BBC tech program Click promises investigation into Star Citizen’s delays

    
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No matter what sorts of progress the alpha builds of Star Citizen make, there’s always going to be a question of when the game will actually be considered fully complete, especially as it continues to rake in cash. BBC News’ tech program Click is joining in on the discussion with an upcoming episode that promises to look into what’s taking so long and why the game keeps getting delayed.

Click, for those of us not in the UK, is described as BBC’s flagship technology program, which airs new episodes every Saturday. The investigation into CIG and Star Citizen is due to air on Saturday, December 14th, at 1:30 p.m. UK on the BBC News Channel.

Click and BBC News is obviously not the first to try and dig in to this story. One of the more notorious investigations was published by Forbes in May of this year, when it called development of the game “incompetence and mismanagement on a galactic scale” and cited quotes from 20 former employees. A similar takedown was run by The Escapist in October 2015, which brought forth Chris Roberts himself to respond as well as threaten to sue for defamation. Roberts also spoke with Polygon later that same year to assure fans that CIG is being fiscally responsible.

The fact that Star Citizen is making money is obviously not a hidden fact. As we’ve cited before, there’s a funding section of the website that has an interactive breakdown of the money coming in, and events like CitizenCon, the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo, and ship reveals continue to make bank. The question, of course, is where the money goes — a question that will continue to be asked until Star Citizen finally decides to release.

source: BBC News Channel, with thanks to Cotic for the tip!

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April-Rain
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Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

Its not a MMO.

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Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Dibs

If you’re ploughing money into SC and enjoying it, then good for you.

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Bo Davidson

SC is doing what no one else is doing. They’re creating an immersive world that happens to have MMO elements. They are breaking ground in many areas, such as SOCS. Every update is full of new stuff. Try out the game during one of their free fly events. It’s stunning.

It’s suspicious that the media is hounding on SC so much. Here’s a game breaking boundaries, PC only (no console to have to downgrade to support), and no publisher to force them into a strict release timeline. Follow the money. EA, Ubi and Activision have a lot of financial pull and motive.

I don’t understand why gamers would be against an independent project that has the scope that SC has and IS delivering.

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traja

I tried the latest one and it ran like garbage. Way too poorly that I could stomach trying to figure out what to actually do in the game since there was no tutorial. It was the first time that a game ran so bad that motion blur was an improvement in that it hid some of the trash. Graphics were ok though but nothing special.

The problem is that it is all about asking more and more money from “backers”. I put it in quotation marks because really they are customers.

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Joe Blobers

@traja there are tutorial on CIG site and also Reddit. You can imagine than making a tutorial when the whole project evolve every quarter is a waste of time, assuming you want to make a good in game tutorial. They did one years ago and stopped to change it for this very reason.

About run like garbage, we don’t have the same definition clearly. Beside stuttering in crowded are (that will be partially take car of with SOCS V1 in 3.8), 3.72 is the most stable patch we ever got, wit a bit of persistence.

Anyway free week are precisely to check if current revision is okay for you, more will come next year.

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traja

I can certainly understand why a tutorial doesn’t make sense for a game that is not ready for one. That is the point though, it’s not ready. If there was a proper game to be played here it wouldn’t be a problem to make a proper tutorial for it.

If the performance had been decent I would have looked up guides on the internet. It’s not difficult these days so that alone is not a deal breaker. Unfortunately performance was absolutely awful and it didn’t motivate me to look up anything whatsoever, let alone spend any money. It was just a miserable experience that I won’t be recommending to anyone.

Game that looks like it’s from 2015 with hardware requirements from 2025. No thank you.

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Joe Blobers

Quote:”If there was a proper game to be played here
If you mean by proper a finished and polished game with all bells and whistles this is not… because Alpha with 7 years of development, not the initial kickstarter video.
According to in game stats, a lot of backers see current Alpha as enjoyable… for an Alpha: Playable Now The Stats

Quote:”Unfortunately performance was absolutely awful” Again backers in Alpha don’t play a slideshow unless they have a dual cores, 10 years old GPU and hard Drive. With my average rig (I5 + GTX 1070 + SSD) I do have 40 (in crowed area) to 70 fps on average… with a 1440P monitor and Max settings.
As long you have decent rig (not equal to Nasa PC) and install game on SSD, performance are satisfactory to good.

Quote:” It was just a miserable experience that I won’t be recommending for anyone
Do you mean you recommend to not even try it during free week?

Because it would be very disingenuous to pretend your experience match others, not proven by the 40K backers in Nov. 2020 up to 1.2M individual backers in 2019 and joining every day.
Free week are precisely here to not lure gamer and let them test new patch at least twice a year to see if progress made match their expectations.
There are enough Publishers example that don’t have such transparency, with games being really awful (because sold as polished) or not what they were supposed to be (Death Stranding is the latest example with not event decent review before release…)

Jay_Sleezy
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Jay_Sleezy

There’s no tutorial because the game is in development but everyone in server is willing to offer help for new players. Next time just ask something like what is there to do. Also as far as graphics, The server near Arc Corp which is where the Expo was being hosted was pretty bad 1/4 of the time. The rest of the system was fine. When it happened the best thing to do was leave the planet or join different server.

Side note. They’ve never asked us for money nor asked you. I’ve never had an email advertising to purchase new ships nor pushing to buy anything. New ships get a banner on main page along with other news and that’s it. If u go into pledge store u can buy ships but it doesn’t force u to view that page. So plz don’t make that claim because it’s not true.

ForsetiGod
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ForsetiGod

I like reading any comment section related to SC for the same reason I love documentaries about cults.

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traja

I’m somewhat skeptical that there will be any strict wrongdoing to be found. The main thing to cover is probably how CIG has made the development stage of the game their business model.

Usually games spend money in development and then make money afterwards. These days they often also continue development and selling bits after launch.

Star Citizen is different from this pattern. Instead the business model is the development stage itself. They rely entirely on calling their customers “backers” to sell ships for hundreds or even thousands of dollars each. There is no way that they will turn that business model off and release the game in the foreseeable future.

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Marty Woods

I’ve backed a few crowdfunded games over the years and Star Citizen is one of them but its always been the lower tier packages . I know some of those wont get released but that a risk you take .

I don’t get why some of the backers here are so up in arms about this BBC investigation into CIG ? The BBC can’t make up a story they have to report the results of that investigation . All its likely to amount to is some free publicity .

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Jonathan Colborn

Another Hit Piece! Must have low ad revenues…

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PhoenixDfire

First of all, Why is everyone assuming it’s going to be a hit piece? By UK; Law the BBC is supposed to be impartial (although it is a bit worrying in the present General Election we’ve got). They’re supposed present the facts and give people the right to reply. And if they don’t Ofcom comes down on them like a tonne of bricks.

As far as SC being a scam, they’ll probably come to the same conclusion that a lot of people have and that’s the $250 million has been frittered away on mismanagement and scope creep. There still will be a game at the end of it but will it $250 million good? We’ll have to wait and see.

One final thing, the BBC doesn’t have Ad revenue, it’s paid for mostly by the UK public (I call it the Dr Who Tax) and everyone else in the world will get that podcast for free (You’re Welcome!!) .

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Andreas Graf

I have a question to all the haters:

Why do you bother at all?

I for myself, if i’m not interested in a game, i don’t give a shit if it is a scam, if it will ever be done, or if other people throw their money at the developer. There is no need to comment every article with my shit.

That leads me to the conclusion that most of the haters were actually looking forward to the game, but got pissed off at some point as it did not meet their expected timeframe to be delivered.
Just like a kid crying at the supermarket because mommy does not want to buy that lollipop.

Honestly, there is no other logical reason for spitting so much poison.

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Dankey Kang

I’m looking forward to the game, I think if anything is going to take gaming to the ‘next level’ it will be Star Citizen; but then again it’s still enjoyable to poke fun at it for the obvious reasons.

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Marty Woods

The next level will be when VR goes mainstream and not before .

Jay_Sleezy
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Jay_Sleezy

I’ve played star citizen inVR and it’s incredible. To be able to look around while using a joystick to maneuver and let Face Over IP track your friends facial expressions and mouth movements that match their voice is alone something I’ve never experienced before and something the world has been waiting for yet no one realizes it’s happening in Star Citizen

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traja

This is a pointless question because you can phrase any topic in this manner. You can always question the motivation to doing something when the topic is just a game. Like this:

I have a question to all the defenders:

Why do you bother at all?

I for myself, if I am interested in a game, I don’t give a shit if people criticize it. There is no need to comment every article with my shit.

That leads me to the conclusion that most of the defenders are actually unsure of the project and desperate to validate their investment.

Honestly, there is no other logical reason for spitting so much poison.

Jay_Sleezy
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Jay_Sleezy

I am 100% positive that at some point in your life someone bagged on something you enjoyed, whether it was a game or even your favorite food. In response I bet you stuck up for your decision to like it just because u liked it, and nothing more.

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Michael Vincent Miceli

Star Citizen is being backed by a willing generation of older gamers who are tired of these cookie cutter triple a releases that are hallow at best. The industry needs boldness and depth. We were willing to pay for that. Attention to detail is an art lost in the industry. Also they’re not just building a game they’re creating a game engine that has never existed before. It’ll be a hot commodity, mark my words.

If you don’t like the speed Of development, Diablo for mobile is going to be available for people who have phones. Blizzard can accommodate you. 20+ years of milking an original idea from the early and innovative Blizzard North…to the point of unoriginality and steep disconnect from their PC fans. It’s not the same company.

For backers, we have one star stystem that has more detail and depth in it during alpha than the vast majority of completed games made by thousand+ man teams like Rockstar Games (by the way CIG only has about 500 employees.)

It’ll be ironic to see all the developers that doubted the project wanting a piece of the star engine down the road, and a piece of Turbulent’s VOIP/FOIP innovation that… by the way… CIG owns 25% of. A new standard is being set and it’s being brought to you by mature and WILLING backers. I don’t think the mainstream publishers of the gaming industry want this game to be successful because it shows people that rushed titles, and unoriginality are not acceptable to an elite group of adult gamers. We will pay for more quality, and that’s why we have CIG to set a new standard.

Forbes magazine since had a player (Rexzilla) respond in kind with in game videos of the alpha. They had no idea the depth that an incomplete version of the game had and were quite surprised enough to apologize. Get with the times. Also interesting that released employees that pre existed CIGs more massive studio had any kind of credibility in that story…

-Meteoros in-game
Nearly $9,500 backed/donated from me alone
Happy with CIGs meticulous work
Happy with them creating quality art
Happy with them not having a publisher pushing
Them to rush the project

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Bo Davidson

Everything you said nails it on the head. SC is a breathing world and not just a game. Plus the original timeline was back when it was a tiny project in Chris’ garage. SC today is much better and more ambitious. SOCS is coming and that alone will revolutionize the industry.

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Nosy Gamer

It was interesting to hear about the stock swap that wound up with CIG owning 25% of Turbulent. Does Turbulent’s VOIP work outside the game? If it doesn’t, people will probably still want to use a VOIP that won’t crash if the game does.

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Joseph Groulx

I’ll save you from having to wait, CIG keeps increasing the scope of this game beyond the impossibly broad scope it had upon conception. We were promised 100 star systems, we don’t even have one complete. The development studio is working on S42 and when that is done the studio will have time to start releasing more content on a regular basis. As-is, content is trickling in but they seem to be more focused on revenue generation while the game is in a somewhat playable state. Expect to see a dozen or two more ships before they start working on the next system. The Kickstarter goals look entirely unrealistic at this point, they promised even larger ships than the Javelin and then even larger ones than that.

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Joe Blobers

@Joseph stretch Goals stopped back in 2015 and what they add like Nautilus, which is a mine layer, is something that was in past CR’s games.
100 ships (including concept) vs 140 are now flyable and some of the larger ones are coming in 2020, adding also new gameplay like salvage, transport of large container, repair, medic… all needed for SQ42.

The very large ships from UEE or Alien (km + size) won’t be fully build or accessible internally, still they have developed PG and pipelines to populate interior of stations with minimum of effort (applicable to any interior like large ships).

Planet V4 tech allowed CIG to refactor (visual update, weather effects, rendering optimization) all past planet/moon assets in a couple of month. Better get 5 or 10 systems (which are enough to swallow all backers and NPC’s) than rushed 90 extra systems. and all SQ42 assets will be injected in SC at release, adding more of everything.
With PG ED did created billions of planets. CIG can do as well in no time… Thanks but no thanks.

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Nosy Gamer

Star Citizen only launching with 5-10 systems is probably going to be one of the things the BBC show will concentrate on. During fundraising, one of the stretch goals was 100 systems. Further money was raised by promising 16 named systems as stretch goals. According to the 2017 interview Roberts did with a German publication, he backed it down to 5-10 systems. I’d totally forgotten about that until you mentioned it.

You can say it makes more sense to only launch with 5-10 systems. At this point, I’d agree it’s better to launch with 5-10 good systems than wait a few more years to create the other 90-95. But since some of the fundraising was based on 100, that’s not a good look for CIG.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “ But since some of the fundraising was based on 100, that’s not a good look for CIG
I do not fully disagree. It could be somehow a detrimental point but if BBC talk about the 100 systems, showing what a system means in 2019 versus what it was intended to be back in 2014 will change most raised eyebrows in smiles… because there is simply no games offering such vista, features and tech while SC 3.8 is in everybody hands in few weeks.

Microtech planet alone with planet V4, jump point to Pyro are the best advocate of less is better. Also SQ42 at release will inject few more systems in SC.

Jay_Sleezy
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Jay_Sleezy

If u haven’t been following development anymore which sounds like u haven’t. The Pyro System which will be the 2nd system is already being worked on and looks to be accessible soon, we’ve seen a demo recently. At worst even it was 2 years down the road then your comment of “A Dozen or Two More Ships before they Begin working on the next system ” would mean 1-2 ships a month being dished out. Although that would be impressive please stop making comments about things like this if you aren’t actually following the development.