Ok, that makes more sense then.
Isn’t that how everything goes? New thing comes along, people love new thing. some people like it so much that they make their own versions of new thing. some are bigger, some are faster, some are cheaper. New thing evolves over time, people stop using and start abandoning other things in favour of new thing, making those things old things. eventually new thing is just a thing, no one remarks at things, they’re just ubiquitous and accepted and people are more likely to remark on when they encounter old things in a sea of things. Then new thing comes along.
I think the dream is to have a space game where you can do whatever you want, but that’s not possible; even VERY open sandbox games like GTA or DF have to have rules and limitations, they’re coded, they can’t deal with contextual ambiguation, so that ideal is never going to be realised.
In most ‘space’ games, space is just a setting with whatever sci-fi aesthetic that might involve; build a thing IN SPACE, race against people IN SPACE, play an rts IN SPACE, play a horror fps IN SPACE. Then there are actual space games, that have features that are specific to space in some way (KSPs orbital mechanics, Homeworlds 3d space battles, shattered horizons low gravity shenanigans) where being in space is actually the twist on an existing genre
Space flight sims are a bit of an oddity, as ‘regular’ flight-sims are already quite niche, and space-flight sims tend to be a little more accessible due to 1) Movie IPs; thanks X-Wing and TIE Fighter 2) There is no gravity or ground in space, so you focus on what you’re doing and not so much just keeping in the air. This is the niche that i think is relatively under-represented at present.
I think it’s complicated by the fact that Elite and Frontier are so damn old, but combined space-flight ‘sim’ with exploration, trade, politics, as well as just combat, and did it well (or well enough given the technology available). The idea of having a space exploration game where you explore 3d space, across a huge map, land on planets, trade stuff, fight, refit your ship etc isn’t anything new, and it’s remained pretty niche for the last 34 years. It’s had hits (freelancer, X2 and X3, E:D probably counts), it’s misses (first encounters, x rebirth), and it’s current ‘golden age’ amounts to 2 games (3 if you include NMS which you shouldn’t), across the last 6+ years (SC kickstarter was 2012, E:D announced 2012 and released 2014, both were in development prior to being announced). For Elite, there was a 20 year gap between first encounters and dangerous. There’s a huge gap between wing commander and star citizen, with only freelancer and a shit wing commander movie inbetween. And there’s another huge gap between everything NMS could have been and NMS.
I think while you’re questioning if there’s going to be an abundance of space games and whether that could impact SC, I feel like there’s a dearth of space games, and more competition to SC would be welcome but unlikely.
E:D gets criticism for what it is, NMS for what it could have been, and SC wants to improve on them for sure (space flight AND detailed locations wtf?!?), but gets it’s flack for not being finished. Add in that X:R went down the single-player story focused route and was a miss, Egosoft are working on a subsequent X single-player game, and that star citizen is trying to incorporate a seperate single-player campaign (now a separate game), along with an FPS component, and that doesn’t leave enough middle ground for anyone to want to exploit. Someone would need to come up with a better game, that looks prettier, is larger, has more detail, has no bugs, does everything it advertised as well as something new, and it needs to be paid for and finished already.
On the other hand, it’s cryengine/lumberyard, so if Epic decided to throw money at a suitable studio (they have the money, they have an engine) then they could probably come up with some competition. I suppose what they’re missing is a Chris Roberts, a David Braben, or whatever isn’t a Sean Murray.
Seperately, on your allusion to DayZ, yeah SC is in a very similar place in terms of ‘here’s a thing we want to make, you folks are super excited, have bought into our vision for what it is, now excuse us while we go away and never finish it’, the difference being it was very easy for people to imitate DayZ because the world is packed with engines that can make an FPS, and that isn’t the case for space flight, SC having numerous issues on the back of choosing to repurpose an FPS engine for their space flight game.