As they revealed in a recent blog post, Cloud Imperium Games will be delaying the singleplayer, story-based portion of Star Citizen's experience by three months, which they chalked off to a promising concept of staggered development.
CIG stressed that they're still making "the Best Damn Space Sim Ever (BDSSE)" and that nothing changes in terms of what is being developed - only how.
"You will of course notice that our target Beta date for Squadron 42 has moved back by 12 weeks in today’s Roadmap update, but this is a necessary step as a result of changing the overall development cadence, which we expect will create positive results in the overall delivery and experience of Squadron 42", they wrote.
Star Citizen's developer explained that staggered development assigns different development teams to different delivery dates, i.e. one team works on 3.7 and once done, they move onto 3.9, while 3.8 is handled by a different team.
This establishes a cadence where the frequency of these updates will be "every couple of quarters", since the development cycle jumps to 6 months rather than the earlier 3-month window, but will not disrupt the current tempo of delivery of 4 major Star Citizen paches a year.
Note that under this type of development, one Star Citizen's first patches may feel lighter than the earlier ones, but the upside is that adopting it should eventually result in more substantial updates with higher quality content.
"We remain committed to delivering features that are exciting and add to the overall Star Citizen experience every quarter, taking the time to do them right, and communicating with you every step of the way. That's what this new initiative is truly about", CIG said.
Cloud Imperium Games
Interestingly, Star Citizen's vehicle team has already switched to this model of development, which is why they were able to show the work done on the Carrack and Prowler, even though they won't be coming online in the next patch.