Star Citizen kicks off a week-long free fly event featuring the four finalists of its community ship showdown

    
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Dream ships.

Those who follow Star Citizen closely are likely familiar with the Ship Showdown, an annual community event where fans pick the best ship in the game’s roster through a series of polls. That in and of itself isn’t really much to write about, but it’s the event that’s being used as a reason for another free fly event for those who aren’t closely following Star Citizen.

From now until Monday, September 27th, new or existing registrants can redeem a special code — SHOWDOWN2021 — that will get them free access to the game’s current alpha 3.14 build and the four finalists of this year’s ship showdown: the C2 Hercules, the MPUV Cargo, the 600i Explorer, and the Mercury Star Runner. The ship showdown event is also being marked by the game’s pledge store, with the top 16 ships available for purchase between now and September 23rd and the final four available to pledge until September 27th.

sources: press release, official site (1, 2)
Longtime MMORPG gamers will know that Star Citizen was originally Kickstarted for over $2M back in 2012 with a planned launch for 2014. As of 2021, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised around $350M from gamers over years of continuing crowdfunding and sales of in-game ships and other assets. It is currently the highest-crowdfunded video game ever and has endured both indefatigable loyalty from advocates and immense skepticism from critics. A co-developed single-player title, Squadron 42, has also been repeatedly delayed.
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Ardra Diva

to me it looks like this thing will eventually be released and be what it is and that’s what it will be… so to speak. But I have long now realized it’s not the game I wanted and have lost interest. I also wonder if the gamer population will still care by the time it finally cuts the ribbon and opens its doors.

I believe that’s the double-edged sword of too many blogs and webinars discussing minutiae. Eventually the audience goes to sleep.

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MothballShow

Didn’t they just hold a couple of these?

I wonder if it might make more sense as far as stress-testing servers, getting more people to find bugs, etc. if they just made the game free until beta (or until 4.0 – whichever comes first), while rotating out playable ships to appeal to a wider potential customer base.

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Boe_Jlobers

The only SC stress-test that matters is the stress-testing of the whales wallets :)

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Joe Blobers

Could be a good idea if servers were free of charge. They are not.

With an average of 30.000 daily backers playing SC, CIG do have enough information and few weeks of free for all access do add the required servers stress to provide useful data.

What will appeal to a wider potential player base is more new gameplay and stability as most gamer do avoid any type of Alpha. Three more during the next quarters: medic, large container transport and salvage first implementation.

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MothballShow

Making the game free to play wouldn’t prevent CIG from making revenue. They could still have ship sales and sell aUEC to maintain servers and cover development. Plus, with more people testing that alpha, there would probably be more server wipes, hence the motivation for people to make more permanent purchases. Plus, they could generate more hype among the crowd who only log in for the free-fly events, with the understanding that prices will go up once the project hits beta.

I definitely agree that more gameplay and stability would appeal to a wider audience.

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Joe Blobers

CIG is not a Publisher with billions of $ in hands. Every single pledge is important at present if we want to keep the project in backers hands… through CR.

The goal is to reduce ships sale after release not the opposite and switch to a more ‘traditional’ cosmetic micro-transactions. You know… P2W raised regularly by some.
They have enough testers through daily connection and up to 100.000 during free events. That is way enough to test both client and server sides. As I said, servers cost a lot, at some point a company have to choose how to use their cash.
Publishers do have a straight forward answer: quarterly profit sharing. CIG don’t have this luxury.

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Joe Blobers

Adding a newly released info about XenoThreat event:

The Fight Against XenoThreat (Infographic)

We can see this is already a lot of data to sort out, including both transportation, resupply and fights involving many multiplayer actions.

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Chase Masters

I love the 600i! Awesome ship.

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ante b

rofl