Star Citizen, the massively crowd-funded space adventure game, committed to adding VR support back in 2012, before the now relatively ancient Rift DK1 had even begun to ship. Unfortunately the game’s VR support hasn’t seen much attention beyond some early efforts. In a recent update, developer Roberts Space Industries says they’ll be refocusing on VR early this year.

While parts of the still in-development Star Citizen have seen support for the Rift DK1, game-wide support for more modern headsets is still lacking. With the game still in an alpha/early-access state, and with shifting Rift timelines since VR support in Star Citizen was promised way back in 2012, it’s understandable that the feature is not yet fully implemented. However, backers of the game’s crowdfunding efforts are understandably excited by the prospect of being able to step inside of the game’s ambitiously massive universe.

AC_300i_cockpitIn an end-of-year livestream by Roberts Space Industries in December, the question of VR support was posed to CEO Chris Roberts who said that the company would be refocusing efforts on VR support in early 2016. VR community regular David “Mageoftheyear” Watson kindly transcribed Roberts’ response for us:

The status of VR integration is that we’ve been pretty busy with getting [Alpha] 2.0 [out] and we’re trying to get 2.1 so I would say we still have some stuff to integrate from the most recent CryEngine drops. They’ve been actually doing quite a lot of VR, I’m pretty sure you guys have noticed that they’ve completely doubled down and they’re all VR now.

So there are some updates on VR that we need to integrate in. It’s a little more complicated because we’ve changed the engine so much, we’ve changed the rendering pipeline to enable us to do a lot of things that we need to do so it’s not very easy. Nowadays we’ve diverged from CryEngine where we don’t take regular updates from them any more although we will cherry pick certain features that maybe we’re not working on that we think would help out well and VR is a good example of that.

So it’s really just a matter of getting some engineering time in the Frankfurt team. The Frankfurt team… [includes many of] the guys that originally did the VR work at Crytek so they know it pretty well but I would be expecting it to get up to speed with the most recent [VR] stuff sometime early next year.

Roberts further says that the goal is to support all major VR headsets. With Crytek’s growing focus on VR for CryEngine and now more than $100 million raised in on-going crowdfunding efforts for Star Citizen, it certainly seems like they should be able to deliver. The real question is the timeline… with the Rift set to launch in Q1 2016, it’s unclear if VR support for the title will be ready by the time the first headsets hit consumers.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Mageoftheyear

    Glad to be of service Ben. :)

    Here’s hoping 2016 affords RtVR many opportunities to cover Star Citizen’s VR implementation progress. Both the rocky bits (if there) and the glorious bits equally.

    • Crobbersagain2

      Its going really well so far, huh? Germany said it’s on hold and design continues totally against VR best practices. You’re a chump if you think this man is going to follow through with anything but more lies.

  • Raphael

    They won’t update for VR before Oculus CV1. Roberts projected VR support by September 2015. VR was being worked on in the spare time of some of the devs at home. That isn’t much of a commitment but I guess they realise they have to offer more now many big publishers are supporting VR.

    I’m a big Elite Dangerous fan but I do follow Star Citizen and tried the 2.0 recently. Very nice graphics even on low detail. Awful default control scheme but I was able to remap it on my hotas. Graphically excellent even on low detail.

    • Morawk

      Chris also recently mentioned he’s wanting to make sure Steam/HTC VIVE headset gets support at the same time as occulus, since it’s geared towards enthusiast PC Gaming more so than occulus.

  • Someone

    Some really good news!Better let them take their time

  • Foreign Devil

    100 million on crowdfunding!? IS that a new record? They’d better have a AAA quality game on that kind of budget.

    • Morawk

      several games have way over 100 million dollar budgets and weren’t that good. Chris is smart and not using a penny of that money on marketing tho.

      • Raphael

        That is a bizarre statement to make given that any game needs marketing. Do you have a budget breakdown for Star Citizen?

        • Morawk

          They are using free marketing techniques like viral videos, and word of mouth. And it’s working. It gets more coverage than most games, and spends 0 money on it. This marketing budget question was asked on “10 for the chairman” and they said they aren’t spending any money on marketing until the game is done, and perhaps they will, until the. We rely on crowd-marketing

          • Raphael

            That’s impressive then. Which begs the question… given that Star Citizen is incredibly well-known already.. I guess they’d be looking at TV advertising to push it even further?

        • Mageoftheyear

          It doesn’t really make sense to think of their marketing in terms of a budget for a few reasons.

          1.) Funds raised for the game are not used on marketing. All their youtube content and the monthly magazines they push out (which makes its way to the website for everyone eventually) are paid for by Subscribers.

          2.) The events they host are paid for through ticket sales and digital “event trophies.”

          3.) They use “free fly” weeks to allow non-backers to try out the game.

          4.) Their merchandising sales contribute to their budget.

          5.) They use sponsors to fund more expensive events (such as The Next Great Starship.)

          CIG have said that they’ll consider some more traditional marketing for the release of Squadron 42 this year, but were quick to clarify that this didn’t mean stupid levels of money spent.

        • ace III

          watch from 10:55 or all of it!! VP of marketing interview

    • alziebop
  • After_Midnight

    They’re waiting for the final SKD to drop, just like Kunos for AC.

  • user

    looks like a pay2win game

    • ace III

      why is it pay2win game?

      • user

        it looks like you can buy better ships with more money. some of the packages cost more than $1,000.

        • ace III

          u get more ships for 1k… and u need more people to use big ships.. its not pay 2 win…

          its your skills only, like in call of duty and battlefield, its your skills :D:D

          • user

            by skills you mean endless grind, right? you buy a “headstart” and that’s pay to win. it’s not only cosmetic stuff that you buy.
            what the guy in this video said two years ago is bullshit. if you dont see that, you must be a naive teenager.

          • George Vieira IV

            That would matter if there were a “win” scenario in the PU (persistant universe). It’s not a competitive game like COD, it’s open world, where 90% of the people in the world are NPCs. Also after the game releases you will no longer be able to buy ships (though you will be able to purchase UEC).

            Everything will be available to earn in game, so yes it could be considered “pay to avoid the grind” but if you think playing the game is a grind, you probably should play something else.

            Also, in the single player game, “Squadron 42”, you can’t even use the ships you have been given for you pledge.

          • user

            its not competitive like rust, for instance? ok, i didnt know that. imagine someone would give people the ability to gather materials twice as fast as players who didnt pay. why would you give such an option if not for the greed of the company.

          • George Vieira IV

            If you have followed the project from the beginning it makes a bit more sense. The idea of “buying” ships was really just a reward for pledging to get the game made. Every “ship sale” state that as well as letting everyone know the ships can be earned in game, no real money needed.

            This does give some an advantage, but it is a necessary way for CIG to earn the money required to make a game that publishers were unwilling to, due to technological difficulties and a “lack of interest” in the space genre at the time.

            The main game is really a sandbox, so I wouldn’t worry much about what others have. There will be competitive parts however, such as Star Marine, that will start you out with equipment the same as you opponents so the matches are fair, regardless of how much you have spent.

            On an aside: Paying real money helps level the playing field between those people who have the ability to play the game 40 hours a week and those who can only play 2. This only is a concern with equipment however, the game is a “skill based” space sim, and shooter, so even if you have the best equipment, you still might get taken out by a person who just shoots better than you, because he put the 40 hours a week in to get better.

          • user

            ok. but ive read this reddit thread:
            and someone there says if you want to play pvp you will have to deal with large orgs who control certain important points in the universe. are you saying that these large orgs or solo players cannot use their purchased ships in these parts of the universe?

            edit: i have to agree that it is a big problem in many games that those who play 24/7 have a huge adventage over casual gamers. maybe a better solution would be servers which are only online at certain hours of the day.

          • George Vieira IV

            In the PU proper, of course they can use their ships. However, the game strives to make playing it more than just having the biggest ship.There is no win. The game is really more about personal progression. If you start out rich you will have different goals, than if you start out poor. Honestly people who start off with all the ships might be cheating themselves of some of the gameplay (assuming they don’t have alt accounts that let them play with nothing but a starter ship)

            Players won’t be able to completely control systems like they do in EVE, this is why 90% of the PU is NPCs not players. Players will have a minor impact on economy at best. Also the UEE (space police) will keep you from being griefed in their space.

            Limited server availability wouldn’t work, time zones, night-shifts, and such, but you could set it up so you can only log in for a couple hours a day that could work as an alternative, but that reminds me a bit too much of facebook games.

          • alziebop

            Also something to note is if you went out and bought a ship for $500, and you don’t bother to insure it in game, and it get’s destroyed, you’ve lost your $500.

          • SandmaN

            “…the guy in the video…” I LOL’ed :)

  • Crobbersagain

    Chris Roberts is a liar and a fraud and this game will never have VR support.

  • Skippy2Ton
  • Samuel Chaabane

    Now the Oculus CV1 is out, and games are appearing on it more and more… whats the update on the VR Star Citizen?? Its something im guessing may be around early 2018??

  • Einar O