Star Citizen has reached Alpha 2.0, and with it has surpassed $100 million in funding. Despite controversy as to the delegation of those resources, Star Citizen continues to grow unabated.
Chris Roberts’ science fiction magnum opus continues to blaze past all preconceived notions of crowdfunding limitations. Since October of 2012, Chris and the team at Roberts Space Industries have been pushing toward what is easily the most ambitious video game concept ever introduced. It’s a project with unprecedented scale, riding on the sort of technology that would cripple most titles.
Alpha 2.0 is the most complete demonstration of the game thus far, with a long list of playable features and several different environments in which to test them. With 17 open world missions, over 20 random encounters, and a space station within which you can test the FPS mechanics — it’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but it’s significantly meatier than anything else we’ve seen so far.
But how much is too much? Cliff Harris, developer of Democracy and Big Pharma, thinks we’ve already passed that point. In a blog post inspired by — but not solely regarding — Star Citizen, Harris expresses concern with the vastly unregulated gaming economy. He calls for the government to “save us from ourselves” by taking a closer look at just how these emergent funding models are being utilized by mobile developers and people like Chris Roberts.
I hate regulation, but sometimes you need it. Stopping a business dumping waste in a river is a good idea. Stopping companies treating their customers like animals that can be psychologically trapped and exploited is a good idea too. This stuff is too easy.
It’s a situation that bears considering, regardless of what solution you think fits best. Some of Roberts’ own former and current employees have allegedly expressed concern with the project in the very recent past, citing problems ranging from the game’s budgetary challenges to the work environment.
Needless to say, Roberts and RSI have a lot to prove. Early reports from players of Alpha 2.0 suggest a wealth of problems, but it’s difficult to draw a line between what is expected of a game in its alpha stage, and what could be cause for concern.
Star Citizen isn’t going away any time soon, and Breitbart Tech will be keeping an eye on its progress. There is certainly cause for intense skepticism, but if Roberts’ dream manages to even orbit its proposed reality, it will be one of the greatest triumphs of the medium. Now it just needs to prove that to over $100,000,000 worth of investors.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.