stress enough that two additional months spent on Star Marine are not the same thing as two months of a delay for Star Citizen.” 

He explains that other teams have been working on the environments, ships, and more related to the multiplayer and single-player modes. However, those pieces are tied to Star Marine and are being held up by its absence.

“The biggest issue we have faced is that all the recent Arena Commander work, including new flyable ships has been done on the Star Marine branch of the game’s build,” Roberts explains. “We expected to have 1.2 launched and wanted to take advantage of the great new tech Star Marine’s integration provides.”

Unfortunately, Roberts and his team aren’t able to put a fine point (or even a broader window) on when the over 900,000 backers will be able to play Star Marine. The project is delayed indefinitely.

“When will we see Star Marine? Tonight, I don’t have an absolute answer for you,” Roberts admits. “What I will tell you is that we know exactly what we have to do, and we’re already well on our way to doing it. With allocation of additional resources and increased cross-studio focus on the FPS portion of the game we are on our way… we’re just not there quite yet. I’m confident that with the significant updates and changes to the backend architecture discussed above that we will have an experience worthy of the Star Citizen name; it’s just going to take some additional integration and testing.”

Roberts closes with an admission that the company hasn’t been as open with its backers as it promised in 2012. A two month delay in explaining the Star Marine delay is counter to what the company calls “The Pledge.”

“On the public side, I know that it’s time to open up our communications on the Star Marine rollout process: starting with this message and continuing each week, we will provide a high level update on the challenges just as we did for Arena Commander,” Roberts says. “We ended the 2012 pledge campaign with ‘The Pledge,’ in which I outlined our new company’s goals to be open about our process. Today, I want to rededicate ourselves to this: I can’t promise you we’ll meet every internal deadline or that every decision we make is something you’ll agree with. There will be challenges that we struggle to overcome, and we will never be able to predict all of these with certainty… but I can promise you we will keep you informed and that we will not stop working until the game is done right.”

[Source: Roberts Space Industries via Polygon]


Our Take
When you’re sitting on over $80 million of money contributed on faith, communication and transparency must not be forgotten or shoved to the side. Star Citizen is ambitious, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I have serious reservations about the enormous scope. 

Games suffer setbacks. That’s reality. But when your reality also includes over 900,000 backers? You simply cannot hide from them. Roberts can’t break “The Pledge” again.