A game of that size and scope, with a team a lot smaller than what AAA studios have nowadays, the was to be expected from the get-go.
I didn't invest any money into the game because the genre ain't my kind of tea. But knowing fully well what they were planning (and still doing), I knew that it would take a long while to get there.
For the scope and size of the game, imagine all 4 Mass Effect games rolled into one, , double it again, and have higher production value as either of them. How long did Bioware need for 4 Mass Effect titles? How many are working there and how many on Star Citizen?
The game is regularly updated with new features, bugfixes, what have you. If that's a scam, then every game which promises a roadmap of new features, aka every fucking GaaS (Game as a Service) is a fucking scam too, as they don't do anything different on that front, and you can go right out and sue the shit out of EA, Activision, Bethesda, etc... But how come nobody calls them scammers? Even though they don't just do the same, but on top of it rip you off in legal daylight robbery with microtransactions, lootboxes and whatsnot?
Well according to Forbes they have 537 employees.
Don't know how long it took them to recruit that many, but I doubt they all came within the past few months.
That's quite a bit bigger than most AAA studios.