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Star Citizen Now One Of The Biggest Indie Studios BUT Is It TOO BIG?

 Turbulent Offically Joins Cloud Imperium Games… wait I thought they were already working together and basically CIG anyway… Previously they just had minor stakes in each other companies and all worked on Star Citizen.

Well now it’s more permanent as they are merging companies as CIG have acquired them. Let’s look at the press release and what this means for CIG and Star Citizen…

The CIG Press Release Says: 

We have some very exciting news to share with you all. After more than a decade of fruitful partnership and years working together in the trenches to build something the industry has never seen before, we decided that it was time for CIG and Turbulent to finally and officially join forces. We entered into an agreement several months ago but have now completed the arrangement to merge our companies, with Turbulent formally joining the CIG family this past week.

We first met Turbulent’s CTO, Benoit Beausejour, and CEO, Marc Beaudet, back in November 2012. We had just launched our crowdfunding campaign and, not wanting to be beholden to Kickstarter, decided to build our own website that would allow us to continue our campaign as well as develop a platform to engage with our rapidly growing community.

As is well known, the initial response to the Star Citizen campaign was beyond any of our expectations; so much so that our quickly built site couldn’t handle the sheer interest of people backing the project!  We opened a parallel campaign 10 days later on Kickstarter to help ease the demand on our site, but we realised we had seriously underestimated our need for a robust website with a scalable platform better suited to a much larger audience. Luckily, one of our early external development partners in Montreal introduced us to Turbulent.

Pretty quickly we realised that we were working with a talented, agile, and innovative web-development company. More than that, we found a group of developers who shared our ambition and vision to disrupt the industry.

The agility we needed at the start of this project (and that we still need today) didn’t faze Turbulent. They innovated solutions and, later in our relationship, invented new technologies, methods, and software to support our completely different approach to game development, whether it was supporting the incredible fluidity of our eco-system or enabling us to communicate and showcase our developers’ progress. Features such as our Concierge program, Issue Council, Telemetry system, Community Hub, Galactapedia, Roadmap, award-winning StarMap, and Spectrum social network are some of the public-facing elements that Turbulent built. And, behind the scenes, Benoit and his team started to help us publish features and functions, like our launcher, and in more recent times, the team has been a core part of our efforts on cloud services, Persistent Entity Streaming, and Server Meshing.

With Turbulent as part of the CIG group of companies, our headcount will be over 1,100, making us one of the largest independent game developers in the world! While this size and scale have enormous challenges, we are still looking to be a disruptive force in gaming, putting our community first and trying to do things differently; to innovate in all our business areas and make the best of the freedoms that come with being outside of the usual “consumer -> retailer -> publisher -> creator” paradigm, which stifles innovation and holds the industry back. 

As we approach some of our biggest milestones to date, we’ve never felt better equipped to realise the unprecedented ambition of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, especially now that we have added the firepower, talent, and decade of camaraderie from Turbulent to the fold, alongside the best community of gamers in the world. CIG is on a unique journey and the team at Turbulent have been with us every step of the way, sharing our relentless passion for making the best damn game universe ever. We could not be happier to welcome them to our family of studios!

This is pretty big for CIG as they expand their company out…

CI now have over 1.1k Employees.

But they also will have another 400-600 or so in their UK studio once their studio is fully operational there. The Frankfurt Studio as well is expanding out.

We are looking at CIG, probably pushing past 1700 employees in the next 3 years.

What About Other Stuff Turbulent Were Working On?

Turbulent Said – All projects with Turbulent’s current clients will continue as planned. The management team and the respective project teams will remain in place and ensure the diversity of internal expertise. In addition, the company will continue to operate in its primary language: French.

In addition to keeping all current projects and clients, Turbulent will bring our technological know-how and culture of innovation to the development of Star Citizen, and we are convinced that this will help take the game to new heights. We will continue to work with the community and support the open development principles that have been the cornerstone of Turbulent and Star Citizen since the very beginning.

What Does This Mean For Star Citizen?

Turbulent Are Working On LOADS of Features…

Starmap, Galatapedia, Website Stuff, Minigames BUT I believe their studio also does a load of work on POI and touches on a huge amount of game systems now.

The merger means Turbulents focus will be even more on SC than other projects.

They will continue to expand their studio & they have better recruitment and retention of French & Canadian Talent too.


More Employees and Devs is more good for a project like Star Citizen… There is a huge amount to do in each discipline and more manpower generally means more work gets done… tho that isn’t always true in all cases… and there are saturation points.

There are big liabilities for CI now tho… as they expand out to more and more studios and employees they need more money year on year to support the game… but that also means more sales and marketing… CIG are amazing at marketing BUT they do sometimes make decisions that i deem a bit of an overstep OR mistakes…

Selling Land Claims – Currently Selling the Career Packs with a way to get in game items back easily – Selling Digital Ticket For CitizenCon – Upping the price of some ships without giving notice – and there are vehicles / ships that occasionally don’t sell very well like the ROC-DS…

That all said CI do appear to be making a lot of additional income year on year.

Holding On To Talent…

Senior Talent vs juniors

So at the moment it’s all going well… and as they push towards their first on the shelf product SQ42 Episode 1 they could very well make TONs more…

But how many more years will we have to wait before SQ42? For current SC players will approximately quarterly updates be enough gameplay for them? And will CIG be able to convenience them and newer players to spend more money supporting the project?