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Star Citizen Developer Bleeds Cash as Legal Woes Escalate

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:27 PM
Ryan Smith
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:27 PM
  • Game engine creator Crytek has filed to reschedule the trial for its ongoing lawsuit with Star Citizen creator Cloud Imperium Games (CIG).
  • CIG’s legal jockeying does not bode well for gamers who have waited nine years to play the space epic.
  • CIG is bleeding money and needs to become profitable soon.

Star Citizen  is now in year nine of its three-year development schedule.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that there’s still no end in sight for the impressive but rather questionable first-person shooter.

star citizen, cloud imperium, crytek
Star Citizen is in year nine of its 36-month development schedule. | Source: Cloud Imperium Games 

The latest saga in the debacle is not in the wide expanses of its digital universe but instead on the dirty floors of the real-life courts.

Crytek, the original creator of the game’s engine, filed a motion on Jan. 2, 2020, to voluntarily dismiss their ongoing lawsuit  with developer Cloud Imperium Games. Crytek is looking to reschedule the trial for Oct. 13 or a later date.

Star Citizen’s Messy History

The lawsuit was filed back in 2017  on the back of a license dispute. Backers initially crowdfunded the ambitious project in 2011 to the tune of a cool $250 million – but only for one game. In the interim, CIG decided to sell the single-player campaign as a separate game.

Squadron 42 may look incredible, but it also breaches a copyright contract, at least according to Crytek, which is anxiously waiting for the campaign to be released (preferably as a second game) so it can deploy the full force of its lawyers.

Star Citizen wallpaper
Star Citizen raised $250 million in 2011. | Source: Cloud Imperium Games 

Now in the third year of proceedings, the squabble could easily be titled the “Endless Lawsuit” in honor of its digital protagonist.

Star Citizen Is Bleeding Money

At first glance, this all sounds like good news for CIG; however, knowledgeable Redditors report that the latest filing will likely force CIG to release Squadron 42 no earlier than Q4 2020 .

star citizen, cloud imperium, crytek
Cloud Imperium is bleeding cash. | Source: Cloud Imperium Games 

And for good reason. CIG is bleeding money.

All this legal jockeying is necessary to keep the coffers full. These new developments are probably good news for CIG but definitely bad news for its fan base.

I mean, it’s only been nine years, right? Why not add another one to the tally?

CIG’s financials are not in great shape . Despite bringing in record income of $49 million for 2018, the company still generated a $7 million loss. A staggering $9 million alone was spent on marketing:

Fortunately, there’s always an opportunistic billionaire waiting in the wings  to pump up the balance sheet. And just in time. At present expenditures, the company would shortly have run out of money if not for that $46 million investment.

CIG finally has some breathing room. But unless it can become profitable in the next few years and, more importantly, actually release sometime in this lifetime, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.