Star Citizen release date news and rumours: Squadron 42 trailer revealed

After millions of dollars and many years, it seems Star Citizen is making some headway.

Released at ‘CitizenCon’ recently was a trailer for the game Squadron 42, which is a game set in the Star Citizen universe that makes the most of some of the extra funding the game received.

The trailer is a who’s who of famous voice actors with Gillian Anderson, Andy Serkis, Mark Strong, Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill and more making appearances. Obviously Cloud Imperium Games is making the most of all the extra money received.

In terms of content, the trailer actually shows barely anything else other than generic space-themed shots, and confusing quotes from all of these famous voice actors. It seems intent to show off the tech and voice acting, rather than impart knowledge on the game.

Just like Star Citizen, Squadron 42 has no official release date yet, however it’s anticipated to be released before Star Citizen. 

Below is everything we know about Star Citize

Star Citizen is the most crowd funded game in existence. After its initial round of crowdfunding finished back in 2012, leaving Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games with $6.2 million (£4.6 million) in funding, it’s gone on to raise more than $175 million (£130 million) in its lifetime.

That’s certainly an impressive figure, but the trouble with Star Citizen is that the studio behind it – Cloud Imperium Games – still hasn’t delivered on its promise. Originally slated for a 2014 release, Star Citizen has been delayed countless times, sliding from 2014 to 2015, then to 2016… now it no longer has an expected release date.

Those frustrations are tempted by the sheer ambition of what Star Citizen is attempting to do. Set up by veteran developer Chris Roberts, who created the classic Wing Commander series in the 1990s, Star Citizen sets out to be the be-all end-all of space games. It pulls from a number of different genres, from flight combat simulators to first-person shooters. The studio puts out regular videos detailing updates to the game’s universe, but the question ultimately facing Star Citizen is: can it pull off its grand vision as a cohesive whole, or is it simply too bloated to complete?

Why is Star Citizen controversial?

Delays and questions about profit, essentially. As previously mentioned, Star Citizen was originally supposed to come out as a complete game in 2014. It didn’t and has been pushed back ever since. Don’t hold your breath on a release anytime soon, either, as Cloud Imperium Games has shifted some of its focus to delivering another title in the Star Citizen universe. Known as Squadron 42, starring the actor Gary Oldman, it’s slated to land by the end of this year. Confidence in the franchise is waning as that too missed its initial release date of autumn 2015.

Scientology in video-game form, you might think, but you’d be wrong. At least partially. While the game has certainly had a troubled development (Julian Benson’s long look at the subject for Kotaku is worth a read), the makers do seem genuinely invested in creating something wonderful. Whether that ambition translates to a final product remains to be seen. In a few years, Star Citizen could be held up as a spectacular, sprawling virtual galaxy, or the most expensive failure in video game history. 

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When is the Star Citizen release date?

I wish I could tell you, but it seems that even Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games doesn’t know when to expect it.

Fan pages have speculated that it will arrive by the end of 2018. Going by previous release schedules we’d say that’s a rather ambitious estimate but, as the game’s creator Chris Roberts has stated, Star Citizen won’t have a traditional commercial launch, so it’s entirely possible that it will leave alpha by the end of this year/start of next. For now, the Star Citizen Alpha 3.1 is available, which includes a bunch of moons and surface outposts to explore. 

Star Citizen received a brand-new trailer at this year’s E3 to showcase the extra content that’s coming as part of its upcoming Alpha 3.2 update.

The, supposedly, in-engine trailer didn’t showcase all that much, but it sure does look pretty. There’s planetary exploration, tonnes of ships and structure building and, in all honesty, not a lot of gameplay footage. Still, if you’re a fan of Star Citizen – and have probably spent a lot of money on it – you’ll likely be very pleased by the trailer.

Star Citizen: Everything you need to know

What is Star Citizen about?

In essence, Star Citizen is part Elite: Dangerous, part EVE Online-style MMO, part sci-fi craft porn and part immersive first-person shooter. It’s all things to all people, but that comes with a whole bunch of issues.

Currently very little is known about the general direction of the game and, as it stands, you’ll only have to buy the full release once to have access to it for life. As far as big, open-world, MMOs go, that’s one sweet cost of entry, and likely to change over time if Cloud Imperium Games wants to keep itself afloat when backers finally dry up after a final release. 

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Why is Star Citizen taking so long to come out?

As you may have gleaned already, Star Citizen is massively ambitious. The biggest problem Cloud Imperium Games has is nailing down a ‘final’ version of a game whose scope refuses to cease. With more backers jumping aboard to gain access to Star Citizen’s alpha, more money flows into CIG’s coffers, thus increasing its potential scope – just where do you stop when the funds seem almost never-ending?

Hopefully with the launch of Squadron 42, perhaps we’ll be one step closer to completion. According to creator Chris Roberts, the underlying tech is almost entirely in place, meaning it’s just world building and mission populating left to sort.

What do I get for backing Star Citizen now?

If you back Star Citizen now, it’s not really all that clear what you get for your money. Original supporters and Kickstarter backers already have access to the Star Citizen alpha builds. For newcomers, however, there’s a slightly different set of ways you can get into a version of Star Citizen you can play.

Heading over to the Pledge or Game Packages section of the official Star Citizen website shows you what you can buy to enter into the world of Star Citizen. Ultimately these packages tend to revolve around either picking up Squadron 42 as a standalone purchase or buying various ships to play with in the main persistent universe of Star Citizen. Each ship you buy gives you access to the alpha build, and some of the higher-priced packages dish out some extra bonuses too.

If you’re wondering how much a general ship will set you back, a base-level ship costs $54, which includes access to Star Citizen too. Bigger ships come in at around the $100-$150 mark, and if you start getting involved in buying the “Battle Pack”, “Fleet Pack” and other various “Pack” options, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $1,300 up to $18,000. And fans wonder why some people call Star Citizen a scam…

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Once you’ve picked up a pack you like the look of, you can also opt for insurance on your craft. Intended to help replicate and fuel the in-game economy, this allows you to replace your ship if something happens to it, which, let’s be honest, is likely to happen in the wilds of space.

Subscription options are also available to Star Citizen players, although these aren’t essential. Subscriptions will provide you with some in-game bonuses like cosmetic items for your virtual hangar or a real-world digital monthly magazine about what’s happening in Star Citizen’s development team. It’s clear this is really only intended for the Star Citizen purists.

You can buy a buy a £20,300 Star Citizen ship pack

Star Citizen may be edging ever closer towards finally having some sort of actual release but, while you wait for it to actually become a reality, the folks over at Cloud Imperium Games have decided it’s high time you had the ability to buy everything in the game in one go. Yep, that’s right, there’s now a ship pack for Star Citizen that gives you access to all 117 ships and extras right from the off.

The catch? It costs £20,300.

Yeah. That.

The Legatus Pack, costing $27,000 (£20,300) in real money gives you absolutely everything you can get in Star Citizen in a single pack. It’s a lavish cost, and one that suggests that CIG clearly rate the value of their game rather highly. Interestingly, you can’t just waltz in and slam down a disgusting amount of money to buy the Legatus Pack. Instead, CIG has limited availability to players who have already spent $1,000 (£750) on Star Citizen already. The decision is really there just to make sure you’re a serious player who can actually afford to drop so much money on a video game.

If you think nobody will bite and buy the pack, you’re probably wrong. Not only has Star Citizen raised an absurd amount of money ($185 million in fan pledges alone), it’s clear that its rabid fans are happy to spend absurd amounts to support it – even if it never sees the light of day.

Star Citizen: Over $175m raised so far in crowdfunding

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games has announced that, in 2017 alone, it raised $34.9m via crowdfunding. Since its initial $2m funding from Kickstarter closed, Star Citizen has now gone on to raise an absurd $175m in crowdfunding, begging the question of just how likely it is to actually release a game.

The data, released to Polygon, has a couple of discrepancies worth highlighting – such as the number of requested refunds there have been – but it’s clear Star Citizen is a lucrative funding campaign for CIG. In fact, it looks as if Star Citizen has raised more money than every game that’s had a Kickstarter funding campaign.

Obviously, CIG and it’s sister company Roberts Space Industries (RSI) are beholden to backers to deliver on a product. However, it can take its sweet time doing so if it’s raking in a healthy $35m in funding each year.

The real worry on what might kill the Star Citizen project isn’t its fans asking for refunds due to non-delivery of product, it’s the lawsuit Crytek has brought against the company.

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