Crazy Town: Star Citizen, the Most Crowdfunded Project in History, Just Hit $37 Million

If it makes $2 million more, it'll cap all its stretch goals

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Roberts Space Industries

And it’s still climbing: according to Roberts Space Industries (RSI), which is making the gorgeous gala space simulation (to, in theory, top all space sims), the game could well unlock its final stretch goal of $39 million.

That’s kind of insane. But then this is a game that blew past its original Kickstarter goal of $500,000 to top $2 million already in November 2012, and in slightly more than a year’s time, it’s raised an additional $35 million to top $37 million today. All that crowing over the $10 million Pebble Watch Kickstarter? Forget about it, then insert someone shaking their fist in the air and chanting “game power” here.

No pressure, Chris Roberts. Not that I’m worried he won’t be able to deliver. Roberts made some of the best games I’ve ever played (for their respective eras), from Times of Lore (on a secondhand Commodore 64 I picked up in 1989), to the groundbreaking Wing Commander series, to Starlancer, his industry swan song released over 13 years ago.

In RSI’s latest “Letter From the Chairman” — that is, Roberts himself — he writes:

You’ve pushed Star Citizen to $37 million in crowdfunding! And that amount is only one of the numbers I’m having trouble believing today. Let me share another one with you: 4,924. That’s the number of Organizations that have been created since the new system went online less than 12 hours ago. The breadth of the Star Citizen community continues to astonish: you’ve taken up our charge and are creating something truly unique.

Sure, Grand Theft Auto V reportedly cost over a quarter of a billion to make, which sounds nuts, but when you consider some of the next most crowdfunded games — say Torment: Tides of Numenera or Project Eternity — weigh in at under $5 million, $37-on-the-way-to-$39 million easily qualifies as jaw-dropping.

What do backers get for $37 million? A new star system at the heart of a nebula, though according to the description it only has two worlds, both of them dead with no atmosphere. Kind of a downer, really — you’d think for $37 million they could at least have thrown in a Wookie planet or a Jedi swamp or something.

Game development is ongoing, but if all goes well, look for Star Citizen to ship for Windows PC in early 2015.

Update: $39 million refers to the “final system stretch goal” (and it seems that amount’s been updated to $40 million since this post went live), which doesn’t mark the end of funding altogether — I assume you’ll still be able to contribute to the project indefinitely.

15 comments
voodoo.child
voodoo.child

38 mil the other day (and counting, at this point I don't see how they land short of 50 million at least)....


One other factor I would mention; Cloud Imperium is a LEAN company.  They don't have an HR or a marketing department.  What they DO have are a ton of devs working furiously and are using the money to grow and hire even more developers.


I would argue ~40 million to a Dev heavy company like CIG is worth more than 40 million to Rockstar or EA... or at least in terms of development each dollar is getting more done at CIG than in a big house publisher with much more overhead and non-development personnel on staff.

astrocar
astrocar

On second thought, you guys (commenters) need to lighten up.  This is the first article about SC I've seen in Time, and anyone is bound to get a few facts mixed up their first time covering the situation.

astrocar
astrocar

Lol, looks like Time should have polled the readers for information.  Cool stuff definitely, but this article only scratches the surface of how expansive this dual release will be.  Also, the planets may be dead, but nebula are the primary source of heavy atomic elements.  I'd be willing to be that this system will be a miner's paradise.

DiogoMoratoMagalhães
DiogoMoratoMagalhães

@firefly212You should check the facts, RSI is actually a subsidiary of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation so the "journalist" isn't all wrong.

Still it's rather explicit the lack of research or an insulting depreciative tone that is used to describe the stretch goal rewards. To make things clear each stretch goal serves as a marker to establish what will be developed or let go until further funding. the 37million goal brought a huge amount of content. 

Still as i red this i felt insulted as a fellow Backer since we must all be mentally challenged in order to make a pledge for something so clearly lacking and intangible. Either over 300.000 gamers got it wrong or this 1 "journalist" did.

I for one would fund this whole project if given the money. Its both a statement (big middle finger to all idea grinder companies) as it is revolutionary.

firefly212
firefly212

Seems like someone did... zero research before writing an article... from not understanding how the stretch goals get introduced (a few milemarkers ahead), to incorrectly identifying an in-game space-ship manufacturer as the game maker... everything about this just scream "5 minutes to deadline! Give me a story!"

Thunder
Thunder

Everytime a new funding goal is reached a new one two levels ahead is revealed.

The recent goals were voted for by the community.


The goals are only representitive of the features that the additional funds will bring to the game, so not a downer.

ACaterpillar
ACaterpillar

-Stretch goals will continue to be made as we go on, 39 million was never the max goal. The original goal was around 32 million once they broke out of the kickstarter. The goals are not just the described items but also funds for making the game more polished and using better technologies. The goals are a chance for us as a community to vote on what we want to see time spent on.

-The projected release date is early 2015, he may delay it if need be to make sure the final product is up to everyone's standards. Since Chris Roberts is not bound by a greedy publisher he is able to set realistic goals and focus on what the community wants and not just what they think will sell.

Sinclaire
Sinclaire

Some additional clearing up: 


- The company is called CIG or Cloud Imperium Games. 

RSI or Roberts Space Industries is a "virtual company" within the game universe and the name of the website only. 


- The original stretchgoal was $2m with $500k on Kickstarter after the crowdfunding already launched on the RSI website. Basically to get additional publicity mostly. The initial crowdfunding campaign reached $6.2m. 

KalecMalygos
KalecMalygos

"final system" means that chris has set 10 specific goals- 5 for ships, 5 for special star systems as a filler - he said he needed money for polishing everything.


neither star system nor ship design costs million dollars, but well... polishing of everything does- those goals were set to solidify everything before it... and not to rush additional features to make everything unfinished.

that is from 29-39 milion funding where really people pay for nothing new. (though they do buy ships to their collection)

TristanShearer
TristanShearer

Keep in mind when mentioning GtaV - the quarter of a billion cost is specifically due to advertising. Actual game development probably only costed them around 30 or so million. It wont surprise me if star citizen really is more expensive than GTAV in ever aspect other than publishing and advertising.

Wild_Scoundrel
Wild_Scoundrel

Game is doing great as gamers are dead tired of themparks were you have no freedom, no exploration and copy paste mobs all over.And this game cares very much about immersion something these themparks dont care about.Age of clicking on a text box kill 40 what ever is so old and players are sick of it.Not to mention this game is not made for a quick profit for some investors but for gamers and devs that care !

krysatheo
krysatheo

Nice article, just to clear some things up:


- Funding will continue (with new stretch goals) for many more months as we progress to release (probably Q1-2 2015), they meant that these next two goals are the last of the fan-picked "star systems" that they will put in the game when they reach the goals.  They will likely then move onto a new category that fans can vote on for the next set of goals.


 - Yes most major titles today like GTA:V cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but most of that money goes towards marketing.  Star Citizen is spending almost nothing on marketing (relying on fan's word of mouth and articles like this), so pretty much all of the money is being spent on actually developing the game.  If they end up with around $50 million (very likely) they will have around the same as these other major titles spend on the development process.  


 - As for the rather lackluster recent stretch goals, Chris Roberts said (a few million dollars ago) that he wants to make sure they don't over-extend themselves by making ridiculous stretch goals.  If you look at many of the past goals, not to mention the core game, they already have a ton of work to do.   

IRSmurf
IRSmurf

Star Citizen has the finest website I've ever seen for a video game: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/ Click on Store --> Pledge, then resize your browser window. Check out their forums. Check out the brochures for their spacecraft: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/media/exfjsh7mejoxir/source/300series_brochure.pdf


I can't wait to see what comes of this project. I expect nothing less than being able to don an Oculus Rift and live a second life in SC's micro-EVE universe. I'll settle for PlanetSide-in-spaaaaaaaaaace, but I hope it's more than that.

Guy99901
Guy99901

@firefly212  You should be HAPPY that main stream peps are even discussing it. So what if he's confused by the crowd funding goals!?! like I said, I can't wait to find your whiny little ass in the verse!