Star Citizen is one of the video game industry's most interesting forthcoming releases. It is an enormously ambitious space exploration and combat sim that has raised a galaxy-rocking $85 million (£55m) from more than 900,000 backers.
It will feature single player and multiplayer modes in a single, shared universe with huge spacecraft, its own in-game economy, the potential for huge battles consisting of hundreds of players, and support for the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset.
Its development is based around "modules" – new features being developed and added to the game. One such feature is a first-person shooter mode called Star Marine, which was recently delayed. It is this delay that has raised concerns that the game might be too ambitious for its own good – a fear amplified because of the number of people who have invested in the game already.
Many are worried that as the game continues to add new features, it gets further from becoming a reality. This is a common issue in game development called "feature creep".
In the face of suggestions that Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games tone things down to ensure the game actually gets released, lead developer Chris Roberts has published a response on the Roberts Space Industry (like other such games, there will be in-game corporations) website.
"There are people out there who are going to tell you that this is all a BAD THING. That it's 'feature creep' and we should make a smaller, less impressive game for the sake of having it out more quickly or in order to meet artificial deadlines. Now I'll answer those claims in one word: Bulls**t!"
"Star Citizen matters BECAUSE it is big, because it is a bold dream. It is something everyone else is scared to try. You didn't back Star Citizen because you want what you've seen before. You're here and reading this because we are willing to go big, to do the things that terrify publishers. You've trusted us with your money so we can build a game, not line our pockets.
"And we sure as hell didn't run this campaign so we could put that money in the bank, guarantee ourselves a profit and turn out some flimsy replica of a game I've made before. You went all in supporting us and we've gone all in making the game."
To date, a Hanger module (which allows those alpha-testing the game to walk around and inspect Star Citizen's many ships) and a dog-fighting space-combat module have been introduced. As well as the FPS module – a social space for players – the game's single-player section and persistent universe modules are currently in development.
Star Citizen is currently scheduled for a full release at the end of 2016.