How do you celebrate the eighth birthday of an MMO that technically still hasn't been fully released? Why, you hold a Q&A to let fans know that its singleplayer spin-off is nowhere near coming out either, of course.
Over the weekend, the Star Citizen devs, Cloud Imperium, held a Q&A over on their forums as part of its birthday celebrations. Despite rules on the thread saying fans weren't allowed to ask about "timelines or schedules", that is exactly what they did. As it turns out, the story game set in its universe, Squadron 42, is still a long ways off.
"Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date but instead once all the tech and content is finished, polished and it plays great," says director Chris Roberts.
"I am not willing to compromise making a game I believe in with all my heart and soul, and even though everyone (including me) wants Squadron 42 sooner than later, it would be doing a huge disservice to everyone working really hard on the project and all of you that are looking forward to it to deliver something that isn't great."
Squadron 42 has been kicking about for a long time. It was supposed to come out in 2016 before being delayed indefinitely, and years later there still isn't a playable build of it. It seems only fair that backers are disgruntled at the lack of info about it all, and Roberts admits the devs do need to do better.
“We haven’t been happy with how effectively we’ve been showing progress on Squadron 42, as we felt the previous format didn’t do a good job of all in communicating just how much work is going on," he says.
"Squadron 42 is a tricky project to communicate on as we really don’t want to give the experience and story away which can make updating on certain content or features challenging.”
That much is evident, seeing as the devs have changed and revised the game's roadmap multiple times.
Cloud Imperium have already started to better detail the progress being made on Squadron 42, however, releasing the first episode of a series called The Briefing Room. They plan on bringing out four of these a year. This first one takes you on some walkthroughs of the game's space stations with commentary from the developers.
Just last month he reassured fans that Star Citizen wasn't "a pipe dream", too, but it's a little hard to believe those comments when both games seem nowhere near completion.
So, uh, happy birthday Star Citizen, I guess? It wasn't really its birthday so much as it was the eighth anniversary of the game being announced, but it was a nice sentiment, I suppose. A Q&A sesh that got way off track wasn't the only celebration, though. Cloud Imperium also released a new alpha of Star Citizen, removing some of the safe Armistice Zones, and adding in some new spaceships with lots of pressable buttons.
If the singleplayer story stuff is more your thing, Squadron 42 is shaping up to be pretty cool. It'll plonk players in the shoes of a rookie pilot aboard a big capital ship, with a mixture of spaceship fights and on-foot first-person shooting. It'll even have an all-star cast with the voice talents of Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Andy Serkis and more, you know, if it ever comes out.