You cannot avoid greatly changing the scope of the game when your funding changes by an order of magnitude during development, from an original of $20 million to $200+ million. Developing a $20 million game when you can do a $200 million one would be utter stupidity, and you know it. "Changing scope is bad" may be a good heuristic but it completely fails for projects such as Star Citizen.
Again, no, wrong. I don't know what you do for a living, but this runs counter to everything you learn about project management in the software industry.
Not only is it possible to avoid changing your project's scope, it is imperative that you do so
. Because once you start adding things that haven't been planned for in your original estimates, those estimates are now worth ****. Adding more of what you already planned to have, more varied ships or more planets or more voice acting or whatever, that's easy. You can throw money at more artists for all your budget's worth. Adding something that wasn't really on the table in the first place (like, say, best-in-class FPS gameplay), that's going to be a problem, as Star Citizen has so beautifully demonstrated.
Star Citizen, as originally pitched, could have been done by now (by a competent developer, like Frontier for example). Star Citizen with everything promised after the Kickstarter ran its course could have been done by now.
But instead, you're cheering for yet another minor update to an "alpha" that really does not deserve the term "alpha" (as a reminder: Traditionally, an alpha is supposed to be mostly feature-complete!).
I'm gonna say this again and again, and I dare you to disprove it: We could have had a version of Squadron 42 several years ago, if that had been the focus of development at any point
. We could have had a version of the persistant universe several years ago, assuming that that
had the exclusive focus. But we have neither, because CIG's management is fundamentally incompetent and has no real oversight from the people financing things (and thus no real pressure to ever actually release anything).