Yeah, that's pretty much what I expected: labels like 'early access' or 'released' do colour perception of the product in front of you.
To an extent that's fine. If a studio 'releases' something you see as broken and unfinished, you know their expectations and yours are out of whack. But 'early access' and 'beta' are not get out of jail free cards. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone on a forum write "Relax, it's just a beta, all this is going to change", I could probably fund a space MMO myself.
You look at SC and see 'early access', and because THEY also describe it in those terms you think everything's fine.
But when you look at what they've managed to put in front of people for the time and number of people involved, it's REALLY substandard. There's a popular misconception that in games you get nothing, nothing, nothing, BOOM it all comes together in a big rock-music montage at the end - a misconception that's fed by the way publishers keep projects dark until the latter stages.
That is pretty much the polar opposite of reality. In (well-planned, well-organised) game dev, progress (in terms of features) tends to be logarithmic. Everything flies together at first. Then, as systems evolve and mesh together, feature progress slows and content production ramps up.
CIG have tried to do everything backwards, and it shows. Will people cough up enough money for them to muddle through? Maybe. I'm kinda torn on what I want to happen. I don't want people to be disappointed and lose their money for nothing. I don't want crowdfunding as a whole to be blighted by a colossal failure. But at the same time, does this kind of arrogance and incompetence deserve to succeed? Not talking about individual programmers or artists here, just the top brass.
Frontier have done everything as right as can realistically be done. They focused and delivered a solid MVP, fulfilled their backer pledges, and have been building on it ever since. CIG basically tore up their promises to their backers as soon as they saw the $$$, made a procession of stupid, wasteful decisions that caused grief to the devs working on the game, and funded their excess by milking fans with glitzy, misleading high-content-bandwidth footage that can't POSSIBLY scale to the size of game they're attempting. If that shit works... it's kind of a kick in the teeth to studios who are trying to do the right thing. I don't know if I can stomach seeing Chris Roberts preening on YouTube atop a pile of burnt-out programmers and artists.
So, that's MY cards on the table
Will they get enough funding? I think they'll get enough for SOMETHING. Maybe they'll get over this hump to a place where they can start charging a subscription and grow the game in a more sensible fashion. Or maybe they'll crash and burn. Which would be a shame because there was no need for that to happen.