The heir to the space-sim throne, Star Citizen, is set to bear the first of its treasures to those who backed it on May 29, according to a blog post by developer Cloud Imperium Games’ lead Chris Roberts.
On that day, those who helped raise $43.6 million in funding for the game will be given access to the single player Free Flight and Vanduul Swarm modes, and a select batch of multiplayer testers will gain access to the Arena Commander mode as well.
Arena Commander is the game’s dogfighting multiplayer mode that allows players to focus exclusively on ship-to-ship combat without infringing on the larger MMO world. According to Roberts, a small number of players will be given access to Arena Commander so as to allow easier management of bugfixing and server stability. As things progress, more and more players will be allowed to join in.
Gameplay footage of Star Citizen‘s Arena Commander mode was revealed to the public at PAX East 2014 to thunderous applause.
Although the game is expected to be finished sometime in 2015, Roberts explained the May 29 date for the afore-mentioned game modes and why no specific release date for the final product has been announced thus far:
This date is based on our best possible projections using the latest information put together by Star Citizen’s production team as of this afternoon. This is a big part of what the often-unseen production side of game development does: schedule out every task they believe is required for a game to ship. Sometimes (in fact, more often than not) things go wrong and these forecasts change: bugs we don’t foresee appear, features we didn’t realize we needed become necessary and so on. This is why we haven’t had a solid release date yet; it’s not to better schedule marketing or because we want to keep you out of the cockpit… it’s because game development is a complex beast, and there are few games more complex than Star Citizen!
The blog post also contains a detailed schedule of tasks that Cloud Imperium has set for themselves to ensure that gamers will get their first taste of the game on May 29.
As it currently stands Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project in history. The game will be exclusive to the PC.