"sexual predator" that had been targeting young children.
This individual had been using the community to look for potential victims, but the dev team was alerted and informed the authorities, which now requires their time.
Sadly these types of build-anything games like Starbound, Minecraft etc. draw these predators because the games themselves eventually attract young children.
"Delaying development to deal with a sexual predator targeting children. Just in case anyone is wondering," Tiy, a game designer for Starbound. "People asking for elaboration, we're working with authorities to deal with someone that's been using the community to target kids." It's not a "big delay" but it has slowed them down.
Community manager Molly added on "The person in question has been permanently banned and we're looking into how to proceed re: involving authorities. To clarify, it's not a serious "We're delaying the game!" sort of deal, but situations like this do distract from actual game development.":
"There are a lot of underage people on our forums. If someone is messaging you in private in a way that's making you uncomfortable (especially in a sexual way), you can always message me or another staff member and we'll look into it and handle it." Like most forums, Chucklefish do technically limit accounts to those aged 13 years and over, but these 'age gates' are completely arbitrary and bypassed with ease.
Hopefully the Starbound team's action will lead to the authorities finding the culprit. Recently Chucklefish revealed they are going to start work on a second open world game alongside Starbound, which.