Star Citizen wasn't always first on Chris Roberts' to-do list as he pondered his eventual return to the video game industry. The Wing Commander guru originally thought he'd need to make some sort of console game to reestablish himself while developing Star Citizen's technology concurrently.
In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Roberts explains how and why he skipped the appetizer and went right to the main course. "I was thinking, 'Do I really want to spend three years working on a next-gen console game that would ship just after the new consoles are out to a very small customer base?' It would get a month's worth of play and they'd be on to the next thing. So I cut out the first step," Roberts explains.
The emergence of crowd-funding enabled the rapid realization of Star Citizen's development team, and the project's success has also given rise to new notions of community involvement with gamemakers. "We're going to treat our backers essentially as we would a publisher, where you work towards milestones and then have a show-and-tell on the new features and the latest build," Roberts says. "The community has financed the game, so it should get that level of respect."
Going it alone, or at least without a publisher, will also allow Cloud Imperium Games to eliminate slow decision-making and get more value out of SC's $7 million in pledges. "I'm confident now that we'll be able to compete with any AAA game out there," Roberts says.