Star Citizen event shows off new content, but a release date and Squadron 42 remain absent

Anyone who has ‘play the finished version of Star Citizen and Squadron 42’ on their bucket list may want to start looking at something more attainable. Developer Cloud Imperium Games just held its CitizenCon 2951 event, and while there were plenty of new ships and lighting effects to gawk at, mention of a potential release date for either game was conspicuously absent.

CitizenCon opened with a statement from CEO Chris Roberts, who noted that there are currently 2 to 3 times more daily players than when CitizenCon 2019 took place; the pandemic meant there was no event last year.

The presentation covered much of what’s already available in the game. It also looked at Pyro, the next system set to be added to the space sim. We got to see the cloud effects on some of these alien worlds, which do look very nice, admittedly. There were also new ships, outposts, and gameplay systems on show, along with an in-depth section on the new Gen12 renderer and Vulkan implementation.

There’s no arguing that Star Citizen in its current form looks pretty amazing and continues to resemble the most ambitious title of all time. But it’s been 11 years since the game went into pre-production, and we’re closing in on a decade since its record-breaking crowdfunding campaign began.

Star Citizen’s current roadmap extends to the game’s 3.18 update, which has a tentative Q2 2022 arrival window. There’s still nothing at all about a potential release date for the final, finished version of the multiplayer space sim, and the pandemic undoubtedly caused more delays and headaches to production. Roberts spoke of the issues that came from switching so many employees to a work-from-home model.

As for the game’s single-player element and its Hollywood cast, there’s been no mention of Squadron 42 since Roberts last December said it would be “done when it’s done.” The game’s original release date? November 2014.

Star Citizen has now raised over $390 million, much of it coming from the sale of in-game space ships. Some of these aren’t available in the game yet, prompting an advertising watchdog to hand Cloud Imperium Games a warning to be clearer about what it’s selling.