With over $2 million in funding from Kickstarter backers alone and $84 million in total, Star Citizen is one of the most expensive — and ambitious — crowdfunded games of all time. However, with that reputation comes allegations that the project has simply gotten too big for its own good, and its “First Person Universe” vision has drawn skeptics who don’t believe that the studio can deliver on its grandiose promises. Now, Robert Space Industries chairman Chris Roberts has released an open letter to ease frustrations.
News spread late last month that Star Citizen‘s first-person shooter module Star Marine was being put on indefinite hold following technical issues, including problems with networking. According to Roberts, this isn’t completely true. While the module did face setbacks, including several staff departures, it is still in active development, and an update post released late last week showed off tweaks to everything from level design to death animations.
Roberts also stressed that Star Citizen‘s importance is because of its massive scope, and a smaller project would not have garnered this much support.
“Star Citizen matters BECAUSE it is big, because it is a bold dream,” Roberts says. “It is something everyone else is scared to try. You didn’t back Star Citizen because you want what you’ve seen before.”
Still, with such a large budget and lofty promises, Roberts admits that the studio did reach a point where it was forced to stop adding features, which led to “the decision to stop stretch goals at the end of last year.” Currently, of the six modules that make up Star Citizen, four are still in the production phase, including the aforementioned Star Marine and the story-driven Squadron 42. The decision to split the project into modules was precisely due to this ambition, as Robert Space Industries wanted players to experience segments of Star Citizen while the remainder was still in development.
“This is the dream game that all of us have wanted to build all our lives,” Roberts says. “And while I can’t promise you everything will always go smoothly or features or content won’t arrive later than we want them to, I can promise that we will never stop until we have achieved this dream.”