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Over $250 Million in Crowdfunding for ‘Star Citizen,’ and Climbing

  • A long way from its initial $2 Million target.
  • Most funding earned from purchasable in-game content.
  • Safely retains its Guinness World Record over all other crowdfunded games.

If the headline itself wasn’t an eyecatcher, I want to point out that by the official website itself that Star Citizen earned nearly $1.3 million yesterday alone. That’s crazy successful by any definition of the word, and for that I definitely have to tip my hat to Cloud Imperium Games. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it how a game that began development in 2011, and still in what is easily considered early stages of development, hasn’t only hit a major milestone like $250 Million in crowdfunding, but made nearly $1.3 Million yesterday and over $190 thousand today at the time of writing this in these early morning hours. It’s crazy successful, it’s crazy in general, and the more I see about the game the more I’m wondering about all the intricacies of its ad campaigns that have somehow lead to this.

In all honesty, their advertising doesn’t even seem all that great. About average, not bad but nothing overly memorable in and of itself, Star Citizen seems to grow by word of mouth by the moment, no matter if it’s the positives or the negatives being talked about. Again, I have to say, $250 Million and rising on a crowdfunded game that is nowhere near completion; Star Citizen will either become the game of the century, or the downfall of crowdfunding viability depending on what the final product is that much is for certain. When crowdfunding first began for Star Citizen, they had a target goal of $2 Million. They’ve dwarfed that goal so many times that I can’t imagine that their heads didn’t spin in circles. They had goals up through $65 Million and they hit that a long time ago.

Star Citizen, if you’re out of the loop, is an ambitious game that doesn’t just want to give you the definitive spacer experience; it wants to give you a galactic playground. They want to have explorable planets with massive cities and dangerous wildlife, intense space battles and exploration of derelict vessels and stations, and recently they even discussed a Battlefield styled Theatres of War mode that despite looking incredibly rough had a very shining moment of an assault on an orbital mining platform.

You know what goes good with a new milestone? A new trailer. This in-universe style commercial for the Origin Jumpworks line of ships within Star Citizen is definitely entertaining to watch. It kind of reminds me of those boat and RV shows that seem incredibly popular in my neck of the woods, but with space ships. When it comes to trailers I usually prefer a demonstration of in-game footage, but I can appreciate a style like this where it’s presented as a commercial not necessarily to the player directly by the citizens within the game. 


Personally, I still can’t go anywhere near Star Citizen yet. It just feels like there’s so much hype around it already in stages that can be seen as infancy, and if it crashes it will crash hard. I hope my worries are misplaced because if it pans out it could be something truly special. But right now for every dollar, the game earns from eager players, I wonder how many other players are resisting the urge until closer to release; whenever that may come. Are you part of the Star Citizen fandom? Are you a hesitant but curious watcher? Let us know your thoughts on this latest milestone down below.

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  1. Somewhere in Arizona, a very angry man just got slightly more pissed off.

    • Somewhere and indeed everywhere, new backers are joining by ten thousands at every patch because they do have free week (close to 20 days every year) so anyone (none backers) can test/play current version and see if it match theirs expectations to join in now or to wait for specific gameplay implementation in coming quarters, Beta or release.

      How many Triple-A devs are as transparent? Simple answer: none but feel free to provide a couple of names.

      • I didn’t say it was a scam, and neither did the guy in the video I cited, nor did anyone say that that the devs were hiding things. Only that they absolutely suck at management and continue to let their scope widen (while pitching what sounds admittedly awesome), but pie in the sky rhetoric and little modules are just that. Considering the amount of time this game(s) has taken and the money invested, if it was any AAA dev they would have been drawn and quartered by now.

        Given your vociferous defense of the game, I can only assume you’re a backer, and I’m not here to piss on your parade, my friend, only that it’s possible to support something while admitting it’s got development issues. Back in the day, if people knew what was going on behind the scenes for games like Resident Evil 4 (one of my favorites), the fans would have been shouting every six months, “What in the piping hot fuck are you people doing in there? Where’s the damn game!” Just take a chill pill.

        • I did not say you said scam or that it was in video either.

          If you knew about large project development, you would know that whatever the plan you do, trouble, delay are going to happen… especially when the guy driving the all project (CR) did said from start that pledges will drive contents, to a certain extend.
          Stretch goals have been stop mid-2015 after CIG did asked backers.

          Since then CIG did build everything from scratch, except the game engine they did have to heavily refactor.

          You missed also the fact that Publishers are there since more than two decades for some and spent years to grow up, hiring thousands, creating up-to-date pipelines… spending hundreds M$ just for that over time.

          CIG did it from scratch, develop two triple-A while hiring every year and creating pipelines.
          What we have in 3.8 (few weeks) and roadmaps, with SQ42 Beta (solo) in 4 quarters is amazing.

          Meanwhile Publishers release Fallout 76 (a copy/paste of Fallout 4 from which they made +900M$ in one single day) and Anthem which have to be re-worked from ground… for more than SC starter package (45$)

          About the chill pill I take one each time I read some comment on, forum proving that some are talking with very little understanding of context 🙂

  2. This game seems more and more like a social experiment with the power of vaporware and feature creep.

    “Most funding earned from purchasable in-game content” – now that’s just sad.

    • Probably because this the funding model since day one? Anyone with a fleet of ships won’t be able to fly them all at once, nor be competitive in large ship requiring several crew members at different stations (shield, weapons, scam, electronic warfare…)

      A new comer and its starter package can play (escort), share mission or crew others ships.

      MMO as its best. Assuming you like a game in which you can have all following gameplay:
      – ground FPS: with guns or vehicles ,
      – Ships with one seat up to 10’s players/NPC’s,
      – Zero G FPS
      – Take off from station, quantum travel, land to others planet/moon 1/6th of real one,
      – Caves (fps or mining;.. or both),
      – Planets with different biomes,
      – Follow your path alone or with others: mining with ship or hands. Salvage, repair, medic and large container transport in upcoming quarters,
      Share missions, including bounty hunting NPC’s or players,

      And I scratched the surface of possibilities coming in 2020

      • @Joe Microtransactions are cancer and break the meritocracy of gaming. Having them present from the start is not exactly a good thing regardless of your excuses.

        The rest of your post is marketing spiel ironically proving my point about feature creep and over-promising.

        At least you have an appropriate white knight avatar for your actions.

        • The single meritocracy of an MMO is to have fun for ALL.

          “no-life” player can grind and get everything before everyone… and more of it.

          Guys with no time but cash can at last, have an MMO experience with others, playing the profession they want while not breaking game balance for three reasons:

          – Everything is available with credits. No asset bought with $ is superior to the one you can get in game,
          -You can’t be competitive with large (understand big gun everywhere) alone. Buy an Idris and you would do nothing with it without a capable crew of 10,
          – players are 10% of the PU. The remaining 90% are NPC’s… and they don’t use $ to buy their ships.

          Note: yes avatar was selected on purposes knowing what would be the first word used by some 🙂

          • @Joe “The single meritocracy of an MMO is to have fun for ALL.” – meaningless deflection. Microtransactions have no place in a fully priced game, let alone one that’s not even out yet.

            ““no-life” player can grind and get everything before everyone… and more of it.” – more excuses for an anti-consumer practice. Whales can buy what people have worked for in and instant.

            “– players are 10% of the PU. The remaining 90% are NPC’s… and they don’t use $ to buy their ships” – that has to be the most preposterous excuse yet. “NPCs don’t buy ships!”. I’d argue that quite a lot of NPCs do give money for these.

            “yes avatar was selected on purposes” – at least you admit your purpose and make it painfully obvious.

          • Note( Reply here to Mr0303 as Reply buton is not viible on his comment)

            Mr0303 on December 5, 2019 at 11:46 am said

            Quote:”@Joe “The single meritocracy of an MMO is to have fun for ALL.” – meaningless deflection. Microtransactions have no place in a fully priced game, let alone one that’s not even out yet.
            J. Answer Micro-transaction are the norm in MMO including those with a B2P model. You should try yo inform yourself before throwing false statement.

            Quote:”““no-life” player can grind and get everything before everyone… and more of it.” – more excuses for an anti-consumer practice. Whales can buy what people have worked for in and instant..
            J. AnswerThis is not excuses but facts. People with not time can finally play the game they want and those with time but no money can enjoy larger ship and gameplay at day one as large ships MUST be crewed. Good for everyone. Don’t you understand that a whale can’t do nothing alone with its super big ships?

            Quote:”“– players are 10% of the PU. The remaining 90% are NPC’s… and they don’t use $ to buy their ships” – that has to be the most preposterous excuse yet. “NPCs don’t buy ships!”. I’d argue that quite a lot of NPCs do give money for these..
            J. AnswerClearly you try very hard to pretend you don’t understand what it means right? NPC are 90% of the PU with all type of ships which mean the few whales around (and their ships) are diluted in PU.

            Quote:”“yes avatar was selected on purposes” – at least you admit your purpose and make it painfully obvious..
            J. AnswerI don’t admit @Mr0303 because I never hide it. Providing counter argument to naysayer/hater make you flagged as Whiteknight anyway so why not pick an appropriate avatar? 🙂

  3. As I stated in a comment to a prior post here about Star Citizen, I cite this project in the senior-level university class I teach on real-world software engineering. I do so because it exhibits so many key indicators of a massive software project failure. To avoid repetition, I’ll just post the link to that earlier comment:

    • Dear @bfwester

      We backers are used of all possible tricks from naysayer/hater/troll to lure Readers. Some of them call themselves “detractors” because it sounds more acceptable and less cultist.

      One of their trick is “anon” source with exclusive information and date nobody can’t double check, even CIG :),

      Another is to pretend to have PHD’s and/or direct connection to past Chris’ colleagues… with of course terrible revelation… nobody can confirm. The Glassdoor example was the pinnacle of it (understand the most laughable).

      But the most common by now is to link to article which have not much more substance than speculation pushed to its limit.
      Let’s say you are who you pretend to be for a moment. Why not, it is a possibility after all. The goal of introduction was to pinpoint to Readers some individual behavior, Guys with a durty agenda.

      In your very own article, you said: quote ” At some point, one of three things happens: the
      manufacturer/vendor abandons the project; the client cancels the project; or the manufacturer delivers a system that the client terms wholly inadequate and unacceptable. In some cases, the effort has gone on for years, with millions of dollars spent and little to show for it.

      – Your first argument is that: “IT is replete with projects burning through millions, hundred of millions, and even billions of dollars without ever delivering anything meaningful.”

      – Your second argument is: ” the Star Citizen team grossly underestimated the amount of work required to achieve their goals”

      – Your third argument is:: “and I suspect they still do not have a clear development path to completion”

      – last point: Quote: “Star Citizen has all the indicia of a “Never-Ending Story”,”

      Followed by few maxims including your very own:

      here are my answers:

      * First point: I don’t know if you are serious but showing a list of failed or not good project for a specific industry (whatever it is) as never been a proof that another one showing delay is not going to be successful. Planes crash, still around 40.000 take off and land safely every days, including those who land harshly, get out of the airstrip or want through heavy atmo perturbation checking the all structure to the limit of some components.

      Also you speculate based on standard industry behavior with investors, their fiscal date and ROI. This project is NOT following it as investors are not going away because delays happen but because backers want to built something no Publishers will ever care to give (sale) them.

      +36M$ on average every year (not counting M$ of subscriptions and others revenues). This year again received more pledges than last year, right during Alpha… because free week allowing none backers to test/play by themselves and very tangible progress done in the past 2 years.

      * +1.2 Million backers and GROWING every day with next three patch adding more game mode, gameplay (salvage, medic, transport, repair), features, stability (SOCS) than any others years in the past,

      ** Second Point: You have no idea how CR and Seniors developers adjusted plan over years. You speculate delay equal underestimating tasks.
      CR always said CIG will adapt resources to pledges and that choice is to deliver a better experience than cut it down. Delays are the consequences of applying what have been told, not the opposite.
      Let’s speculate something else. Every January (to pick a date) they evaluate past pledges vs resources vs tasks and decide to go or not to go for cutting some branch of the lore or reduce the number of assets/features that were planned to be injected at benefice of gamer overall experience.
      That is precisely what they did with quality PG planets. Pledges were coming in force and they ADDED resources to this branch while still pushing the year plan.

      *** Third point: path to completion is visible on CIG site. This is two roadmaps, one for SQ42 (solo ala Wing Commanders)and one for SC (MMO).
      SQ42 do have a planned Beta in 4 quarters.

      SC is going to receive in the meantime at least 6 quarterly patch, adding most planned contents/features, gameplay plus all SQ42 assets at release. The plan for SC is to get most (understand at least 80 to 90%) of all gameplay in phase 1 or 2, persistence, stability of servers so they can stop wipe between patch. Mid-2021 is a reasonable target with SQ42 beta in Q3 2020.

      **** Fourth point: indicia from which you speculate the “Never-Ending Story” syndrome. Except the story do have an introduction, development and conclusion, as explained above.

      And to finish, your maxim: “”“The only way to deal with schedule slip is to throw away features.” — me”

      I have another one: “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own”. That is the all spirit of this project;; right from a guy who knew what challenging was: Bruce Lee 🙂

      crowdfunding, pledges, pipleines, Citzencon

  4. How many times did they switch game engines? I’m an early backer and I haven’t given up hope but this ones going to be a long wait. I don’t want to try it either and until it’s finished. I think the documentary on its production might end up being much more interesting than the finished product. Hopefully Chris will share all his lessons learned from its protracted development.

    • Quote:”How many times did they switch game engines?”

      Never indeed 🙂

      They used Cry Engine for the kickstarter project and during the few first years then switch to Lumberyard… which is a fork of Cry engine bought and own by Amazon in full. Basically, they from Cry Engine… to Cry Engine.

      However CIG did heavily refactored Lumberyard to fit all project requirement.

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