The most polite possible way to describe Derek Smart is “contentious.” He’s indisputably worked on several games of huge scope without great reception. But he’s also in a unique position to evaluate the ambition behind Star Citizen due to the scope of those projects, and in a recent essay he states in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t believe the game will ever be made as it is currently being sold.
Without disrespect to anyone, I’m just going to say it: it is my opinion that, this game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever. There isn’t a single publisher or developer on this planet who could build this game as pitched, let alone for anything less than $150 million. The original vision which I backed in 2012? Yes, that was totally doable. This new vision? Not a chance. The technical scope of this game surpasses GTAV, not to mention the likes of Halo. Do you have any idea what those games cost to make and how long they took? Do you know how many games which cost $50 million to make took almost five years to release? And they were nowhere in scope as Star Citizen?
Smart outlines his own struggles in making the game, what he has seen from the game’s development cycle as a backer, and what he believes to be fundamental incompatibilities between the stated design goals and the realistic scope of what can be delivered. It’s a lengthy read, but whether you’re a fan of Star Citizen or not, it’s worth examining in depth.