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Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website announces that Star Citizen has now surpassed $55 million in crowd-sourced funding (thanks 88fingers), proudly proclaiming: "Today, we’re in the Guinness Book of World Records, and not as the largest crowdfunded game of all time, but as the largest crowdfunded anything of all time!" Chairman Roberts goes into detail about how this money is being used, saying: "Star Citizen isn’t a normal game. It’s not being developed like a normal game and it’s not being funded like a normal game. I’ve had to toss aside a lot of my knowledge from the old way of developing and embrace a completely new world." On a related note, he also addresses concerns that the game's endless fundraising is leading to endless feature creep, though explaining they will continue to push out builds "well before Star Citizen reaches what anyone would consider a 'finished' stage is arguably an outline of the problem, rather than the solution. Here's a bit:

If we had raised the original amount and no more, we wouldn’t be able to deliver involved capital ship systems or the level of FPS gameplay that we are now planning for planets in the Persistent Universe. Nor would have the time or budget to continually upgrade the game with new features like Physically Based Rendering (PBR), or continually strive to make the art assets better. Just compare the Hornet from October 2012 to the current PBR Hornet in Arena Commander. Our ability to iterate in Arena Commander, to try different flight or targeting schemes, or add new game modes that are test beds for future Persistent Universe gameplay is all due to our increased funding, as is the ability to deliver FPS, Planetside and Squadron 42 as modules or episodic content for the community all before the game is “done.” And in the process, you’re giving us the time to get it right, and you’re giving us more opportunities to share our work with you.

I know some people are afraid of “feature creep” and the game never being finished as we keep adding functionality and content to the mix with increased funding. I would say that this would be fair criticism if we were delivering this game at retail and on disc. However, we are online and already pushing out builds, well before Star Citizen reaches what anyone would consider a “finished” stage. Just because we haven’t implemented a planned feature or built a certain asset yet doesn’t prevent us from sharing the game with everyone right now. It’s this evolved process which gives us the Hangar and Arena Commander and so many modules yet to come. We’re sharing the game as it’s being built and it’s an amazing opportunity for everyone who has backed, to have input on the direction the game is going. You just don’t get this in the traditional game business.

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44. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 2, 2014, 21:11 Redmask
 
Tweaked wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 21:19:
Star Citizen already has Multiplayer and single player content.

Here's a video of me playing some:
http://youtu.be/JoD-Rhs6Qp8

Are you really trying to pass that off as single player content?
 
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43. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 2, 2014, 05:49 Julio
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 2, 2014, 03:22:
I am (or used to be) a backer in the $1K+ region (I have auctioned off some of my LTI ships and packages for a nice profit since so I'm no longer in that high)

Well played, if you turned a profit above what you put into this game I think that was the right move.
 
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42. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 2, 2014, 04:43 saluk
 
jdreyer wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 14:33:
BadIronTree wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:20:
Minecraft , KSP , Natural selection 2 and more were crow-funded before kick-starter just by word of mouth :D

Those crows are pretty prescient. Makes me think "The Birds" was not a work of fiction, but actually a documentary. They probably secretly run the world.

Crows are really rather intelligent. I wouldn't put it past them to try and rule the world.
 
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41. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 2, 2014, 03:22 CJ_Parker
 
I am (or used to be) a backer in the $1K+ region (I have auctioned off some of my LTI ships and packages for a nice profit since so I'm no longer in that high) but I'm very disappointed how this "game" has turned into a money making scheme. Everything is focused on monetization now.

Just look at this very 'Letter of the Chairman' accompanying the $55 million announcement where he's asking which wave of ships people would like to see next.
It is very clear that the sole purpose of this is to have more and more ship sales so the focus of the art team and animation will be very heavily on ships and only partially on other much needed persistent universe or Squadron 42 assets that keep being pushed on the backburner in favor of ships.

Of course the persistent universe and Squadron 42 also need their fair share of ships but look at the extremely specialist and redundant roles of the proposed ships. This is made up stuff just to make a buck or, well, two million bucks since that is the approximate ballpark figure for every ship sale.

It's useless complaining about this though. As long as there are suckers and morons out there buying every ship they can get their grubby little hands on, CIG will keep pumping them out and they will keep delaying Squadron 42 and the PU in favor of monetization while always dangling the carrot on a stick made up of what is "coming soon".

My interest in this game is near zero now. The PU is d00med IMHO. They are never going to be able to balance all of these ships and ship classes and roles against each other. There is a reason why games like WoW are successful and only have eight(right?) classes and why a game like Star Wars Galaxies with 32 professions failed badly.
You can not keep your gamers happy if you can not deliver fixes, improvements, nerfs in a timely fashion. And with the sheer number of ships in SC it is going to be mission impossible for the devs to keep even a fraction of ship owners happy and entertained and so they feel like their ship is getting some TLC.
Also, many of the game's mechanics still sound really lame and stupid like the PvP slider where a slider setting in the menu determines your chance to get into PvP encounters or ship rentals or the half-baked permadeath system and much, much, much more which makes it sound like this game is going to be way too realistic to be fun with tons of chores, fees, taxes and bills to pay etc. etc. etc.

Too bad. This could have been good but then Roberts got greedy...
 
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40. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 21:35 Rigs
 
Tweaked wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 21:19:
Star Citizen already has Multiplayer and single player content.

Here's a video of me playing some:
http://youtu.be/JoD-Rhs6Qp8

Playing against AI bots in a muliplayer map is not what I consider 'single player content'...try again...


=-Rigs-=
 
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39. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 21:19 Tweaked
 
Star Citizen already has Multiplayer and single player content.

Here's a video of me playing some:
http://youtu.be/JoD-Rhs6Qp8
 
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38. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 21:06 [VG]Reagle
 
Way to go $55 million for a simple multiplayer dog fight sim. Whoopie...  
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37. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 19:29 crypto
 
NKD wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:38:
Flatline wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:12:
Julio wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 11:59:
I'm curious to see where this one finishes at before the final (well as final as this game will be) game comes out. Wonder how well it will trend on microtransactions post release too.

If they want to profit they'll probably have to have microtransactions out the ass, seeing as everyone who wants a copy will have a copy before it launches.

Also, wouldn't the 11 billion alphas and betas of Minecraft qualify as crowdfunding? That was a totally indie effort and made like 250 million in 2012 alone.

Eh I don't really think that's crowdfunding. The product was being made regardless of how much money it was making. It was simply available for purchase.

There was no organized effort to say "Hey, we have a goal, but we need your financial help to reach it!"

agreed, it is all sales numbers. The record should be for selling intangible items like plots on the moon or Madoff Investment Securities.
 
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36. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 18:14 jdreyer
 
Meh, I'm not that worried. They've been constantly communicating with their base and making steady, if slow, progress. This is hardly vaporware. Took Bethesda 4 years to make Skyrim. I think this project is similar in scope.  
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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35. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 16:49 Rigs
 
I'd be extremely surprised if they came up with any single-player content whatsoever before the end of the year. Obviously, most people are comparing SC's status to that of Elite: Dangerous, with good reason. Both were started at the same time and both have similar target features. The only real difference is scope and focus. E:D is single-player focused on fighting and trading. SC is multi-player (with caveats) focused on fighting, racing ( Huh ), some trading and exploration with a single-player campaign back story. If one takes a look at E:D's progress, they can see that while it's released alphas and betas during development, it's mainly stayed on a traditional game dev path. Two years of work, one full product with possible expansions later. When one looks at SC's development, however, things get...muddy. There's no clear path. After two years, there seems to be only one part of the game functional with no other parts shown except through pre-rendered trailers or concept art, not to mention lots and lots of talk. If you want details on how they want the game to be, when all is said and done, then you won't have a problem finding that. The production values of their, uh, production is off the charts, when compared to similar games in the past. But when you want to sit down and compare what SC has to show as to E:D, things quickly fall apart. Where as E:D has the workings of nearly a complete game while still deep in beta, SC has a hangar, a limited deathmatch map and a racing map. So two maps and an FPS hangar? After TWO YEARS and $50+ million?

Things just don't add up when you apply simple logic to things. If this were any other product, the outrage would be palpable. See the recent meltdown of the Bitcoin makers Butterfly Labs and Hashfast over at Arstechnica for a glimpse into that. But, because this is a game, it seems the normal rules don't apply? This industry gets away with a lot of crap that other industries would implode from but this either has to be one of the biggest cons the gaming industry has ever seen or a revolution in the way games are going to be made from now on. Given Robert's track record with Freelancer, another 'revolutionary' sim, I have my doubts and I don't think I'm alone. One thing is for sure. He better start showing more progress and soon...


=-Rigs-=
 
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34. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 15:41 christheshitter
 
Is this even a game or is it just a tech demo? Looks like the latter.  
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33. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 15:32 SpectralMeat
 
Verno wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 15:03:
have they mentioned at all what is going on with the SP campaign?
There was a video blog thingie released a pretty long time ago talking about the SP game but I haven't seen any updates to that in a long time.
Selling virtual ships and MMO is the main focus, that is what the majority of the backers are interested in I guess.
 
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32. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 15:17 Prez
 
At the end of all this I hope to get is an improved-in-every-way-possible Freelancer style game. Screw the multiplayer crap. Of course at the rate the game is being developed I'll be dead before I get it...  
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31. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 15:03 Verno
 
I didn't put any money into this so I just sort of read these threads with amusement at the back and forth. They seem to be pretty far behind their proposed schedule which by itself isn't a big deal, that happens in gaming all the time. I understand wanting your MP stuff tested and released for feedback early but have they mentioned at all what is going on with the SP campaign?  
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30. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 14:51 Cutter
 
LurkerLito wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:47:
Tumbler wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:36:
As SC is supposed to be an online game with a persistent online universe that could be a major problem but so far they've proved themselves to be able to adapt to player feedback and with a budget this large they can afford to bring in huge updates and change the things that don't work for players.
No it wasn't suppose to be an online game, here is their Kickstarter page that I backed:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen?ref=nav_search
The emphasis is:
  • Single Player – Offline or Online(Drop in / Drop out co-op play)

  • Squadron 42 - A Wing Commander style single player mode, playable OFFLINE if you want
  • From their FAQ:
    Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.
    So far they aren't delivering anything in regards to the single player game. The trading, the traveling to worlds, the exploration, the game economy. All we have is a simple multiplayer dog fight sim, single player bot arena match and some racing thing. That is pretty unacceptable to me given 2 years. While I understand that these things take time, there hasn't been even a hint at the single player portion of the game. All we get is "Here is a new ship you can buy with real money so we can get another million this week." If you look at the kickstarter page you can see they were estimating a November 2014 release date. For what they have delivered so far that was a grossly negligent estimate. I mean if they estimated to ship by next month, I would have expected them to at the very least have all the modules in Alpha by now and expect some delays. But they don't even have an alpha part of the single player, the trading, or even the traveling to other worlds part.

    Spot on. That's why the game has become 'Let's see how long we can milk this.' Until the well runs dry I wouldn't expect much actual product to arrive. And even then I'll bet dollars to donuts the focus will be on the MMO part of the game - and heavily monetized at that - with SQ42 arriving very late and very short.
     
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    29. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 14:33 jdreyer
     
    BadIronTree wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:20:
    Minecraft , KSP , Natural selection 2 and more were crow-funded before kick-starter just by word of mouth :D

    Those crows are pretty prescient. Makes me think "The Birds" was not a work of fiction, but actually a documentary. They probably secretly run the world.
     
    Avatar 22024
     
    The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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    28. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 14:07 Frags4Fun
     
    I got this game along with Alien Isolation and Company of Heroes 2 free with the purchase of an R9 290. Can't wait to see how this game is when it's released in 2017.  
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    27. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 13:53 InBlack
     
    LurkerLito wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:47:
    Tumbler wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:36:
    As SC is supposed to be an online game with a persistent online universe that could be a major problem but so far they've proved themselves to be able to adapt to player feedback and with a budget this large they can afford to bring in huge updates and change the things that don't work for players.
    No it wasn't suppose to be an online game, here is their Kickstarter page that I backed:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen?ref=nav_search
    The emphasis is:
  • Single Player – Offline or Online(Drop in / Drop out co-op play)

  • Squadron 42 - A Wing Commander style single player mode, playable OFFLINE if you want
  • From their FAQ:
    Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.
    So far they aren't delivering anything in regards to the single player game. The trading, the traveling to worlds, the exploration, the game economy. All we have is a simple multiplayer dog fight sim, single player bot arena match and some racing thing. That is pretty unacceptable to me given 2 years. While I understand that these things take time, there hasn't been even a hint at the single player portion of the game. All we get is "Here is a new ship you can buy with real money so we can get another million this week." If you look at the kickstarter page you can see they were estimating a November 2014 release date. For what they have delivered so far that was a grossly negligent estimate. I mean if they estimated to ship by next month, I would have expected them to at the very least have all the modules in Alpha by now and expect some delays. But they don't even have an alpha part of the single player, the trading, or even the traveling to other worlds part.

    This. 1000x this.
     
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    I have a nifty blue line!
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    26. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 13:51 InBlack
     
    Kajetan wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:43:
    InBlack wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 13:14:
    Squadron 42 is going to be released in episodes? What the fuck is this guy smoking?
    What the fuck are you reading?

    This part right here:

    FPS, Planetside and Squadron 42 as modules or episodic content
     
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    I have a nifty blue line!
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    25. Re: Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record Oct 1, 2014, 13:47 LurkerLito
     
    Tumbler wrote on Oct 1, 2014, 12:36:
    As SC is supposed to be an online game with a persistent online universe that could be a major problem but so far they've proved themselves to be able to adapt to player feedback and with a budget this large they can afford to bring in huge updates and change the things that don't work for players.
    No it wasn't suppose to be an online game, here is their Kickstarter page that I backed:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen?ref=nav_search
    The emphasis is:
  • Single Player – Offline or Online(Drop in / Drop out co-op play)

  • Squadron 42 - A Wing Commander style single player mode, playable OFFLINE if you want
  • From their FAQ:
    Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.
    So far they aren't delivering anything in regards to the single player game. The trading, the traveling to worlds, the exploration, the game economy. All we have is a simple multiplayer dog fight sim, single player bot arena match and some racing thing. That is pretty unacceptable to me given 2 years. While I understand that these things take time, there hasn't been even a hint at the single player portion of the game. All we get is "Here is a new ship you can buy with real money so we can get another million this week." If you look at the kickstarter page you can see they were estimating a November 2014 release date. For what they have delivered so far that was a grossly negligent estimate. I mean if they estimated to ship by next month, I would have expected them to at the very least have all the modules in Alpha by now and expect some delays. But they don't even have an alpha part of the single player, the trading, or even the traveling to other worlds part.
     
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