Too Many Bugs Means PC Sim Star Citizen's Dogfighting Module Delayed

"It would be foolish to release an unstable build," Chris Roberts says.

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The dogfighting module for upcoming PC space simulator Star Citizen, called Arena Commander, has been delayed. In an update on developer Cloud Imperium Games' website, creator Chris Roberts said he recently sat down with Star Citizen production leads for a "go/no-go" meeting, and the decision was made to delay the module because there were simply too many pressing bugs.

"The decision was that we are not able to release Arena Commander [on May 29] as there are too many blocking and critical issues outstanding," Roberts said.

Roberts said the most serious type of bugs a game can have are called "blockers," issues that completely prevent the game from working and being in a releasable state. Unfortunately for Star Citizen, there are two blockers--as well as a half-dozen "critical" issues--that are affecting the game. One "blocker" issue is a DirectX crash that breaks the single-player game and the other is a bug that creates "increasingly divergent multiplayer sync."

"It would be foolish to release an unstable build, even if pre-alpha for the sake of meeting an internal deadline," Roberts said. "This is the power of the crowdfunding that made Star Citizen possible: a publisher would make us ship tomorrow regardless of the current build quality… but as you are all focused on quality rather than a financial return for shareholders we are able to take a few more days to deliver something that is stable."

"I know that's not the news you wanted to hear tonight. No-one would like to see the community get their hands on Arena Commander more than I would," he added.

As a means to keep backers as informed as possible regarding the status of Arena Commander, Roberts said he has asked his production team to provide daily updates on the module until it ships. This will include a list of bugs and other information regarding the status of the current build.

Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project--of any kind--in history. It recently crossed $44 million in lifetime funding, and over 450,000 people have contributed to the project to date.

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