Chris Roberts laments cynicism around Star Citizen development

Chris Roberts laments cynicism around Star Citizen development

The creator of Star Citizen Chris Roberts has said that he is disappointed by some of the cynicism he sees online.

In a blog post on the Roberts Space Industries website, the developer lamented how some people "assume the worst" about a game's creation, particularly when features are removed or not released on time.

"If a feature is missing, late or buggy it's because the company or the developer lied and or / is incompetent as opposed to the fact that it just took longer and had more problems than the team thought it would when they originally set out to build it," he wrote.

"Developers by their very nature are optimistic. You have to be to build things that haven't ever been built before. Otherwise the sheer weight of what is needed to be done can crush you. But being optimistic or not foreseeing issues isn't the same as lying or deliberately misleading people. Everyone at CIG is incredibly passionate about making Star Citizen the most immersive massively multiplayer first person universe sandbox, and everyone works very hard to deliver that. If we could deliver harder, faster, better we would. We get just as frustrated with the time things take."

Addressing how long Star Citizen has been in development, Roberts said that he wasn't "willing to compromise" the game's potential. He went on to say that the gameplay that has been described isn't a "pipe dream."

"This is the game I've dreamed of my whole life. Now I am in a position to realise it, I am not willing to compromise it's potential because it is taking longer than I originally envisioned," he said.

"What I will commit to, and what is an internal priority is to improve the current gameplay and quality of life as we go, as Star Citizen is already fun in many ways, even if more buggy and not as stable as I would like, and just finishing off and polishing the basics will make it play as well or better than most other games.

"I can promise you the gameplay I described is not a pipe dream, nor will it take 10 to 20 years to deliver. I described systems we either have working, or are working on; we've even shown early versions of some of this like fire on Inside Star Citizen. I can't promise you exactly what quarter it will come together but once the new Road Map web work is done you'll be able to see the teams progress to achieving what I describe in real time."

To date, Star Citizen has raised over $313.5m in crowdfunding from 2.8m people, meaning that the project has attracted $52.5m in 2020 to date. That's on top of a $17.25m investment that developer Cloud Imperium landed in March of this year.

Star Citizen was originally funded via Kickstarter in 2012, with the game initially being set for a 2014 release date. We're now well past that time frame and some backers of the title are far from happy. In 2019, it was revealed that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had received 129 complaints from people who had put their money behind the project.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.