Star Citizen will feature a dynamic economy with production chains that can be affected by resource shortages.
While many have been fixated on the "spaceships go boom" aspects of Star Citizen, there have been some who have who have expressed their interest in how the game will work on an economic level. Hoping to satisfy those curiosities, a post on Star Citizen-creator Chris Roberts' website has taken the time to go into detail about the game's economy and how it will affect and be affected by players.
"The economy in Star Citizen is built to represent millions of entities (whether players or NPCs) that work together to move resources and finished goods from one end of the galaxy to the other," said the post. "Miners and other resource gatherers work to extract basic resources from the available supply, traders collect those goods and deliver them to other places, escorts protect those convoys from harm (while pirates attempt the opposite)." Players' actions, in turn, are deeply intertwined with the game's economy. For instance, if you play a pirate that focuses heavily on a particular trade route, it can lead to a shortage of resources that harms one of the in-game production chains. "If nearby missile factories suddenly have a shortage of necessary components, escorts who come in from an extended firefight to restock may find missile prices very high - or stocks depleted entirely." Shortages, in turn, will be used to generate new missions as players are called on to transport resources and defend merchants trying to restock effected areas.
If you're keen on influencing the economy in deeper ways, Roberts and friends are aiming to provide options for that, as well. "The most aggressive entrepreneurs may take over whole sections of a supply chain and begin producing their own goods for sale on the open market - if they can keep the resources flowing. But be warned - some large corporations don't appreciate competition!" All in all, Star Citizen sounds as though it's shaping into a game just as well suited to virtual moguls as it is to would-be space pilots.
Source: Roberts Space Industries