Ten Years of Space Games – What Went Wrong? (and what went right)

Ten years ago something amazing happened within the world of gaming. Space games began to re-emerge from their long absence, and it all began with a rather unexpected new trend. The rise of crowd funding for video games was new, and early in 2012 had some unprecedented successes.

After more than a decade of dark ages, with barely any space games – 2012 and Kickstarter combined to re-introduce them to an eager market. A new age was born, and the future of bold, massive space games was assured.

How Star Citizen Broke The Community

Epidemic Sound



  1. Sorry, but Elite, while flawed, has actually brought something to the players. Meanwhile, Star Citizen is an absolute garbage dump of a scam, that sells expensive .jpeg-s … Absolute shitshow of a "game", ran by a bunch of scam artists, with absolutely nothing on import (or even generic, frankly) to show for all the hundreds of millions given to them. Great summary overall, but I just can't get over the fact that these two projects occupy a similar space in it… No… just no. One is flawed, the other, an outright travesty whose "developers" should only ever see the bland wall of solitary confinement.

  2. COD really need to make a sequel for its space fighting version which was out in 2016, COD Infinite Warfare is just too good to let go.

  3. surprised you didnt mention space engineers its putting out consistent great updates lately

  4. X4 Foundations is the space game of the decade, it delivers what was promised by both Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen, but in a reduced scale. It's not perfect, but it's modable.

  5. I love Elite Dangerous. But there is one huge BUT… Only thing and majort thing I don't like on that game is ability to play solo… There is no competition , no risk. It should be playable only in "Open Play".

  6. every company does one thing right and fails at other things. they should gather to make ultimate spacesim.

  7. well when most of them use non-ue tools they go meh

  8. nobody resurrected free space, thats what went wrong

  9. Quite literally the worst thing CIG could say lol

  10. My favorite part is that throughout all this time the video covers Star Citizen is still not out yet.

  11. I'm going to have a hot take here and say it's not the fault of Star Citizen and Elite that the genre didn't take off as much as it could have. Now both games could have absolutely done better, and set a new standard for the genre that attracts more people, but there was a huge surge of space games in their wake and every single one of them failed to do one fundamental thing: Be a low barrier to entry but high complexity spaceSHIP game. The biggest issue that space games have is that they always shoot themselves in the foot the same three ways:
    1. The game is about piloting a spaceship but is way to hardcore for most people to ever get into, or too focused on PvP. (Elite Dangerous)
    2. The game is accessible and has a vast and interesting universe to explore, but loses focus on piloting spaceships and becomes a Tycoon game or some other simulation. (X4, No Man's Sky)
    3. The game is accessible and tightly focused on piloting spaceships, but lacks any serious depth to keep people playing long term. (Rebel Galaxy Outlaw)
    Nobody has ever given the genre "The Blizzard treatment". The Blizzard treatment needs a new name, because now it makes people think of a genre being groped in a cubicle, but it used to mean taking a game genre, removing all the barriers to entry and dealbreakers, but keeping the things that made it compelling long term. That means easy to get into, no forced PvP, but challenging content that takes dedication to finish.

  12. The funniest thing when talking about No man's sky's expansions is that less than 2 weeks since the release of this video a NEW expansion came out, bringing the number to 17.

  13. Sins of a solar empire rebellion.
    Endless Space 1 & 2.
    Homeworld 1 & 2.
    And others I can't recall I love till this day.

  14. The real distraction is the constant change in priorities or feature chasing, IMHO.

  15. If we can attribute what went wrong to a handful or two of games, in the landscape we find ourselves in today I count that as a win. It's a shame that these worlds haven't come to their full potential for whatever range of reasons. However, I'd argue that customer frustration with having expansive worlds set beyond our atmosphere seemingly fall apart has led to countless more projects being worked upon.

    Where a decade ago we had almost none, in less than a month we have Distant Worlds to look forward to, a galaxy with your own empire to manage. Scaled right down to a mere solar system in Falling Frontier and to a cockpit with further development in X4. One of the biggest tragedies is the seeming decline of Eve Online, but I count myself lucky with so much to look forward to ahead unshrouded by corporate greed.

  16. Should have mentioned something about Star Field by Bethesda.

  17. Eve Online would have been worth the mention. Almost 20 years and it's influence on all of these games.

  18. Companies promising too much and delivering so little. Also, hostile communities when criticism is pointed towards the game in question. NMS amazingly is really the only game to turn it around which is funny as hell. But it was a game that promised so much at the start. NMS would be the best example of all space sim games if the promo work wasnt handle so bad by Sony.

  19. Its a shame about elite… it really is.. I had high hopes. I give it a year before they stop development and abandon it

  20. Easy question and answer, E.D.O and Star Citizen went wrong and No Man's Sky went right.

  21. Make it so sad, Mass Effect Andromeda 2 was the best space experience for me out of EDO , Star Citizen, and No man's Sky

  22. Elite dangerous will always be the space game I go back to when I want to get lost in the void . Star citizen is hot ass…. 10 year old demo.

  23. Despite the improvements the games you mentioned have made, and the well made games that have come out since, it still feels like the genre is still living in the shadow of promises made 10 years ago, with a few slowly beginning to live up to them, and others no closer after all this time.

  24. i am sorry but no; 2012 and before was packed with sci-fi and space games to the hilt IE: Mass Effect 1,2,3, The Lost Planet Series etc etc… it was EXACTLY in 2012 where the 'dark age' BEGAN! 'No Man's Sky' also known as 'No Man's Lies' was a disaster and despite it's loyal fandom swearing 'it has been made better' the truth is it never recovered. Elite and Eve lacked the appeal of the sci-fi games of old and acting either as time or money sinks. Star Citizen was a glorious promise by Chris Roberts, a man who had abandoned his fans twice in the past and with Star Citizen failed to deliver over a decade later. The true issue is this: On those precious few times we have gotten a truly good sci-fi game in recent years the anti-science fiction types online have done everything possible to destroy them. Entire companies have been taken out by these people, they hate anything that isn't reductive or dystopian.

  25. ED has major game design flaws that will never be fixed.
    SC will never be finished, and will never be a complete working game. Plagued by game design flaws as well.
    NMS is a scam and there never was a comeback imo, the game is still not what was promised before release ….in fact i consider NMS to be the pandoras box that caused all game developers to start hyping and releasing broken games with the promise of fixing them later…. I hope Sean chokes on the money he made off of gamers…..

  26. I think the answer to why it went away is pretty simple: People got bored lol

  27. I'm making a space game in UE4 I hope to do it well and make people happy with a hopefully well developed and flushed out game

  28. I left Elite for star citizen and haven’t looked back.
    Frontier started ED with ship interiors in mind then ripped it away out of laziness
    I felt robbed, like a lit my money on fire.

  29. You didn’t mention Battlestar Galactica Online!!!!!!

  30. "What went wrong"
    Well, for me, it's that all of the well-made space games that I would like to play, end up being more or less flight sims. I don't play space games to have a flight simulator. EvE online would be my perfect game, but then it goes all-in on the PvP. I wouldn't mind the PVP if everything I worked months to build wasn't decimated in 15 seconds. Every space game has some irredeemable fault within it that has nothing to do with space.

  31. Judging from the comments, many people feel space games are basically space based flight sims. This is the last thing I think of when I hear "Space Games". I think of games like Distant Worlds, Kerbal Space Program or (dating myself) Starflight.

  32. space game can suscess when they combine 3 thing, mecha + drone + spaceship…. then it 100% sure suscess

  33. Highly recommend checking out Independence War (I-War) and Independence War 2. Can be found on GoG and elsewhere. The lore, tech, Newtonian physics space combat, and story were all outstanding. Graphics are dated (obviously) but you'll still see some incredible stuff. If I-War 3 was in development, I'd back it in a heartbeat.

  34. it was a big Hipe Flop ! and they ar make so big Money !

    they took the childhood dream of many and abused it to make really fat money! after 10 years there is still no top space sim! only Elite Danger. 1:22 and here you can see that only 3 after paying the sum did not want more than necessary from the Beckers! I respect everyone else (star citizen 500,000 goals and over 2 million at the time, meanwhile CIG has made itself the most expensive game of all time

  35. IMO Space Engineers is the best space game made in the last 15 years. Star Citizen is an absolute travesty. In the pantheon of game development, it’s probably the biggest joke I’ve ever observed.

  36. The mere fact that for most of the video is used a planetarium program speaks a lot about video games :).

  37. Playing my first few hundred hours of Elite was pretty magical. I miss those days. Never realize it in the moment. A shame that it hasn't had more support and development because it's really a solid game. A great game. They have such a good base for something even more amazing. The game still blew me away when I first played, I was a bit late to the party though. 2017, Horizons. A friend had got me into it.

  38. When Elite Dangerous lets people land on Earth and The Moon and Mars it will be a much more popular game. And if they add some story lines people can follow if they want to.

  39. I want a sandbox battlezone game, with the quality of SC, spacetravel and economy

  40. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has been the best space shooter since Starlancer (Dreamcast) and the Tie Fighter/X-Wing series as far as I'm concerned.

  41. The developers for Star Citizen have been collecting money from people for how long now? They told everyone what? I think it's time to put Star Citizen on the shelf in the Games That Could Have Been Great category.

  42. Indie and AA games are faring much better in this regard (and several others).

  43. What went wrong;
    1. Punters (including me) went and pre ordered and pre funded a whole bunch of space games because the market only seems to use space as a thingamajig rather than using it as a mechanic or a meaningful setting so it's e empty of meaningful use

    What went right;
    1) Because it's niche, the market reset seems to be heading here first. Gamers should be angry that the promise of a decent space game is all that's needed to sup up millions of consumer dollars and squeeze out a minimum effort remake of something. I'd rather have publishers get tentative than comfortable.

    List of all truly great space games released from 2011 onwards;

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