Star Citizen, the enormous space game from Roberts Space Industries, has now surpassed $329 million in crowdfunding. This is, frankly, an insane amount of money for people to have drummed up for a game, but the majority of the folks parting with their cash seem to be happy to have done so.
Pre-production on the project began in 2010, with production kicking off in 2011. Nine years later, the game is still in development, with many people thinking it will never actually be released. This didn’t seem to do much to dent the hopes of the people who are happy to still send money to Roberts Space Industries to continue the project.
So, why do people keep spending money on the game? Mostly for the ships. The game currently contains over 90 flyable ships that backers can explore the universe in, as it currently exists. Another was announced today: a 100-meter long behemoth called the Perseus. Perseus will cost you $600 right now, but like all ships, it will be available for earnable in-game credits when the day of release eventually (presumably) comes.
The game obviously has massive appeal, with over £300 million raised to date and nearly 3 million registered accounts. To give you some perspective on just how much money this is, it would be the equivalent of crowdfunding the budget for Avengers: Infinity War or three Ant-Man movies. You’d still have enough money left over to pay the real-life Tony Stark to come to your kid’s birthday party. It’s kind of startling when you think about it in terms of other entertainment industries.
One factor delaying the release of the project is an ever-expanding scope that has pushed some early backers to seek refunds, claiming the game no longer resembled the project that they were originally promised and paid for.
Over the years the project has grown to spawn Squadron 42, a single-player game that will be released episodically and features a cast comprising of Hollywood big-hitters like Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Andy Serkis, Mark Strong. Everyone’s favorite fighter pilot Mark Hamill is also involved. This is music to the ears of long-term fans of Roberts, who worked with Hamill on Wing Commander 3 and 4.
At the moment, just like Star Citizen, Squadron 42 doesn’t have a release date, but we all live in hope that someday we will get to burn between planets in our rather beautiful ships.