Star Citizen is being released as a series of modules culminating into the launch of the game.
Cloud Imperium Games has pledged to support each module with continuous patches and improvements in order to gather as much early and non-stop feedback as possible.
The Dogfighting module (Arena Commander) was planned to be released in December 2013. It was delayed to debut at PAX East, followed by release to the backer public shortly after. Shortly after the release of the Dogfighting Module, the revamp of the Voyager Direct store will be released.
On the 12th of June 2014, Arena Commander multiplayer was enabled for a handful of backers and gradually expanded to include all backers, in order of Citizen ID.
FPS / Ship-boarding Module
The FPS Module was expected to release summer 2015 after Arena Commander was rolled out. The module is expected to demonstrate the first-person shooter ship-boarding aspect of the game where they can fight against other people on their ship(s). The release date has since been pushed back to an unannounced date in 2015. After multiple delays, release of the FPS Module known as Star Marine was put on the back-burner, because of the mini PU being released.
Social / Planetside Module
The Planetside module was originally planned to be released in April 2014. Since then it has been pushed back to some time in 2015. The module will be testing the player experience on planetside environments, where the player can go in to bars or to shops to buy and sell items or goods. It will let other players be in a shared space and potentially interact with other players on a social basis. Spring 2015 Planetside/Social beta. The ArcCorp/Social component of the planetside module was released on August 29, 2015.
Singleplayer Alpha / Squadron 42 Alpha
A Squadron 42 alpha is no longer planned for release. Squadron 42 will be using all elements and modules being tested for Star Citizen and as such, contributions made in improving modules as they are rolled out for Star Citizen also improves the end quality of Squadron 42.
Persistant Universe Module / Beta
The Mini Persistent Universe is expected to be available near the end of 2015, with all features integrated and running by the end of the following year in preparation for final release. The alpha module will be out by the end of 2014 for people who have bought the "alpha" pass and will get the very early access version. They are doing this so people can test it out and fix bugs over the year before release. Persistent Universe Alpha end of 2015 only for backers
The game's final release is anticipated to occur at the end of 2017-18 along with the full persistent universe and all previous features implemented and scaled up. Star Citizen Commercial launch date is not officially stated.
Squadron 42 will be released in 'polished'  chapters or stages, the first of which is anticipated to begin in the end of 2016 - early 2017. Although no official statements on this has been posted.
- Letter from the Chairman: On Dogfighting
- Star Citizen - Chris Roberts Interview
- Wingman's Hangar ep056 . February 12, 2014
- Arena Commander Multiplayer Roll-Out Begins!