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Star Citizen client expected to be around 100GB

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Star Citizen 5

There was never any question that Star Citizen was going to be a massive game, both in scope and in file size. But Jeremy Masker, the director of game operations at Cloud Imperium Games, has warned that it may be a whole lot more massive than people expect—especially folks who are stuck with data caps.

The unhappy word came in response to a Roberts Space Industries forum user who posted a message predicting that the final release of the game will be "significantly more compressed and optimized" than it currently is, resulting in an initial client size of 30-40GB. Patches will also be optimized, he added, and would thus run in the hundreds of megabytes each.

Not so, said Masker. "As I have already said, I would not count on this," he wrote. "The game compression and asset removal is unlikely to yield such high gains that we will be able to reduce our client size to 30-40GB. The size and number of assets that are left to deliver means that our client size is much more likely to be 100GB."

"Also, yes we are optimizing game patching for speed and to only deliver diffs, but this is unlikely to reduce actual patch size," he continued. "Again, each patch has 100s of assets, each of these assets are at times 200mb, this leads to 2-6gb patches, and if we end up doing a file type re-factor and have to re-download 30-40% of the assets on the hard-drive, then the patch will be 14-20gb."

That may not seem like much to those of you with super-fast connections and unlimited data, but it's a serious hindrance to anyone lacking either. There may not be much choice in the matter—big game, big files—but it may prove prohibitive for an awful lot of people who were looking forward to playing.

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.