Star Citizen has been in development for years and years with no clear release date in sight. But at least now we know when the next update will be out, alpha version 3.3 coming in October of this year. First off, it was revealed that the release of Alpha 3.3 will align with the CitizenCon event going on this October, a choice made to prevent having two deadlines close together. On top of that, the scheduling for the release of future patches to Q1(March), Q2(June), Q3(October), and Q4(end of December).
But what’s interesting about this update is that Chris Roberts wrote a personal letter to the community addressing one of the big concerns about the finished game, something that haunts everyone looking at a promising game they want to succeed: microtransactions. A concern that’s been brought up by the community in recent times following the 3.2 Alpha update to the game which removed the cash limit for the in-game wallet. Roberts addresses these concerns in the long-winded letter which reads like this:
Recently a few people have voiced their concerns about the removal of the player UEC wallet cap that came with the release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.2. This was done to help smooth over the transition to an in-game economy and to give people that had purchased game items through the now-defunct Voyager Direct web store the ability to ‘melt’ them back for UEC, so they can repurchase new items in-game. As we are going to be rebalancing the pricing and economy as we expand the game, and as we currently reset everyone’s accounts when we release a new patch, we felt it would be unfair to force people to keep items they may have bought at a radically different price.
He goes on to say that they still have the daily spending limit of 25,000 credits, and the lack of overall limit exists for the purpose of letting long-time users trade in items they previously purchased at different prices that exist now, and they want to give every player the chance to do that. In addition, he goes on to say that he doesn’t really understand why people think not having a limit will be game breaking, and says that the end goal of the game is to have the option to buy things with money, but for everything that you can buy in-game you can also just play the game and get those items naturally as you progress, and there will be things that you can only get by playing the game.
This was the economic approach I proposed out when I first pitched Star Citizen because it is the model as a player I prefer. I don’t like to have to pay a subscription just to play and I hate when things are deliberately locked behind a paywall, but as someone that doesn’t have twenty hours a week to dedicate to building up my character or possessions, I appreciate the option to get a head start if I’m willing to pay a little extra.
You can read the full letter here.