It is 2007. I am playing a game on Xbox Live Arcade called Wing Commander Arena. It is a top-down shooter, and I hate it. This is not Wing Commander. Why has nobody made a new Wing Commander.
It is 1993. I am sitting in my living room, trying to make a boot disk so my ageing SX33 personal computer can play Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander III. I succeed, but it takes 23 minutes for a mission to load.
It is 2012. Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander, announces a new video game. It is coming to Kickstarter, an online marketplace where fans can fund things that are not yet complete. The game is called Star Citizen. It will be released in 2015.
It is 1999. Freddie Prinze Jnr. is flying around space in a starfighter that looks like a ride from a 1950s theme park. This is not Wing Commander. I am not enjoying this.
It is 2015. Star Citizen has raised over $100 million, but despite original plans has not yet been released. In 2012, Roberts had said “We’re already one year in – another two years puts us at 3 total which is ideal. Any more and things would begin to get stale”. I am concerned.
It is 1991. I am playing Wing Commander II, and am in awe at its branching campaign structure and space opera storyline. I hope the series never ends.
It is 2020. Fans have now spent $300 million on a game that is not out. Star Citizen’s single-player campaign, Squadron 42, was supposed to be released in 2016. Then 2018. A beta, at least, was supposed to be out in 2020. In October 2020 Roberts says, “We still have a ways to go before we are in beta.” I am no longer concerned, I now find this deeply funny.
It is 2021. The developers of this video game have now raised over $400 million from fans for a game that is still not out and has now been in development for a decade. lol.