Those hoping to pal around in space with virtual facsimiles of Mark Hamill and Gillian Anderson (and who among us wouldn't, honestly?) will have to hold on an extra three months, as Star Citizen's singleplayer campaign—Squadron 42 (opens in new tab)—falls foul of a scheduling reshuffle over at Cloud Imperium Games.
As announced in a developer blog post yesterday, they were previously aiming for a release in early summer. Now, Squadron 42's first public beta should be rolling out any time between July and September next year. The delay comes as part of the studio's transition to a "staggered development" style, with roughly half of their manpower dedicated to working on the next quarterly update, while the other half of the studio lays the groundwork for the one after.
It's worth noting that while Star Citizen may have a singular and enormous crowdfunded budget, it's arguably several different games. While I've my doubts that Cloud Imperium Games can ever truly deliver on the madly ambitious sandbox MMO space sim that is Star Citizen proper, I've higher hopes for Squadron 42, their smaller, less ambitious solo adventure, as well as their smaller online modules like Star Marine, an on-foot team FPS where gravity doesn't always apply.
As they don't have to invest in modelling entire virtual cities for Squadron 42, it appears that Cloud Imperium have been spending their money (including cash from wildly expensive premium ships sold on the MMO side) on their supporting cast. According to IMDB, they've snapped most of the TV sci-fi stars of the past two decades. A bit of a step up over the old Wing Commander games, which had to do with a mostly B-list cast, plus a Mark Hamill that hadn't been involved in anything Star Wars related in ages.
Cloud Imperium Games say they'll have more details on what the new staggered development approach means for the game in their next Star Citizen Live video on September 6th. When it goes live, you can find it on their official YouTube channel.