Chris Roberts Says Star Citizen Doesn’t Need Facebook’s Money

Chris Roberts at GDC 2012

Apparently Notch wasn’t the only developer who took notice of Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift.

Chris Roberts of Wing Commander and Star Citizen fame, took to his website to respond to the deal, writing:

Now to answer the myriad forum threads that popped up worrying about the possibility of Cloud Imperium being acquired by another, bigger company – don’t worry! We have no plans nor interest in following this path! We don’t need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make our dream a reality.

The developer has a vested interest in the Rift; like many supporters and critics of the multi-billion dollar acquisition, Roberts was an early backer of the Oculus Rift, funding the project on Kickstarter.

Roberts made it clear, however, that he was not trying to sound critical of the deal:

I know a lot of backers and gamers feel like they’ve been betrayed by Oculus “selling out”.

I’m not one of them.

Chris Roberts further elaborated on his reasoning, suggesting that the Oculus Rift is in an entirely different situation than Star Citizen ever was or will be:

To mass-produce hardware like the Rift, you need an outlay of hundreds of millions of dollars. Luckily our ships are digital so we have hardly any cost of goods, just the cost of developing the universe of Star Citizen and running servers that Star Citizen‘s universe will be simulated on.

While many criticized the initial buyout, other industry giants have been supportive of the deal.

Cliff Blezsinki, the famed Epic Games and Gearbox developer known lovingly to fans as CliffyB, supported the deal, suggesting it could only be positive for the Oculus Rift’s development:

IF [the Oculus Rift] is going to be (hopefully) a dedicated system instead of a (ugh) peripheral they need their version of whatever the app store would be. Your device is only as good as the store and community around it; if users can’t say shut up and take my money, if developers can’t post their work then the device will ultimately flounder. Facebook can assist with this sort of thing, as well as having a multi billion user reach.

Star Citizen is currently in closed development, with an estimated release date of Early 2015.

[Photo Credit: Official GDC]

Kristopher Sandoval
Kristopher Sandoval is a web developer and writer out of Northern California, with a penchant for politics and technology. He also enjoys long walks on the beach.


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