Over the last couple of years, Cloud Imperium Games has been pretty liberal with Star Citizen’s Public Roadmap in that not only did they list on it things that were absolutely happening, nearing completion and the like, but also what they were working on at the moment – even if that thing might never actually make it into the player’s hands. At one point, they shared over 450 features across 50 teams. They refer to this change in how the roadmap works as going from “delivery” to “progress”. Last week, the community team dropped a post on the game’s forums explaining why they’ve decided to shift back away from this.
As it turns out when players see things listed on a game roadmap, many tend to take that as a promise rather than a “This is a thing we’re currently toying around with and it may not actually happen”. That’s not terribly surprising considering that’s effectively what most game development roadmaps are centered around and players have been trained to read them as such. However, according to the post, CIG had made extensive efforts to convey that anything labeled as “Tentative” wasn’t a guarantee, no matter how much players wanted them to be.
The post goes on to state that while not everyone actually fell into that thought process, the ones who did were apparently loud and irritating enough that they were a distraction both to the devs and the community, and (this is probably the most important part) the Star Citizen fans that don’t exist yet but might if people would just chill out.
As a result, going forward, CIG is doing away with showing “deliverables” for any patches beyond the one coming up in the roadmap Release View, deciding it’s better to not share something until they’ve committed to it.
As it turns out, not all the players are exactly taking this well, believing that it’s a big ole “go f**k [yourselves]” to long-time fans and that CIG is laying their failures at the feet of the players. One Reddit post even brings up the fact that they’d ceased developing “core gameplay pillars” for Squadron 42, originally intended to release in 2014.
While we can understand why CIG would decide to shift away from sharing the tentative items that might just never make it into the game and avoid continuing to upset players – because, let’s be honest, there are lots of people who think “maybe” is a promise – it seems like they went about it in a very bad way. There had to be a way to do this that didn’t include publicly stating that fans who poured out a lot of money over a decade are a distraction to the developers getting things done. Unless said fans are sending death threats. Then, yes. Go ahead and call that out.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various gaming sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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