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Star Citizen hits $40 million and I still can't quite bring myself to get involved

Matt Gardner
Cloud Imperium, PC games, Roberts Space Industries, Space sims, Star Citizen

Star Citizen hits  million and I still can't quite bring myself to get involved

Star Citizen has just broken the $40 million mark in terms of stuffing its crowdfunded coffers. That's the same as the GDP of a small Polynesian island.

"We’ve done it again!" wrote Chris Roberts over on the RSI forums. "The Star Citizen community has pushed us to another incredible crowd funding goal: $40 million, a number that would have been an impossible dream at the start of the game’s development. I’m constantly amazed by the continued support we receive and how this community manages to grow every day. Since the last milestone we’ve added over 10,000 new citizens!

"Some say that space sims are niche. I’m not so sure!"

It's a damn fine, if wholly unsurprising, achievement at this point, and serves to underline two things: that Star Citizen is a game, an experience, a universe that everyone wants; and that Cloud Imperium are doing an excellent job at growing and maintaining a community.

"I don’t believe there is any other game, even one that is out of development and 'live' that involves and informs the community to the extent we do," said Roberts last month, and he's right. The sheer volume of communication coming from the developers is staggering, and it's changing the face of development as we know it.

But I'm still a little hesitant, and unlike Jon and Carl, I'm yet to hand over any money, partly for the simple reason that it's all just noise at the moment.

Well... and a hangar.

The psychology behind crowdfunding, the reasons why we're willing to throw money at a wink and a promise, could fill many a book. There's something idealistically satisfying about being part of a process -- investing in a game in pre-production and being part of the ride that sees it through to the end. That can be great.

But there's also precious little that's tangible. Quite often the best games are those created by developers who fundamentally understand their limitations, whether that be be practically, financially, whatever. There's something to be said for knowing when to stop with the feature creep, understand exactly the dimensions and scope of your own ambition, and delivering upon that. It's far better to be taut and excellent than sprawling and forgettable.

My issue is that I don't know what Star Citizen is yet, because it doesn't really exist at this point in time. I'm sure there'll come a point when I do hand over some money -- I love space sims and I'd like nothing more than for Cloud Imperium to deliver on all fronts and for Star Citizen to be a mind-blowingly awesome as the backers who've chipped in a cool $40 million believe -- but having seen and played some of the Kickstarter games that smashed their targets and then flopped hard, I'm being a bit more circumspect with this one.

That's just me, though, and that point differs from person to person.What's yours going to be, if it hasn't arrived already?

Add a comment4 comments
Drago_MkII  Mar. 11, 2014 at 20:31

The only game I've put money into on Kickstarter so far is Hyper Light Drifter because in particular the trailer they had on there for it just looked and sounded awesome and it wasn't particularly expensive.

Star citizen I haven't really looked into too much as yet, mostly because I'm more interested in Elite Dangerous due to a mate of mine telling me about it. He's in the alpha for it now and it's already looking pretty damn cool, he's put up some videos for it on youtube such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5KdLhGweJ8

Still not sure whether I'll buy into that before it comes out but I'll definitely be getting on it at some point.

screecwe  Mar. 12, 2014 at 02:50

It's $40 though. I mean, you spend more than that on a tank of gas. I find it funny how people will be really nervous about spending a small amount of money in one case, but in another they toss it away without a second thought.
I put my money in on this not because of the promise, but because of the track record of the guy making it and our shared hatred of what Publishers are doing to gaming.

Late  Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:14

You're comparing a luxury with a necessity there, Screecwe.

Yes $40 is a small amount compared to many essentials, but I can get by without a game. Without petrol I'm screwed...

phil16  Mar. 13, 2014 at 13:18

I know what you're saying. I've got an aurora with the LX upgrade at a total cost £22 but I refuse to spend/risk any more. I really don't get the people who are spending £1000s. Its too risky yet people are willing doing so... Personally I'd pay £20 for a decent game so I'm happy with what I've spent but no more.

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