|The original target date to launch Star Citizen|
Personally, I think that timeline is still too aggressive. I expect the full commercial release to occur in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018. A new company needing 5 years and $150 million to develop a game as ambitious as Star Citizen seems realistic. If I were a cynic, I would suggest that Roberts gave out overly optimistic target dates in an effort to keep the money rolling in.
What really caught my attention about Star Citizen yesterday was Roberts' plan to sell in-game currency for real world cash. The game's business model is buy-to-play like Guild Wars 2, but with the option to buy United Earth Credits, in-game currency, in the cash shop. The exchange rate currently is $1 for 1000 UEC. Interestingly enough, the design team plans to combat inflation by instituting currency controls. Players can only acquire 25,000 UEC in a 24-hour period, with a player only having the ability to hold 150,000 UEC at any one time.
I wonder what a 25,000 UEC daily limit will mean for players into manufacturing and playing the market. Will this limit the amount players can sell and how much they can charge? Or is earning UEC in-game such a grind that industrialists can sell multiple items without worrying about the game's artificial caps?
Given the studio's history of chasing after the money with ship sales, I wonder if the selling of in-game currency will lead to a situation like the hyperinflation that occurred in Gaia Online. New management of Gaia Interactive came in and demonstrated it preferred chasing short term profits over the health of the virtual economy. I don't have a lot of faith that Roberts would not make the same decision.
But hey, if the makers of Star Citizen want to allow more real money transactions that the typical game, that's their choice. As I said at the top of the post, I don't play flight simulators, so I don't really care what happens to the game. But if I'm still blogging when the game launches, I will take some time to watch the economy. I find RMT fascinating and I wonder how these rookies will handle the issue.