Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

A wealth of Star Citizen updates dropped overnight, and it’s not good news for Freelancer fans who have been holding out since the original Kickstarter campaign. That Squadron 42 campaign you’ve been waiting so long for? Don’t expect to see it until 2020.

The date was included as part of a larger roadmap for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 that was updated this morning. As far as Squadron 42 is concerned, the roadmap contains a full list of goals for every single chapter’s whitebox narratives, playable goals, greyboxes for character interactions and story moments, and more.

Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

An example of one of the descriptions for the third phase of Chapter 3, and its rough completion.

Some chapters are in the “whitebox playable” stage right now, and with the beta not scheduled for release until the second quarter of 2020, there’s a possibility that the singleplayer mode won’t see a full release until 2021.

Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

The Star Citizen schedule is mapped out to the second quarter of 2019, covering the various elements that are set to be added into the persistent universe with each following alpha update (3.5 and 3.6, due out in Q1 2019 and Q2 2019 respectively). Most of those involve new ships, combat personalities for AI, inventory systems, guilds, ship-to-ship refuelling, weapons and other core engine technologies (like a new flight model).

Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

All of this was also followed with the news that Star Citizen has sold 10% equity in the Cloud Imperium parent companies to Snoot Entertainment and the family office of Clive Calder. In return, Chris Roberts and co. have raised an additional $64.68 million ($US46 million) and released details on the company’s finanicals for the last six years.

Some of that detail includes a breakdown of how much income the company has raised from 2012 to 2017. 2016 was Cloud Imperium’s most lucrative year, raising $US36 million in pledges:

Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020
Star Citizen’s Squadron 42 Won’t Hit Beta Until At Least 2020

Cloud Imperium employed 464 people around the world last year, with just under 400 of those staffers focused on development, 46 concentrating on marketing, events, community and publishing and another 38 handling administrative duties.

You can read more on the company’s financials here, while the roadmap for Star Citizen‘s persistent universe and singleplayer campaign can be tracked here.


  • Most importantly, don’t believe that this minority investor will in any way influence or limit Chris’s grandiose visions. Dirty concepts such as ‘return on investment’, ‘profit’ or even ‘reality’ cannot be allowed to tarnish the dream!

    • Lets face it, Chris Robots has a vision. And he is not taking any shortcuts. Especially when he has the money to do it. This is his second attempt at a game like this, the first being Freelancer, witch he ended up leaving because of comfits with Microsoft. It was still a dope game, but no where near what CR had in mind for it. And now he has complete freedom and cash to do it, hes going for it, all or nothing. So ether it will crash and burn, or it will become the greatest si-fi MMO over made. There is no in between here.

      • Roberts was over promising and under delivering with Freelancer and Microsoft started to put limits so that something would be released and give them some kind of return.

        If Kickstarter has taught us anything, it’s that freeing developers from the “shackles” of publishers doesn’t automatically mean they actually deliver better games. Sometimes it’s the dev that has the problem.

          • Is he tho? Like, I think a better example might be some of Double Fines projects… Such as DS9. Given, that was an Early Access game, but its pretty much the same thing at this point.

            And lets not forget that some of the tech there using for the game they had to build from scratch. Most of the bigger problems I see with SC is not so much Robots, but the choose he made in easing the Cryteck engine. Lumber Yard is what there on now, but its basically a modified Crytek engine that Amazon, of all company’s, made.

            If they had gone for UE4, I think they might have been a lot better off.

          • Well aware of all the rhetoric and spin that’s been put out there. But also consider the amount of feature creep that’s immensely slowed down production.

            So is he? Absolutely he is. He didn’t get that reputation for no reason.

  • I’d be genuinely interested in seeing how the development of this went if Chris had someone lighting a fire under his arse? While I get the idea of doing this without a publisher, I think we’re seeing what too much of an ego can lead to. I think there’s definitely something to be said for someone overseeing production to a degree as opposed to ‘too much’ artistic freedom potentially?

    • This investor is a de facto publisher. Since the investment money is to go towards publishing and marketing costs of Squadron 42, the rest of the development budget has to come from backers (excluding misc partnerships). At current burn rate, the entire S42/SC project will fold within 3 years (14 million funds remaining, -5 million net position each year). That means the projected windfall from S42 cannot be delayed beyond around 2021 without severe consequences. My gut feeling is that the investor would have built-in safeguards if that kind of situation were in the offing, possibly triggering something dramatic.

      • And in practicality, the situation would unravel very quickly by the third year – as you get to the end of that second year, and a lack of progress or release becomes apparent, the risk to the funds remaining increases substantially (read: more backers crack the shits and stop injecting new funds into the project). So the second year would need to either hit targets or start looking at massive layoffs, etc.

        • You’re right. The only unknown is the extent to which backers (including whales) would inject desperation funding in order to prop up the edifice rather than accept the loss of their ‘investment’ (sunk cost fallacy). I have no doubt if things approached that point, you’d get some last ditch emotional pitches by Roberts, railing against fate and blaming outside influences, all the while singing his siren’s song to backers to save the future of PC gaming and space sims. As several luminaries have pointed out, Roberts is nothing if not a pitch man. A dream weaver as it were.

          • The comments I see on this story (and every SC story it seems) just don’t match my experience of the Alpha of SC, and of the weekly emails I get from CIC, or with the general attitude of people playing the Alpha.

            Other developers have spent 6, 8, 10 years building their opus. The coverage of SC just goes to show that developers are right not to say anything to anyone about a new game before it comes out.

            RDR2 took eight years, didn’t it? But they didn’t say anything about it until 2016, and even then when they delayed it from the end of 2017 everyone was like “OMG is Rockstar going to fail, big problems with Red Dead Redemption 2 etc etc…”

          • I guess the difference though, is that Rockstar didn’t come out repeatedly with promises of release windows, then backtrack (only did that what, once?) and didn’t crowdfund their property. While I get noone also was forced to help crowdfund the game, it also casts the development in a different light. Ones privately funded with the money recouped from the public on the backend, while the other is funded upfront from the people with a bunch of promises repeatedly not met (but will likely be one day).

          • Except this is not an investment is it? An investment implies making a return if the project is commercially successful once completed. The is a funding a project, people are only donating money in the hope they will get a finished product. This in my mind makes it even less likely to succeed with the way they are going. I sense a class action in the future.

  • 3 more yrs. Or so. Maybe. Damn. I’m not surprised but that is a long time to keep those of us who backed only for another wing commander waiting. But they’ve had my money for years now. I’ve had children and upgraded my pc twice in that time. I’ll definitely have a new gfx card and psu at the least by the time this actually releases. Like it or not, I’ve got my ticket and I’m gonna see this thing when it’s done.

    If it doesn’t get done this is going to do down as the biggest scam in history.

    • 1 year and half for Beta SQ42. Knowing all assets will be used in SC and than a good aprt of the team is working on SC (planets, ships, multiple jobs), SC would be in Beta state not far from SQ42. As a backer that mean 2019 is going to be a great year with many new activities to discover

  • Everything I saw in the original pitch I loved, and desperately want. Here I am, 6 years later, 4 years past the original planned ship date, and looking like another 2 or 3 years before it happens. I still want what I saw, but I have long since given up hope of this seeing the light of day.

    • I just wanted Wing commander the next generation when the initial reports popped up he was thinking about making a game way back in the long ago times

  • Now y’all know how them Popes felt when they comissioned cathedrals that didn’t get finished for 300 years.

    My understanding is that technically the cathedral in Florence STILL isn’t finished, but the fact it’s not finished is now so much part of its identity that the people of Florence don’t WANT it finished, because the modern technology that would be used to finish it will make it end up not as good.

    You know, like Duke Nukem Forever.

    • Finished or not people can get there and enjoy it. I can enjoy SC Alpha then Beta. Should I look for rush game or re-skinned triple-A, there are enough choice out there. Pledging 35 or 50$ to such a project is nothing. My Steam account is full of games I did not even launch once or just for 10 minutes.
      That is where is the real waste of cash.

  • I don’t even care about S42, just give slow down on the feature creep in multiplayer. I just want a space sim with better player interaction than Elite.

  • Given this is a new IP I’m ok with a 8 year development time, it’s a BIG project afterall and if anyone wants to give it a try there is the alpha version.

    I might give it a shot when 3.4 hits, personally I really want Vulkan render api to be a thing for this game.

  • So this question is one for all the finance minded peeps on this thread who follow the development of this game:

    Does Star Citizen/S41 actually need a certain amount of box sales when released, to make a profit? Or is all the kickstarter money they have amassed over the past 8 years or whatever, enough that even if they don’t sell any boxes outside of the existing backers/whales, they will still make a profit?

  • Someone wake me up if this turns out to be the spiritual successor to Wing Commander 3 and 4 and is actually good

  • As a reminder: Red Dead Redemption 2 took 8 years to make with an established studio (Employees already hired, game engine was used in GTA5 etc). Star Citizen had to build everything from scratch.

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