This Sunday will see crowdfunded space ’em up Star Citizen [official site] split into two games, the MMO-y sandbox Star Citizen and the singleplayer campaign Squadron 42. Sort of. Not really. It’s two separate ‘packages’, at least. As this has evidently surprised some, developers Cloud Imperium Games have explained more about what it is, saying they’d “like to clear up some confusion about exactly what’s happening!”
In short, if you already own Star Citizen you’re fine. By which I mean the whole game previously sold as ‘Star Citizen’. Not the module/package/game/thing ‘Star Citizen’. Oh yes, I see where this can get confusing.
It is simple, though. From February 14th, Squadron 42 and Star Citizen will be sold separately. They’ll be $45 each, but buying the other will only cost an extra $15. Folks who’ve already backed or otherwise bought The Game Formerly Known As Star Citizen will receive both.
Though Sq42 and SC will be sold separately, they are still joined in ways.
“The package split does not change the fact that Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are part of the same game universe, or the fact that the games are functionally connected. You will access Squadron 42 through the same game client. And your performance in Squadron 42 will still have an impact on your career in the persistent universe, whether you buy both segments together or if you choose to add one further down the line. Finally, you will receive access to Star Citizen’s Arena Commander with the ‘Squadron 42’ pledge to practice your flying skills.”
Basically, folks interested in the singleplayer but not the multiplayer (or vice versa) will be able to get the part they want for a bit cheaper. Cloud Imperium say:
“When we started Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign, the plan was that earlier backers would get a lower price on the Star Citizen starter package than those that backed later. The plan was to first gradually increase the price and then split up various modules for ‘a la carte options.'”
They didn’t share this plan in their initial Kickstarter pitch, mind. “Star Citizen is meant to be everything you ever dreamed you could have in a Space-Sim, all in one glorious ever-evolving package,” they said in 2012. I suppose that’s still true for folks who backed that and will receive all parts of The Game Formerly Known As Star Citizen. And, technically, evolution can lead to diverging branches.
Oh, and the current Star Citizen ‘Free Fly’ demo – that’s Star Citizen the module, not The Game Formerly Known As Star Citizen – has been extended until Sunday. Have a go if you’re curious about all this.