The latest major update for the crowdfunded space sim Star Citizen has caused significant problems for players, leading to a backlash among the game’s fanbase.
Star Citizen launched as a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012 and raised $2.1 million at the time. Over the next decade, the game has remained in “alpha” mode and has continued to generate revenue through crowdfunding, raising over $500 million to date.
Alpha build 3.18 was released on Friday, promising what developer Cloud Imperium Games claimed was “the biggest Star Citizen update yet.”
However, players quickly began to complain about not being able to log into the game, and players who were able to connect reported major errors.
Star Citizen alpha 3.18 trailer
Shortly after the release of the update, the game is status report page warned of a “partial outage” on Saturday, stating that the game’s launcher may become unresponsive due to heavy traffic.
This was followed later in the day by a message that read: “We are currently investigating an issue that is preventing users from logging into the RSI Issue Council.” By Sunday, the problems had continued to escalate, and on Monday the game’s service status was updated to “major outage”.
The latest update released today reads: “Since the release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.18.0, our teams have been tracking a number of issues that players have been experiencing when trying to log into the game.
“By monitoring these issues, the team has been able to tune and make changes to the rights processing flow to ensure that a large number of player attempts were still successful and able to access the Persistent Universe. However, at some point in the early morning UTC, the environment entered a state that would require a more disruptive recovery process.
“As of 1300 UTC 2023-03-12 the environment has been recovering from the slow/unresponsive state it was in, but we wanted to advise that while this recovery attempt is ongoing, players will experience periods where it is extremely difficult to access the persistent universe.”
Games Reddit page and the official forums are full of players complaining that they can’t connect, while those who have managed to log in have suffered other problems.
User AdmialGrogan complained in the “Seriously?” forum thread: “Why post this buggy disaster on a Friday afternoon? I’ve been trying to log in for four days. 19k, 60k, 30k errors. Dozens of login attempts. Managed to log in once for 10 minutes and couldn’t do anything. Terminals didn’t work, ship management… quests… nothing.. And then the 30k crash.
“This is embarrassingly bad, even by Star Citizen standards. I’ve been a supporter since day one. I’m not going anywhere. But after all this time, we don’t have the common shit to get out of this mess?
“Yeah, it’s alpha, blah blah. My problem is, after all these many years, why do these same problems occur every time? How many more years of 30,000 bugs do we have to endure?”
While some users have defended the studio, reminding other players that the game is still in alpha, others have argued that the game’s long development time, combined with no real release date in sight, means that this excuse should not be valid.
“I think the reactions are more based on the fact that it’s been in production for over a decade, it’s gotten close to 600 million in funding, and we don’t have much more than a burning pile of white hot garbage,” said Reddit user Own. -Another 2228.
“Regardless of what this patch did or didn’t do, it doesn’t change the fact that almost every part of this game is and has been broken in some way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still waiting patiently and understandingly. It just seems like that they should offer us a little more sophisticated pastime.
User Masabera added: “I invested more money in this game than any video game I’ve ever played (which is a lot). I don’t regret it because for me playing this game is like when other people enjoy expensive whiskey or wine.
“However, I don’t expect this game to be what most people expect it to be. Especially considering the fact that even the leaders don’t seem to have a clear idea of what the end game will be like.