It’s a source of endless frustration for backers and MMO players and a running joke in our own comments: Will Star Citizen ever release, and will we be too old to even play it when it does? Well, we still can’t answer that question, and anyone who does is making it up, but we might have a new window for Squadron 42, the standalone-spinoff game that is supposed to launch before its MMORPG sibling.
The star-studded Squadron 42 was originally meant to launch all the way back in 2014 and missed all of its windows since, with Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts telling folks in 2020 that it “will be done when it’s done.” By the end of that year, Roberts said he also wouldn’t be showing gameplay for the title in public or discuss release dates until closer to the “home stretch,” presumably owing heavily to the dust-up over those missed windows and roadmaps.
It’s 2022 now, and the studio has suggested in a glossy six-page MCV/Develop spread that the game is still around two years out, largely thanks to Roberts’ move to Manchester, where CIG is in the process of establishing a new base of ops as of this spring.
“I guess we’ll see how long [Roberts] needs to be over,” CIG COO Carl Jones says. “But yeah, it could be one or two years more. He’s spending more time over here with the Squadron 42 team and with our other developers, but it’ll be this year when he moves over for longer periods of time. Hopefully that means we can progress Squadron 42 through to completion faster. We want to get that game finished, but it will be finished when it’s ready.”
MCV extrapolates that the formation of the new Manchester studio, which will bring the studio to over 1000 workers within five years, means that Star Citizen could be eyeballing a 2027 launch. Jones doesn’t exactly confirm that, but he does say that “by that time, [CIG] will be operating a very large MMORPG.”
Incidentally, MCV asks Jones about the potential for a “metaverse” with Star Citizen, and you can just hear the polite skepticism in Jones’ reply as he clarifies that CIG isn’t planning to be distracted by pie-in-the-sky fads. “Maybe one day we’ll have something that people refer to as a metaverse – we’ll certainly have the technology to build it – but that’s not our business focus. Our focus right now is delivering Star Citizen and Squadron 42 to the community that supported us.”
Finally, Jones addresses the ongoing discrimination scandals in the industry, offering that CIG had already made efforts to improve its diversity to suit its diverse audience well before recent scandals.