" Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) was one of the early companies that announced DirectX 12 support, but the company has changed its mind on that API. Instead of using Microsoft’s DX12, Star Citizen will use Vulkan, with DirectX 11 support also being phased out.
The news comes from Ali Brown, director of graphics engineering at CIG. Here’s how he described the change:
Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn’t force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & [sic] Linux. As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn’t effect [sic] any of our backers.
This does make a certain amount of sense, but only to a point. The fact is, Star Citizen is nowhere near shipping and has no launch date. The more time passes, the more gamers are switching to Windows 10 (that OS now holds 47.71 percent of the market according to the Steam Hardware Survey, compared with 31.41 percent for Windows 7). But assuming Star Citizen can get the game out within the next two years, there will be holdouts still using older operating systems in conjunction with graphics cards that can handle the game. As Brown notes, throwing their weight behind Vulkan should ensure that yes, every system can run the game on a single API. The only question is how many gamers will still be using operating systems that require Vulkan by the time the game ships."