Will $120m video game Star Citizen ever be ready to launch?

Star Citizen is an epic game development project, crowdfunded to the tune of $124m (million!) and directed by industry legend Chris Roberts. But whether it'll end up an epic game remains unclear, as endless feature creep, ambition and internal rancor see the project enter its fifth year. While Roberts was bothering his devs to add multiple layers of clothing to the game, each with different fabric properties, David Braben was shipping Elite 4 to hungry star pilots.

Julian Benson, for Kotaku UK:

“That was probably the most ridiculous project I've ever worked on,” a source said. “I've got little tolerance for poor leadership and management. I think they're two of the pillars that holds a team up. It doesn't matter what industry you're looking at. If you've poor leadership anywhere you will find unhappy people. I think that at CIG you're going to take your cues from the person who is running the ship and if the ship is not doing very well [...] it creates problems from the top down.

“I think he got too much money too fast, that he wasn't held accountable for his words, actions, or things he was supposed to deliver, and he turned the project into a runaway idea. I think that if there were people around him to take the CEO duty off his shoulders, or he had more trust in his directors and didn't micromanage them as much, that he would be seen as a much easier person to work with.”

In response to these accusations of micromanagement, Roberts happily admitted that he checks a lot of individual art that goes into Star Citizen.

An interesting pattern: the loudest denouncers of Star Citizen seem to be disgruntled employees and industry has-beens trying to curry favor with angry gamers. The effect is to make it all seem like empty drama and inoculate Star Citizen against more credible criticism.

The game looks beautiful. I hope it comes together.