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.