Singapore is one of the main Asian markets for Star Citizen space simulators

A ship in Star Citizen (Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

Originally started life on Kickstarter as an epic story-driven flight simulator, Star citizen it evolved into two games: a multiplayer flight simulator and an RPG called Squadron 42 (the original game).

While the game hasn’t officially launched yet (it’s still in Alpha), it’s very playable, with real-time mechanics and over 80 ships you can pilot.

According to developers Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), over 2.5 million players have played the game Star citizen since it launched the Alpha in November 2015.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, everything happens in real time, from walking to traveling between planets.

There’s no fast travel – you’ll have to walk to your ship’s dock, the planets have real orbits around the stars, and you can even see ships piloted by others fly overhead.

And players in Asia are taking part in the game. According to CIG’s senior vice president of marketing Elliott Chin, while Asia, including China, has only 10-15% of its player base, it’s growing very rapidly.

“China has been growing about 50% year-on-year, and China is our number one in Asia, with Korea in second place. And number three is actually Singapore,” Chin said in an interview. with Yahoo Southeast Asia early last month.

“We have a good fan base here, obviously because people speak English and read English well, and I think they have PC penetration.”

Chin also added that Hong Kong and Taiwan make up the rest of the top five.

Notably absent are the mobile-first markets of Indonesia and the Philippines.

This is hardly surprising given that the game also requires a top-notch PC to run and may even prove too much for countries like Thailand, even with its 30% market share.

However, Chin said there are no plans to change its hefty PC requirements, as the company is “dedicated to the high-end PC market.”

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

On the metaverses

If there’s one metaverse you should be exploring, it probably is Star citizen.

It’s huge, perfect for a metaverse, and CIG plans to add VR support in the future. By comparison, the comic book version of Facebook looks almost amateurish.

“You always get the kind of buzzwords that come around and this is one,” Erin Roberts, chief development officer, said of the metaverse.

“We want people to be able to escape into a different life for a while. If you’re on this planet working 9 to 5 and want to go sky high or join friends who are all over the planet and get together, you can you too”.

And because it’s a real-time persistent universe, it’s pretty easy to do that — just don’t try to walk to the other side of the planet, because it’s going to take a long, long, long time.

“Where you go there, the universe persists. You can have an alternate life for yourself in the future in science fiction,” Chin added.

“Even though we didn’t call it the metaverse when we started, when people talk about what the metaverse is, I mean, Erin and I look at each other and go, well, this is a multiverse.”

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

In an actual launch

While it has yet to rival Duke Nukem Forever’s development time, Star Citizen is getting ever closer.

Having raised over half a billion dollars, the game has been criticized for never launching.

But Roberts, who is also the brother of CEO and famed game designer Chris Roberts, says there are plans to reach Beta stage.

However, before that happens, the developers first want to renew some of the problems with user accessibility.

“But because we’re still building and we’re still doing some technology right now. We’re trying to make sure we can fix some of the issues, but we can’t fix them all until we actually get what we say is the core feature,” Roberts explained.

“Then we’ll call that Beta and after that we can talk about what content we’re going to keep putting into the game for years.”

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

(Photo: Cloud Imperium Games)

Meanwhile, the single-player game Squadron 42 is still in the works, but will only be released when it’s ready – CIG is keeping this very under wraps at the moment.

“Right now we think it’s pretty good, and Chris in particular thinks it’s pretty good, so we’re going to really go out there and share what it is and show all the cool stuff,” Roberts said.

Aloysius Low is a former CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He really likes cats and he is currently reviewing products on canbuyornot

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