It seems like a safe bet to say that Star Citizen is the most ambitious game in the short history of crowd-funded development. With well over $60 million dollars donated by fans of the space-flight sim genre, the project has already promised (and delivered on) some very elaborate stretch goals. As we inch closer to the game's eventual launch, consumers are starting to get curious about just how much space all of those extra languages, ships, and playable modes will take up on their hard drives.
Most serious PC gamers expect fairly large downloads when a new, high-end game is released and the reduction in cost of internal and external HDs over the last five years has made it fairly safe to store more than a handful of 30-50GB games on any gaming rig. Despite what some users were expecting, Star Citizen's director of game operations Jeremy Masker confirmed that the client download will be significantly larger than your average PC title.
Masker spoke out in response to a user on the Roberts Space Industries forum who predicted that the game would be significantly more compressed and optimized before launch, resulting in a 30-40GB final product. Masker replied on the forum with the following news.
"The game compression and asset removal is unlikely to yield such high gains that we will be able to reduce our client size to 30-40GB. The size and number of assets that are left to deliver means that our client size is much more likely to be 100GB."
As you might expect, the data will continue to pile on as the game developers deliver frequent patches throughout the game's lifespan. Masker went on to address this issue in his response, as well.
"Also, yes we are optimizing game patching for speed and to only deliver diffs, but this is unlikely to reduce actual patch size... Again, each patch has 100s of assets, each of these assets are at times 200mb, this leads to 2-6gb patches, and if we end up doing a file type re-factor and have to re-download 30-40% of the assets on the hard-drive, then the patch will be 14-20gb."
Gamers who have donated a significant chunk of cash to Star Citizen already may not have much of a problem purchasing an extra hard drive specifically for this game and its patches, but all of that data storage could be a lead to a cost-prohibiting factor for some of the target audience.
Once we start to factor in the need to a fairly fast internet connection to download these 14-20GB updates, the patches are likely to cause more and more problems for many players.
Star Citizen promised to be a beast of its own from the start, so gamers shouldn't be too surprised to see the game refusing to follow the usual rules at this point either. The size will definitely cause some issues, but if the game is as gorgeous as the demos have implied and the online community manages to thrive, then it will likely be worth the hassle.
Is the extra large file size a problem for you? Let us know in the comments.
Star Citizen is available now on Early Access for PC and Linux. The full game is set to release in 2016.
Source: Roberts Space Industries