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Star Citizen's most-anticipated spaceship finally has a release date

Six years after backers unlocked it.

Star Citizen has announcement trailers for its spaceships - and this one is the flashiest yet.

The video, below, is for the upcoming Anvil Carrack, probably the most-anticipated spaceship among the Star Citizen community right now. It's the kind of trailer you'd expect from a sci-fi movie, or some big-budget Netflix show. But it's a promo for a single spaceship in the game, a fictional advert from in-universe manufacturer Anvil Aerospace.

Watch on YouTube

So, what's so exciting about the Carrack? Well, this military long-range explorer looks set to offer impressive flexibility. We don't know exactly how the Carrack will fit into Star Citizen's "spaceship meta" until it hits the game in February 2020, but players hope it'll be manageable by a small crew, perhaps even solo, will be agile enough to feel zippy for its size, and tough enough to take on other ships. Players have built the Carrack up to be Star Citizen's version of Firefly's Serenity, which explains its star-turn at CitizenCon, Manchester this weekend.

The Carrack has been in the works for some time, too. It was a promised feature of Star Citizen's $33m crowdfunding goal, which it hit back in November 2013, and was first revealed in November 2014 as part of a concept sale (yes, Star Citizen sells concept spaceships). As a concept ship, the Carrack cost $350. Five years later, with Star Citizen now up to $241m raised, the Carrack is nearly ready to be sold as an actual ship.

Here's its official blurb, as released by Cloud Imperium Games when the Carrack was unlocked in 2013:

"The Anvil Carrack has been the vanguard of every UEE exploration effort in recent years. Featuring reinforced fuel tanks for long-duration flight, a highly advanced jump drive array and a dedicated computer core room that allows it to put the maximum processing power into jump charting operations. Originally a military exclusive, the Carrack is now available for civilian use as a pathfinder spacecraft. Features on-board accommodations to allow for truly self-sufficient flight, including crew medical and repair facilities, and a mapping-oriented sensor suite capable of always charting a route home!"

Concept art for the Carrack.

Star Citizen has of course been a highly-controversial project, with many accusing it of being a scam. It's a game that still feels years from release, eight years after development began. All the while, players continue to spend huge amounts of money on virtual spaceships.

"Some people just like the idea of looking in their hanger, their space garage, and looking at their collection of ships," Star Citizen boss Chris Roberts told Eurogamer in an interview back in 2014.

"There's a sense of pride. The same way if a rich person buys a bunch of sports cars. They can't really drive every one of their Ferraris or Porches. Jay Leno has got warehouses full of cars, right? He's got so many cars he could drive a different car every day of the year and go three or four years and not drive the same car. How useful is that, really? He just likes to collect them. If people collect comics, most people don't read those comics they're collecting. They just have this huge comic collection."

Clearly, Star Citizen has done well out of this spaceship fantasy over the years, and it seems like the company continues to splash the cash. Its annual get-together, CitizenCon, is ongoing this weekend. There's even an ice sculpture of the Carrack.

Carrack ice sculpture at CitCon from r/starcitizen

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