Chris Roberts’ Cloud Imperium Games is currently working on Star Citizen and its single-player campaign Squadron 42. Considering the ambitions behind the process, the work to be done is certainly massive, and the developer has been growing its headcount steadily since the successful original crowdfunding campaign in 2012.
DualShockers recently sat down with Foundry 42 Studio Director Erin Roberts, and we received an update on the size of the staff working on the game.
Currently, Cloud Imperium Games has five offices following the recent opening of a new Foundry 42 location in Derby, U.K. that counts only fifteen staffers at the moment. The largest office is the main Foundry 42 location in Manchester, with a headcount of 234. The studios in the U.S. are more compact with Cloud Imperium Games in Los Angeles and Cloud Imperium Games Texas in Austin counting respectively 75 and 71 staffers. Last, but not least, the Foundry 42 office in Frankfurt, Germany, gives work to a staff of 80.
The total headcount of the internal staff working on the game is now a massive 475.
Roberts mentioned that such a large staff is required by the fact that Squadron 42 on its own has a scope similar to a huge AAA game, then there is the effort on building new technology, and the Star Citizen persistent universe is a huge content undertaking as well.
According to Roberts, since the team has the staff size and the ability, 2018 will be a really good year in terms of getting a lot of gameplay and content in the hands of the community.
The new Derby office was opened to focus mostly on facial animation due to the local presence of a group of specialized developers that Cloud Imperium wanted to involve in the project.
Interestingly, the headcount in the U.K. is very high compared to other countries because the local government offers sizable tax relief for game developers. The northwest of England is also a very good place for hiring talented developers, with a very reasonable cost of living. This means that the company is getting a lot of value for the money compared to working in locations that feature higher costs.
If you want to see and learn more about Star Citizen, you can enjoy more info on the single-player campaign Squadron 42 directly from Chris Roberts, the spectacular vertical slice of the campaign, and a version of the same footage with commentary from the developers, another video featuring the Coil, and a teaser starring Mark Hamill. You can also read more about the soundtrack, and the plans for the next major update to the persistent universe, that will be alpha 3.1 in March.
Incidentally, if you want to hear more from Erin Roberts, you can expect the full interview to come on DualShockers early next week, so stay tuned!
For the sake of full disclosure, please keep in mind that the author of this article is one of the backers of Star Citizen‘s crowdfunding campaign, which now sits at $178,358,889 with 1,985,153 registered users.