Roberts completely sidesteps the actual issue in his response to community concerns.
Update: Added background information and quotes that are pertinent to the story.
Original Post follows:
Star Citizen has been a very long time coming. The game was announced as a modern revival of the classic PC space sims that used to be fairly common back in the day, with a crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to incredible feature bloat, and a scope for the project that keeps growing without any checks or balances, today, the game is still not out, and there’s no concrete release date for it announced either.
And now, there’s another controversy brewing around the game. You see, early players are now able to buy in-game currency and stockpile it in huge amounts, which basically gives them a great advantage over other players, and risks sabotaging the in-game economy. Earlier, there was a cap on the amount of UEC (which is the in-game currency) players could have in the game, but after a change that was brought about, that cap was shifted to allowing players to purchase 25K of the in-game currency per 24 hours.
What this means is that players could potentially be bringing in ridiculously large amounts of money to the game when it launches in full- which, lets be honest, could be years from now, making those potential sums of in-game currency even more ridiculously vast when you take the new caps on purchasing UEC into consideration. To say nothing of having microtransactions for a game that isn’t complete, and doesn’t even have a completion date planned yet (though Star Citizen, selling spaceships to players for exorbitant amounts of real world money, definitely is no stranger to that).
It’s definitely a bad look for the game, and for Cloud Imperium Games… and Chris Roberts, the head of the project, has made a tone-deaf response that definitely does not inspire confidence either.
“Some people are worried that they will be disadvantaged when the game starts for ‘real’ compared to players that have stockpiled ships or UEC,” Roberts said in an update post. “This has been a debate on the forums since the project started, but this is not a concern for me as I know what the game will be and I know how we’re designing it.”
“There will always be some players that have more than others, regardless of whether they’ve spent more or played more, because people start at different times and play at different paces,” he continued. “This is the nature of persistent MMOs. Star Citizen isn’t some race to the top; it’s not like Highlander where “There can only be one!” It is an open-ended Persistent Universe Sandbox that doesn’t have an end game or a specific win-state. We are building it to cater to players of all skill levels, that prefer PvE or PvP, that like to play solo or in a group or a large organization, that want to pursue various professions, some peaceful and some combat orientated. This is the core philosophy of Star Citizen; there isn’t one path, nor is there one way to have fun.”
“This may be a foreign concept to gamers as the majority of games are about winning and losing,” he said, “but Star Citizen isn’t a normal game. It’s a First Person Universe that allows you to live a virtual life in a compelling futuristic setting. You win by having fun, and fun is different things to different people.”
So basically, he spouts some PR stuff about how the game has no victory state, and completely sidesteps the question of early players being able to buy their way to an advantage. Great.
Star Citizen, the game that continues to set crowdfunding records, is due to launch… eventually, exclusively for PC.