RSI’s Chris Roberts was on stage at CitizenCon 2017 to offer up his keynote about what’s next for Star Citizen, including some new plans for the sandbox’s update schedule, upcoming features, and a significant expansion to the known areas of the game such as Area 18.
Roberts first detailed that after update 3.0, updates to Star Citizen will operate on a date-based release basis instead of a content-based one. With 3.0 effectively working as the “bones” of the title’s persistent universe, the team now feels in a better position to provide more regular content updates on a quarterly basis. “It’s obviously been quite a while since we delivered the last patch…really the last major patch was 2.6,” admitted Roberts. “It’s been ten months or so. That’s just too long to have a content drought.”
Next, Roberts led a live demonstration of a build that showed the social hub of Area 18 in a much grander scale. According to Roberts, everything in the city is a piece of digital real estate and not just a skybox. To illustrate the fact, the demonstration featured the player character entering an Aurora, taking off, and flying through the cityscape beyond Area 18.
“What you’re seeing is ArcCorp, which is essentially an Earth-sized planet completely covered in man-made structures and at a real scale,” said Roberts. “Basically you can fly all over ArcCorp. This is pretty much Coruscant.”
The demo further moves on to show seamless flight from ArcCorp to a space station in geosynchronous orbit and onto a settlement called Lorville, which is a dustier and somewhat less industrialized city.
There currently is no date on when these new locations or gameplay mechanics will arrive to Star citizen, with the demonstration merely stating things “beyond 3.0”. With that said, you can take in the full keynote and demonstration in the embedded video below.
While the vagueness of the play demonstration will most likely fuel further “discourse” on the validity of Star Citizen’s release plans, the fact that the game is moving to a more regular update schedule could mean that actual, tangible development growth will be coming to fans of Star Citizen. Which is good, considering that shifting release schedules were the watchword up to this point.