Star Citizen development team Robert Space Industries misses yet another release window for the standalone Star Citizen campaign beta of Squadron 42. What was originally slated for third quarter 2020 according to RSI’s announcement in August 2019, had been recently removed from the project roadmap on Dec. 23. The removal was followed up by Chris Roberts, the creator of Star Citizen, relaying disappointing news to fans telling them not to expect any release or finish dates for the game anytime soon.
Roberts states “Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date.” He iterates that RSI will not be showing off any of Squadron 42’s “gameplay, locations, or assets” before the game is ready for marketing. “If we show the non-spoiler gameplay now, that’s prime footage and gameplay that could have been used closer to release,” Roberts said.
“Because of this I have decided that it is best to not show Squadron 42 gameplay publicly, nor discuss any release date until we are closer to the home stretch and have high confidence in the remaining time needed to finish the game to the quality we want,” Roberts concludes.
Squadron 42 is a single-player, story-based campaign set in the Star Citizen universe, and stars an A-list Hollywood cast that includes Mark Hamill, Gillian Anderson, and Gary Oldman. The core game, Star Citizen, is a spaceflight and first-person shooter MMO that’s been in development since 2011. Squadron 42 was, at the time, being developed with the core game as a Kickstarter campaign in October 2012 with a release window of 2014. By February 2016, RSI decided to split the two games into separate entities, very likely for sales purposes.
RSI heavily promoted a 2016 launch year for Squadron 42 but reneged on this date during CitizenCon in October of the same year. We have yet to see an actual launch date since, with the most recent announcement being a quarter 2020 beta.
The majority of Star Citizen’s funding has come from the sale of in-game space ships, pushing the total money raised since its 2012 Kickstarter to over $339 million. The game has almost 3 million backers, even picking up a $46 million private investment from billionaire record producer Clive Calder in 2018. Just this year alone the game has raised more than $77 million, surpassing 2019’s record of $47.7 million.
Roberts writes “In the meantime, Star Citizen is the best visibility into the gameplay and technical progress we make; you can download a new update every three months with new features and content, as well as advances in tech.” He continues “My hope is that you’ll be so engaged in Star Citizen that Squadron 42 will be here before you know it.”
A 40-player combined arms multiplayer mode named Theater of War was announced in November 2019. Developers had hoped to deliver it in early 2020. Since the announcement, it has been stuck in closed alpha testing limbo without a release date. Roberts Space Industries continues to falter on their release windows. Currently the only available Star Citizen gameplay fans and backers can take part in is its “Persistent Universe” which is currently in alpha version 3.12.
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