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Star Citizen's social module finally launches to backers

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Star Citizen's social module, the environment in which players interact with one another outside of space combat, has launched alongside the game's also-overdue 1.2 patch.

The social module was originally pegged for a beta launch sometime in the spring quarter of this year, along with the beta for the game's first-person combat module, according to a presentation by Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts back in January.

The Social Module is staged on a spacebase's landing zone, "with all the scenic vistas our team has been hard at work on," a community manager announced late yesterday. "This will also include our first iteration of our augmented reality system, emotes and chat system."

Seven in-game areas are explorable within the social module. The full list of features arriving with this beta edition of the social module, and the rest of Patch 1.2, may be read here.

Star Citizen and Cloud Imperium Games are facing considerable turmoil over the inability to deliver the stages of the massive space combat game on the schedule Cloud Imperium set for backers in 2015 — most notably the first-person shooter module, Star Marine.

At the end of June, the company announced it could not meet an informal deadline of this spring to roll out the FPS module to backers. On July 18, Roberts said backers could expect the first-person module in "three, four, maybe five weeks," targeting its arrival sometime around Gamescom, which ended two weeks ago.

Roberts attributed the delays in Star Marine to the need to use a single set of animations in the game's first- and third-person visuals. Yet the inability to meet deadlines, even informal ones set internally, have caused significant unhappiness among backers, with some seeking and receiving refunds of their contributions.

Star Citizen is by far the most crowdsourced video game project in history. It has amassed $88 million in donations across multiple sources from nearly 970,000 backers.

For more on the 1.2 patch update and social module, see this link.

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