Home / Software & Gaming / Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 might launch in October after three delays

Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 might launch in October after three delays

Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.0 update was expected to release last week, but its development has run on longer than expected resulting in its third delay since its original June release. This comes after finding 94 must-fix issues, however with the team already whittling them down to 76, 3.0 could see a release window early October.

The developers are understandably reluctant to pen in another date after so many delays in launching its now hyped up, sizeable 3.0 update, but the game’s weekly update video ‘Around the Verse’ shares insight as to how the delay came about as well as the bug fixing process.

Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis revealed that before the September release date, 94 must-fix bugs were found in the form of 9 blockers, 62 criticals, 21 high impact, 2 moderate and 0 trivial issues. Associate Producer Matthew Webster follows on to say that the aim is to get through at least the criticals before they are signed off on moving forward, preventing the update from launching within a pre-defined time frame.

One such bug that was detailed was that black artifacts seen flickering more rapidly around certain light sources was found to be caused by the renderer of the fog effect to be dividing by zero. This impossibility causes messy bugs to become more apparent.

Davis explains that since the release of the latest Burndown segment of Around the Verse, the team has managed to reduce the amount of critical bugs by 18, bringing the total from 94 to 76 stopping the release of Alpha 3.0. At the same time, the team has added 773 new updates to the 3.0 branch and are continuing to go through it with a “fine tooth comb, making sure all of the new tech and features work harmoniously together.”

KitGuru Says: The latest delay is unfortunate but not entirely unexpected. At least many can rest assured that the developer is working in a rather transparent way, even if it is asking a lot of patience from the backers of the game.

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  • Jared Burkeybile

    As this game is still in Alpha development, saying it delayed in very misleading. They only give estimated dates on when it will be released, not anything definite. If you have any questions read the caveats section on this page – https://robertsspaceindustries.com/schedule-report

  • Rory Pfeifer


  • mazty

    True, but the release date for the 3.0 patch has slipped horrifically. While I’m in no rush for them to push 3.0 out the door, I would expect them to be at least somewhat competent in estimating their work. The fact that they hadn’t taken into their expected release date integration testing was an amateur mistake.

  • Zephyre79

    I have to wonder if you’ve ever been part of a software development team… most software and especially games are not THIS transparent in their processes and generally ANY scheduling this early on would not be seen by the public. To call these folks incompetent is insulting, insular, and immature. Look at what they HAVE already accomplished in a PRE-ALPHA game. anyone NOT expecting delays on a game of this scale is kidding themselves. Yes its disappointing, but I would rather have working build to fly around in than something massively bug ridden so as to not give the trolls further material to whine about.

  • mazty

    In software development, if you missed a deadline by over 4 months because you didn’t plan for an integral part, you’d be fired. I’m presuming you’re the one who has never actually been involved in software development.

    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be delays and their roadmap is great, definitely is reassuring for backers (I’m one of them), but from a project management point of view, they fucked up badly by not running integration testing yet declaring code “feature complete”. That really is pretty stupid and shows a major flaw in the development methodology. To implement Agile, yet then have a waterfall approach to testing is contradictory.

  • elijen

    Most of the software is not entirely funded before even releasing EA version. Most of the games don’t offer DLC costing thousands of dollars designed to fund development of an unfinished version of the game.

  • Saying delayed is acceptable, since the schedule being referenced was the initial game development schedule during crowdfunding.

  • Joe Blobers

    Quote:”In software development, if you missed a deadline by over 4 months because you didn’t plan for an integral part, you’d be fired.”

    Man… you have no or very limited vison of reality. Even company like SAP or Oracle do have roll-out that pass the original “deadline” by… a year and half.

    Nobody is fired, this is the way complex and bulky project are managed. And yes they use Agile as well.
    And I am talking about companies with 10.000 of employees and more than 15 years of experience, billions of revenues.

    Now take a team of 12 end of Nov. 2012 with a 20M$ project (best expectation)…. that got 3 times that amount and an average of +30M$… per years during 5 years.
    Start studios from scratch, hired (+428 employees now in 2017), completly retrofited a game engine and created very specific tools pipelines for ships, planets, missions, PG…. that is nothing but amazing. All in 4K greaphics quality.

    Thanks to Backers for creating the condition to stop the Publishers crap loop.

    3.0 with 43 screen pages of features coming in October and remaining by end of 2018 (4 smaller patcher). I do not regret my 45$ starter package for 2 Triple-A (solo and MMO) including all the “drama” from some troll and discovering creation of a Triple-A from inside..


  • Joe Blobers

    None of the description you gave apply to Crowdfunding versus EA with billions $ of cash and thousnads of Devs at day one.
    October instead of June… the world is collapsing. CIG is honest they could have shoot December!, then release in October and say: “look we delivered in advance”…. no, they go the hard way giving inside schedule report used by devs, with bugs hunting including video of bugs. Transparency at his best!

    If you want to play COD 56 or battlefield 27 just wait, you will got a new version each year at full price with zero new features beside new fenzy guns and 2 factions.

  • mazty

    This is nothing to do with vision – the reality is if you missed deadlines significantly due to poor planning, which is the situation here, project managers would be fired because they’ve demonstrated incompetence.

    SAP and Oracle are monolithic companies that don’t have to worry in the short term about customer retention. Comparing CIG to Oracle is oranges to apples.

    Your calculations have nothing to do with what I said, and your lack of business experience in PM is obvious. CIG’s workflow was flawed from the beginning, and is also contradictory; mixing Agile and Waterfall makes no sense, and releasing something to branch without integration testing is a rookie mistake, the sort of mistake I’d expect someone with no industry experience to make.

    Also I’ve invested over $200 into the game, so I’m not here to just criticise them, but am here as a PM saying “guys, you fucked up”.

  • Joe Blobers

    Quote:”SAP and Oracle are monolithic companies that don’t have to worry”

    Man either your equation apply to all project or it does not. Monolithic or not you said team is fired if not delivering in time.

    This is totally false. Thanks for your remark about business experience. I am doing International projects since more than 20 years. What you describe is utterly wrong. That is incredible the number of “game developer expert” we cross in game webn site section or “climat expert” in web comment section talking about climat 🙂

  • Lukas Vyletel

    the only reason they’re making early public release dates is to keep the hype going. If they’d say that 3.0 is going to be released not at the end of 2016 (as originally planned), but end of 2017, the community would be in huge uproar at the time of the announcement. This way, they gave their backers some closeby date to hope for and are stretching the patience of their backers (which still leads to people dropping their support, but I suspect much smaller, because people have this hope that it’s almost finished, even when it’s really not).

    The other thing is, if they’d planned it for end of 2017 and they wouldn’t still be able to finish (and that’s a very real possibility even today I’d say, because so far really nothing inspires confidence that 3.0 is going to be available in october or novemeber even) that would also cause much bigger uproar.

    All in all the release dates are planned the way they’re planned because they wanted to keep backers in hope they’re finally going to get something in a very near future (even when they’ve really never planned on delivering on that hope)

    I’m pretty sure they don’t care about dead lines, they do things at their own speed and they have no intention of really keeping to their promises, because they’re just made for the public, not for the team.

  • mazty

    “Man either your equation apply to all project or it does not”

    Your lack of business knowledge is shining through. I’m not sure how you can justify being exceedingly late in project delivery (and therefore also over budget) through sheer incompetence (not planning for the necessary), so I’m going to have to throw you in with the old cohort of PM’s who think delivery dates are never anything more than “nice to haves” and are a blight to many industries 😉

  • Joe Blobers

    Quote:”they’re just made for the public, not for the team.”

    CIG is now providing Burndown report together with more bugs details report. No more date. Nice move. That will avoid conspiracy theory while providing an insight on where the team is on this specific patch….
    Not +428 guys of the team are working on 3.0. They are progressing at full speed… 2x Triple-A sharing assets, 2018 is by far the most interesting year as they are now able get out more contents from pipelines.

    Never forget or try to compare, like some love to do on purposes, CIG end of Nov. 2012 with 12 guys and 6M$ vs Publishers with Billions $ and thousands of Devs.

    They are indeed doing very good taking into account 3.0 is a major patch and the 4 remaining are lighter.

    If by end of 2018 they can deliver 3 of the 4 remaining patch, that will be nothing but stunning…. As CR said, SC would be the worst scam of history!… some very vocal minority should try to understand at some point basic equation like time+budget+team size.

    Real trolls shooting scam/collapse every quarter non-stop since 2 years and half start to see the end of their hater campaign… hence the current frenetic rush about “refund before too late”… The “too late” is about them not being able to try scaring people after major patch release 🙂 Vaporware and Con were common 2 years ago and have disapeared from radar. We still have some scam here and there…. This is coming to and end and that pissed them off 🙂

    Genuine doubters will doubt a bit less at every patch and others waiting on the fence for finished or Beta product are going to join.

    2018 is bright not dark far to be.

  • Joe Blobers

    Throw me in what ever cohorte you want. Any key_user or Project leader perfectly knows, proven everyday, that delivering a complex project in time is expection, not rules.
    Not even talking about a game in development with zero company structure end of Nov. 12, game engine to be redone, pipelines to be created from scratch… 12 guys and 6M$.

    CR did handle that project for the benefit of Backers and know nobody able and with the desire to do so in the game industry. Based on facts and numbers, CIG is not late but quite the opposite 🙂

  • Rasto

    Haha well spotted with this “before it’s too late”. Little D is sure running out of time.

  • mazty

    I see you’re choosing to harp on about the history of CIG which is entirely irrelevant to their recent blunder:

    They failed to account for an integral part of code development – the testing.

    Stop with the “itz way complex, can’t estimate” nonsense. Any dev or manager with half a brain would have seen all those branch changes and should have ballparked at least 3 months of testing if it wasn’t being done alongside the development. There’s no excuse for that lack of foresight.

  • Joe Blobers

    There no excuse either for you pretending to understand complex project with so much shortcut and clear misleading conclusion 🙂

    No one is looking for excuse but rather learn how to handlechildish frustration overreaction.

  • Torb Inator


  • mazty

    Nice side step avoiding addressing the fact that they made a rookie mistake. The fact that it is complex means they should give even more thought to testing, not none. You must be crap at your job.

  • Jared Burkeybile

    You sound like Trump, you should be politician… ha!

  • mazty

    Dont be salty m8 qq elsewhere k

  • Gezzer50

    “This is nothing to do with vision – the reality is if you missed deadlines significantly due to poor planning, which is the situation here, project managers would be fired because they’ve demonstrated incompetence”

    Which would mean that leads would be as worried or more worried about being fired then putting out a great game and we’d end up with really shity quality games that are missing features and have bugs up the wazoo. Kind of like a large majority of the AAA games released in the last 5 or so years?

    That’s the thing, yeah the schedule keeps slipping, but IMHO it’s as much because the developers want to maintain a certain level of quality as it might be not being on top of things. I’m a heavy backer and I’m not too worried at this point in the process. Once (or if) they stamp beta on the thing, then we’ll know if they’ve actually got things under control or not. Till then we just have to wait and see IMHO.

  • mazty

    That doesn’t follow. In any company you should be worried about job security if you aren’t competent. This isn’t a situation where someone couldn’t predict lottery numbers. It’s the sort of screw-up that would be obvious to even a half-baked project manager.

    You have to remember that delays like this cause ripples on the project, costing time and money. By not setting aside a sensible amount of time for testing they now have to reallocate resources off of the pre-organised roadmap and over to bug fixing.

    If they had actually factored in testing, then quality would be maintained and the community would have been given a far more accurate release date for 3.0. If they did constant testing as part of the dev flow, then 3.0 would be in our hands sooner than what it will now take to make it release ready.

  • Centrifugal

    Deadlines are missed by years in software development sometimes. The larger the scope the more likely a deadline will get pushed.

    There are typically two sets of deadlines, those set by the business at a high level for strategic planning, and the development schedules which are often broken down into sprints(2 weeks or 1 month usually). My team never plans more than a month into the future, items get prioritized only a week or two before they get worked on. This is fairly standard throughout the industry now.

    So making estimates at a high level for the entire company will involve a huge amount of guess work.

  • mazty

    This isn’t about the deadline being pushed because of scope creep or something unforeseen. It slipped because of something that should have been obvious – an untested branch with hundreds of changes will take hundreds of man hours to test.

  • GamingGenius

    On every single SC article ever written by man you will find one name defending it to death. Joe Blobers. So do not waste your time and energy arguing with that cultist. He is beyond fanboyism or saving for that matter. I personally pitty SC before it’s even out. I can already see how it’ll turn out, Even online community on roids if not worse than any other gaming community to date.

  • Joe Blobers

    Except I avoid nothing and say clearly: No rookie mistake but in your dream mazty 🙂
    About my job you would surprised how much a crap guys is paid 🙂

  • Gezzer50

    Dude, there’s one thing you keep overlooking in all this. This isn’t a straightforward take tab A and put into slot B endevor. It’s a creative one, with numerous interlocking parts being worked on by quite a number of people. It’s pretty much impossible to predict everything, let alone plan or schedule for ” adequate testing”. It’s pretty obvious you’ve never worked on something creative or you would understand this.

    Your mindset is unrealistic for the type of task at hand. More importantly, as I said, it won’t help if the workers feel their job security is threatened. Telling people, or giving them the impression you’ll fire them if you don’t see results soon, won’t produce results. In fact often it has the opposite effect when dealing with a creative based project. Trust me on this, once you get beyond the obvious things, like keeping a team focused and motivated, there isn’t a lot you can do to speed things up.

  • mazty

    You’re not reading, or seem to just be missing, my main point.

    It was obvious that testing & fixes would take at least 3 months considering all the changes made. They’re original release dates presumed that testing would not show up any issues. That is an absurd assumption for the level of complexity they are working with, and an amateur mistake.

    It is not impossible to plan for testing. Clearly you have no experience of IT because testing is something that companies plan for daily. Your mindset is based on ignorance and naivety when it comes to both programming and project management.

    This isn’t firing people for not seeing results. It’s firing people for being bad at their job. Any half-decent project manager would have seen testing issues from a mile away.

    Trust me on this, you are in above your head as an armchair manager. Step into an actual office and come back in a few year after seeing how other companies work. If you think you can’t do anything more than keep a team focused and motivated, then you’d be a terrible PM fired within days.

  • mazty

    Not really, you’ll be getting paid crap compared to any real company that wouldn’t tolerate the sort of teflon-timeline attitude you’re promoting.

  • Gezzer50

    Two things they’ve been under every increasing pressure to release not just 3.0 but the entire game, and the original estimates were made before the current release was even in the hands of the illuminati. So I’m not surprised they didn’t get as close as the could of. But also think of something else, SC is the only game where we’ve been seeing the entire development process right from the start.

    With normal AAA games schedules slip all the time, a perfect example is Ubisoft’s South Park: Fractured but Whole. But other than a change in dates we really don’t see anything else so we just get disappointed, shrug, and buy the game when it’s finally released. The way SC is being developed that’s pretty much impossible to do for some people. Instead they waste a lot of time debating on stupid forums. Kind of like us.

  • mazty

    You’re missing my point. Again. This isn’t to do with the original release date or it slipping. This is to do with them not having penned in a sensible amount of time for testing and bug fixes, which any half-brained PM and dev could have told you would take at least 3 months. There is no justification in excluding testing from the roadmap, which is what they did.

  • Jeremy Walker

    One big problem with your statements here… They pointed at a Pre-Christmas launch last year. They are delayed on a segment of the game by almost a year… not the project. LOLOL— the entire project… who the &@%$ has any idea about that. I’m with you, they should not constantly miss deadlines. That behavior shows a huge problem. Now CR is saying since we can’t hit deadlines, we won’t release deadlines…. Huge problem.

  • Jeremy Walker

    The problem is not them missing a deadline… It is them always missing deadlines and not being able to predict a reasonable timeline. They were planning on releasing 4 major patches this year and can’t even get one out. If they are so clueless as to not be able to predict feature release, then yes, there is a problem.

  • Jeremy Walker

    Good point.

  • mazty

    The entire delay of the project and the 3.0 delay are separate things.

  • Knowles222

    Missing deadlines means it been delayed, it doesn’t matter if it alpha or beta or gamma release.

  • Knowles222

    They missed their deadline by 8 months counting!

  • Knowles222

    Oracle and SAP are just damn lucky that their customers are locked into their systems and it often not cost effective to move to alternative software. Both of those companies have become incredibly lazy. Anyone in the IT area will tell you this.

  • Knowles222

    Customers expect slight delay, a few weeks or a couple of months here or there, not 8 months and counting. With the team making obvious school boys errors along the way. Which shows that after 5 years of work they still haven’t solidify their production pipeline which should have happen after one or two public releases. Which should mean regularly compiling the whole game together to make sure everything works, this is pretty much industry standard and have been for 5 years or so. I know one studio does this on a weekly basis.

  • Jared Burkeybile

    It is NOT a deadline, they give ESTIMATED dates of when they’re hoping to have it available, but they don’t have deadlines when developing in Alpha. Big difference.

  • Knowles222

    Three software developments houses I have work at we had deadlines for prototyping stage, Alpha stage , beta stage and release stage – post release bug fixing stage.

    When we were ask to give estimates of dates they were treated and acted upon like they were deadlines by everyone involve. If they aren’t teams and individuals have a habit of thinking they can spend all the time they want on something until it perfect.

    It was never the end of the world if we missed those dates because the true, we can’t missed, let code all night deadlines were always at least week or two beyond those estimate, allow yourself that safety net.

    Many programmers and artists suffer from ocd, if you give them all the time in the world, they will take all the time in the world. Roberts suffered from OCD., that obvious from everything I have read and heard about him.

  • James Tompsett

    “0 trivial”, my spotty white ass.

  • Shane R

    As a software engineer, our team (in combination of other teams) have missed very large product deadlines by over 4 months and it was still considered a great success. Nobody was fired. Not many companies do agile correctly…it’s usually an “agile-fall” type approach. The team working on Star Citizen is under so much pressure because of the crowdfunding approach that I’m sure continuous improvement of the SDLC has gone out the window at this point. That’s realistic. What you’re expecting is very pie in the sky….I’m actually presuming you haven’t been in software development for that long…or at least not for very many companies.

    Here’s a typical scenario in companies I’ve worked with: Developer: “We’ve finished coding feature A but we’re still writing unit tes….” *Product Owner barges in*: “Feature A is complete! I’m checking that off!!”

    What we see the majority of the time as customers of Star Citizen are the product/sales people’s perspective of the project, especially when it comes to timelines and completeness.

  • mazty

    Expecting product owners to have a basic understanding of software development is hardly “wishing for pie in the sky” but expecting a certain level of competence.

    You can’t excuse their mistake due to other companies incorrectly using Agile. They fucked up hard due to a rookie mistake, and there’s no excusing that.