What just happened? Even if you have no interest whatsoever in playing Star Citizen, the prospect of its Hollywood-star-packed single-player element, Squadron 42, is an enticing one. Unfortunately, the game is still at least one or two years away from completion, according to the developer.
It was way back in the pre-Covid days of 2018 when Squadron 42 got its all-star trailer showing off the likes of Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, John Rhys Davies, Liam Cunningham, Ben Mendelsohn, and Henry Cavill. A few months later, developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) announced that it was scheduled to launch in summer 2020, but, as we know, that never happened.
Those anticipating the game's release were especially disheartened in late 2020 when studio boss Chris Roberts said it would be "done when it's done." Squadron 42 was also conspicuously absent during CitizenCon last October.
For those hoping 2022 might be the year we finally get to see what could be a modern version of Roberts' classic Wing Commander series, CIG's COO Carl Jones has confirmed in a recent issue of MCV/Develop that it's not going to happen.
It seems that CIG's relocation of its headquarters to Manchester and plans to hire 1,000 extra staff is keeping Roberts, who had been living in LA, quite busy.
"I guess we'll see how long [Roberts] needs to be over [in the UK]," Jones said. "But yeah, it could be one or two years more. He's spending more time over here with the Squadron 42 team and with our other developers, but it'll be this year when he moves over for longer periods of time. Hopefully, that means we can progress Squadron 42 through to completion faster. We want to get that game finished, but it will be finished when it's ready."
Despite now raising over $400 million in crowdfunding and having several playable elements in place, we still don't know when the finished version of Star Citizen will arrive. The game went into pre-production around 11 years ago, and its protracted development is being exacerbated by Covid, so whether the single-player Squadron 42 campaign really does arrive within the next year or two remains to be seen.