Star Citizen launches Arena Commander mode this month

Chris Roberts is confident his team will be able to deliver on May 29.

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The many fans that have backed Star Citizen will soon have their first taste of the upcoming space sim from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts.

Roberts announced that the game’s Arena Commander dogfighting mode will release on May 29. The small, multiplayer-focused piece of the game will give players a feel for how it looks and controls, but in no way represents the full scope of Star Citizen’s grand ambitions.

The plan is to let every backer access the single player “Free Flight” and “Vanduul Swarm” modes on May 29, and the first batch of testers will get access to the multiplayer game modes.

“We will scale up the multiplayer as quickly as possible starting on that date, increasing the number of players as it is stable and stopping to fix bugs where needed,” Roberts said on the developer’s official site. “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! At this point, we’re close enough that we feel fairly confident in this date… but the next two weeks will be a march!”

Star Citizen first revealed the Arena Commander mode at PAX East 2014. It was an impressive demonstration, and to say that it was received enthusiastically by the crowd of fans at the event would be an understatement.

Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project--of any kind--in history. Its crowdfunding campaign originally began in October 2012 and to date, gamers have backed the project to the tune of $43.6 million.

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