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It’s a popular pastime to make fun of Star Citizen backers and scream “Star Citizen is a SCAM!” at the top of your lungs to anybody who will listen on the Internet.

Every so often a new article or video comes out listing out seemingly valid reasons for why the game is a scam.. And, depending on what you want out of a game, you could possibly say that.

Folks like me who play Star Citizen, however, feel differently about it.

Let’s break down why I don’t think Star Citizen is a scam.

Why Star Citizen isn’t a scam (to us)

Comic courtesy of XKCD

Look, Star Citizen has been in development for a very, very long time. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s playable as an alpha we’d be calling it the next Duke Nukem Forever or Daikatana.

It’s going to continue to be in development for a long time because of the hopes and aspirations of folks like me who dream for an incredibly detailed game that scratches every single itch we have.

Sim-style mechanics. A richly detailed universe. Modelling of every single little detail, no matter how insignificant. A vibrant player-influenced economy. Seamless transitions from space to atmosphere and back again. Gorgeous graphics. Immersive FPS combat. Multi-crewed ships. Being able to live a new life as a bounty hunter, trader, scrapper, pirate, and more.. And we can go to jail, break out, and hack a security station to remove our criminal records.

While you may point to game A and say it has X feature, game B and note the fact that it can do Y, C has Z, etc.. There is no one game that checks every box.

Games like Star Citizen are incredibly complex, and require a lot of folks working together and planning to make everything it has and make it right.. On top of that, they have the goal of making a playable game at the exact same time.

That’s not easy.

Look, I may sound like a RSI apologist, but I’m also someone who has been involved in game development in the past, and make my living as a web developer now.

Development is not easy.

The biggest complaint that can be had with Star Citizen’s development is that it’s got a seriously rough case of feature creep, but, to be honest.. Many of us are somewhat OK with that.

We all have a grand vision for what Star Citizen can and should be, and this is a luxury product that we’re squealing in delight for.

Star Citizen isn’t for everybody. It’s definitely a niche product.

However, based on the number of folks who are backing it, it’s a damned popular niche product.

Does that mean you should play it?

For most people, probably not.

Star Citizen requires a lot of patience: Not just in how you play, but in how you cope with the failures of the server and the bugs.

If after all that you still want to try it out, check out my guide for picking a starter package in Star Citizen.