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How Long Has Star Citizen Been In Development?

Awaiting the release of Star Citizen? Here’s how long it has been in the making.

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how long is star citizen in development

Star Citizen is a highly-anticipated game being developed and published by Cloud Imperium Games which has been in the making for a long time. It’s a multiplayer, space trading and combat sim game and is planned to release for Windows PC. If you’re eagerly waiting for this title and are wondering how long has Star Citizen been in development and how much money has gone into it, here’s what you need to know.

How Long has Star Citizen been in Development?

star citizen development time

Source: Roberts Space Industries

Star Citizen has been in development for more than 12 years now.

Its journey began with pre-production which started in 2010. The production started in 2011 using CryEngine 3. Companies like CGBot, Rmory, VoidAlpha, and Behaviour Interactive started work on the early prototype of the game as well as concept art.

Here’s a breakdown of its development timeline:

  • 2010: Pre-production begins.
  • 2011: Production officially starts with CryEngine 3.
  • 2012: Kickstarter campaign raises over $2 million, later exceeding $10 million.
  • 2013: First alpha version released for backers.
  • 2014: Star Citizen intial release date was anticipated for 2014 but it was missed, further development continues.
  • 2015-2022: Continuous updates and expansions added, funding surpasses $500 million.
  • 2020: Chris Roberts announces that there will be no official release date or gameplay footage at this time.
  • 2023: Squadron 42 campaign (single-player) announced as “feature complete,” entering polish phase.

The studio Cloud Imperium Games itself was founded in 2012. Chris Roberts, one of the founders of the studio, who has worked on the Wing Commander series has claimed that Star Citizen is a spiritual successor to Wing Commander.

Despite being in development for over a decade, Star Citizen still lacks a confirmed release date for its full version or the single-player campaign, Squadron 42. This extended development has attracted both praise and criticism, with supporters admiring its ambition and scope, while some others question its timeline and resource management.

It’s interesting to note that Star Citizen’s development timeline places it alongside some iconic games that were developed within similar timeframes:

  • Red Dead Redemption 2: 8 years (2010-2018)
  • Cyberpunk 2077: 8 years (2013-2021)
  • Starfield: 8 years (2015-2023)

However, compared to these titles, Star Citizen’s ongoing development and evolving nature make it difficult to directly compare their development spans.

How much money has gone into Star Citizen’s development?

Star Citizen has broken crowdfunding records by raising $3.5 million in 24 hours and now the overall amount raised is $644 million. This gives it a higher budget than RDR2, GTA 5, and Cyberpunk 2077 combined, as per Game Rant. Out of this entire amount, $104 million was from 2023 itself which shows that fans are still eagerly waiting and willing to back this project.

As of today, we await any official announcement about the Star Citizen release date and if there’s any information straight from the developers or via any leaks, we will cover it right here on Gaming Inbox.

Maria is a part-time gamer, part-time painter and full-time Otaku. Her love for Anime started with Pokemon as she watched and drew Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and other cute Pokemon. Upon finding out about the games she became a big RPG fan. However, RPGs aren't the only type of game she likes. You can also find her maining Mileena, Kitana, and Johnny Cage in MK1.

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