A significant dispatch of Star Citizen news arrives today, along with some budget transparency and timeline updates for its single-player Squadron 42 campaign, which now expects its beta launch in the second quarter of 2020. For players excited to experience Squadron 42, it looks like a surprise billionaire investor has stepped in to assure the culmination of this project - but those players will have to prepare for a (longer) wait.
The game Star Citizen is the preposterously ambitious space sim project originally publicized back in 2012 under the guidance of Wing Commander series founder Chris Roberts, with a headlines-grabbing Kickstarter campaign that eventually raised $4.2 million in pledges by closing. That figure was merely the beginning, however, and continued direct crowdfunding objectives led Star Citizen to amass $15 million by 2013 and a whopping $211 million at the time of this writing; an impressive sum which dignifies the game as the most crowdfunded project of any kind by a significant margin, despite the fact that a complete release commitment continues to elude expectant backers.
The good news is that Cloud Imperium Games has issued a formal and detailed timeline of release for Squadron 42. The bad news is that backers apparently won’t get their hands on a playable beta of the single-player campaign experience until the second quarter of 2020. If Squadron 42 truly arrives on that date, it would represent the culmination of nearly eight years since Star Citizen successfully reached its Kickstarter goal on November 19, 2012.
It should be noted that Star Citizen’s expansive backer community of over two million players has been able to engage certain facets and playable modules during its tumultuous development saga, but Squadron 42 bears a special distinction as the spiritual successor to Roberts’ lauded space sim Wing Commander. Previous claims by the creator led backers to believe that Squadron 42 would see the light of day last year, but, as with most Star Citizen news, these dates would uneventfully pass by.
If Star Citizen represents an ambitious project, Squadron 42 is downright luxurious, boasting a detailed narrative starring an expected cast of prominent household-name actors, including Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, and Andy Serkis, among others. This may be why Roberts revealed a remarkable new investment of $46 million provided to its development by billionaire Clive Calder and his son Keith; the latter individual is financing his portion through his production company, Snoot Entertainment.
This massive investment nets the Calders an estimated 10 percent ownership of Cloud Imperium Games’ shares, along with seats on the board of directors. Roberts yet maintains a majority control of his company, an evolving concern which now spans 464 employees across the world, and has reached a professed valuation of $450 million in the wake of this newest investment. As the Star Citizen roadmap continues to be plotted out, Cloud Imperium Games’ coffers seem boundless. For now, fans of Roberts’ work at least have a potential timeline to track for one of Star Citizen’s most exciting promises: a true follow-up to the Wing Commander series.
Source: Cloud Imperium Games