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Chris Roberts says Star Citizen is approaching the “finish line” of version 1.0

Crowdfunded space sim Star Citizen recently reached a new milestone with the first player seamlessly moving between two star systems on different servers, and now Cloud Imperium Games CEO Chris Roberts is indicating that a version 1.0 release may finally be on the horizon .

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It’s been over a decade since Roberts first showed off the Star Citizen prototype. Since then, the space game has grossed more than $670 million and has become two separate projects: a single-player Wing Commander successor called Squadron 42 and an ongoing universe MMO called Star Citizen.

 

Squadron 42, which featured A-list actors including Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman, was declared “feature-complete” late last year, and Roberts now says those features are being transferred to the ongoing universe at an “accelerated pace” . Meanwhile, a recent technological milestone in which a player named “MrTrash” became the first to travel between star systems through a wormhole represents a vital step towards the MMO’s release to version 1.0.

 

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After many difficult years of working toward a goal many thought impossible, we are on the cusp of delivering one of the last pieces of technology that will create a connected, shared universe that thousands of people can experience together at the same time.

 

The technology, which they call a “server network”, allows players to seamlessly move between locations that are hosted on different servers (it’s actually more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it). The recent test also set a new record for the most concurrent players on a Star Citizen server, with 350, according to Roberts.

 

There’s more information about the server network in the Q&A , but the main takeaway is that Roberts believes the release of Star Citizen 1.0 is close enough to be talked about seriously. Now that Squadron 42 is feature-complete, the development team has been reorganized and is heading “toward Star Citizen’s own finish line,” he said, although crossing that line certainly won’t mean the end of development.

 

Star Citizen 1.0 is what we consider to be a collection of features and content that represents a “commercial” release. This means the game welcomes new players, is stable and polished, with enough gameplay and content to keep players consistently engaged. In other words, this is no longer an alpha version or early access.

 

Cloud Imperium CTO Benoit Beausejour says the company is now “full steam ahead” towards the launch of the server network in Star Citizen Alpha 4.0, which will “mark a new beginning” for the game’s architecture. Senior game director Rich Tyrer added that in pursuit of the 1.0 goal, players should expect “major updates every quarter with many changes to systems that haven’t been touched in a long time, such as the economy, insurance, etc.,” as well as “a whole bunch of improvements quality of life” and “all-new features and content.”

As part of this push towards 1.0, Roberts says he moved from Los Angeles to Austin to be closer to the time zones of Manchester, Frankfurt and Montreal, where Star Citizen development is concentrated. As a result, Cloud Imperium’s Los Angeles office was downsized and developers based there were asked to move to other offices, mainly in Manchester. Roberts notes one departure from the company. Live Continuous Universe director Todd Paper, who had been living in the UK but moved back to the US, was fired: “…after much consideration I have decided that we cannot afford to have this role away from the main team in Manchester in for a significant part of the year.”

 

I’ll miss the sunny skies and beaches of Los Angeles, but Star Citizen and Squadron 42 take precedence. The journey is longer and more challenging than I imagined 11 and a half years ago, but the final destination is much more exciting and fulfilling. I never dreamed of getting the opportunity to create something of the scale and ambition of Star Citizen, and so I feel incredibly blessed by all of your support, and I’m determined to finish it all.

 

Squadron 42, which was supposed to release first in 2014 and then in 2016, does not have a release date, nor does Star Citizen 1.0, although the alpha version is already playable by purchasing the starter pack.

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