Star Citizen is the $339 million game that still doesn’t have a release date

Jonathan Lee
·3 min read

Star Citizen has $339 million in funding and 10 years of development — but there’s no release date in sight.

When head developer Chris Roberts first announced Star Citizen in 2010 with a Kickstarter campaign, gamers were brimming with excitement. Tens of thousands of people eagerly backed the project, nine of whom pledged $10,000 while another 19 pledged $5,000.

Star Citizen is now possibly the most expensive video game of all time. Most of its $339 million budget has been directly funded by pledgers and players. The lucrative funding prompted Cloud Imperium Games to announce Squadron 42 in 2015, a single-player companion to Star Citizen starring Hollywood stars such as Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson and Mark Strong.

But the Squadron 42 beta has been delayed yet again. After 10 years of being stuck in alpha development, irreverent and irate gamers are panning Star Citizen once again.

“What an amazing scam this game is,” said a user on Reddit. “Hundreds of millions of dollars donated with nothing to show for it.”

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“The greatest scam in gaming history,” said another. “They are perpetually ‘developing’ in order to keep the cash flow going because they know they won’t ever make anymore [sic] money if it releases.”

Some Reddit users who said they backed Star Citizen have expressed deep remorse. One claimed to be one of the game’s earliest pledgers.

“I donated in f****** 2013,” said another user. “Was one of the first 11K. Never again… I wasted almost 400 bucks to this s*** show. F*** them. STAY AWAY.”

Another Redditor said they entered a completely new life stage during the game’s decade-long development cycle.

“I bought a $200 ship back in 2015, when gaming was the center of my life,” they said. “Since then I have graduated university, progressed significantly in my career, bought a nice house in an established neighborhood, and have had three more kids.”

Star Citizen was supposed to be the crown jewel of the space simulator genre. Unfortunately, what the game’s backers actually got was feature creep, blown deadlines and more ships to buy, but no hard release date.

Starships have become a major source of income for the game. Players have spent millions of dollars to buy them. In fact, Cloud Imperium Games once offered the Legatus Pack which bundles 100 starships for $27,000.

$27,000 to buy starships in a game that’s not even in beta yet. Just for comparison, you can buy a brand new 2021 Toyota Corolla for less than that — at market price.

Buyer beware, indeed.

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If you liked this story, check out the article on Cyberpunk 2077’s developers receiving death threats after a third delay.

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