The problem is that literally all the various engines are incredibly restricted with regards to their multiplayer capabilities. They are all match-based at their foundation. What Star Citizen is pretending to try to accomplish, does not exist and never will exist, due to the restrictions everyone has to live by. Elite doesn't do it either, it's just REALLY clever at hiding its match-based nature by doing the matchmaking during hyperspace.
So, it appears that Star Citizen hopes to release a demo with at least a reasonably respectable number of simultaneous players, like a few dozen or so, because that is what Amazon's engine supports almost out of the box. They hope to buy some time with that, so that unless people are very knowledgeable, they will not start wondering about what Chris Roberts and company plan to do about the presently unsolvable problem.