Crowdfunded Star Citizen raises over $148 million, but release date has been postponed...

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 72 replies
May 11, 2017
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  1. The space exploration game Star Citizen started out small. Developer Chris Roberts had the idea back in 2012 with a goal of raising about $500,000 to launch the project. However, the popularity of his idea sprouted wings and investors came out of the woodwork to help him. Roberts did not want to rely on the usual investors though.

    While the creator of the 1990 hit video game Wing Commander would likely not have had any trouble pitching his game to AAA producers or gathering enough business investors to fund the game, he wanted to avoid the corporate route. Chris had seen how Markus Persson had taken Minecraft from what was essentially a small garage project and built it into what can only be described as a video game and merchandising empire. Microsoft subsequently purchased Persson's company in 2014 for $2.5 billion. Like Persson, Roberts was looking to build his IP independently.

    In 2013, he decided to start a Kickstarter campaign for Star Citizen with the goal of raising $4 million. His real investment goal was $10 million, up from the original $500K due to a much broader vision, but he only expected gamers and enthusiasts to foot $4 million on the crowdfunding site. He expected to get the other $6 million from investors that he already had lined up.

    “Sandy, my wife, told me not to worry about investors — that we’d make it to $20 million,” Roberts told the New York Times. “I told her she was crazy, and then it kind of went from there.”

    And went from there it did. To date, the game has raised $148.5 million making it the most successful crowdfunded video game in history. Only $2.1 million was raised through Kickstarter, and the rest has come from donations to his website, Roberts Space Industries. Incremental, but staggering increases to the Star Citizen budget is not without its pitfalls, however.

    "Sandy, my wife, told me not to worry about investors — that we’d make it to $20 million. I told her she was crazy."

    Initially, Chris expected to release the game in 2014, but as the budget grew, so did the scope. So he pushed the release to 2016. As it stands now, there is no definite or vague release date set. While this might be somewhat worrying for investors, Roberts has been very open with the development progress through his website. The game is currently in alpha, which is available to investors, and for some, this is enough for the money that they have put into the project.

    Mark Kerns, a Chicago web designer, donated $175 to the cause. For that, he received privileges to the alpha, plus a ship to use in the game. For him, this (plus having a front row seat to the development process) was worth his money.

    “Of course I have reservations about whether or not Cloud Imperium Games can meet their goals,” Kerns said. “[but] after a few updates and patches, I considered my pledge money well spent and anything else that came from the game was a bonus.”

    The Roberts Space Industries website is very in-depth for those interested in seeing what the game has to offer, or who would like to get in on the development. For a $45 pledge players get access to the alpha version of the game and a ship to pilot. There are developer blogs and plenty of other content on the website to explore as well.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2017
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,119   +4,178

    Derek Smart was right.
    NimbusTLD likes this.
  3. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,063   +592

    I should jump back in soon and see the progress. Maybe the launcher won't have me redownload the 20GB+ after this next time lol
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,591

    Anyone who bought into this scam after the first three years of vapor needs to see a shrink. I've read that Roberts has bought himself and his closest buddies nice new houses, cars and so on.
  5. Risc1911

    Risc1911 TS Rookie

    > "[..] and the rest has come from donations to his website, Roberts Space Industries."

    Those are not donations. Look up the definition. They are selling pre-orders, pre-order DLC and merchandise. There is taxes on these products. NOT DONATIONS.

    > "While this might be somewhat worrying for investors, [..]

    Look up the definition of investors. These are cusstomers that bought a pre-order product NOT INVESTORS.
    killmess and Reehahs like this.
  6. Papasteak

    Papasteak TS Rookie

    Far from it. And Derek Smart is an imbecile.
    JoeBlobers, richcz3 and Mr Dude like this.
  7. 3 Years ago I called this the Next Big Bubble.. Shame I was right..
    Theinsanegamer and p51d007 like this.
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,941   +1,355

    People actually believed that this will release this decade? The devs will run out of money long before they release the full game.
    ForgottenLegion and Raoul Duke like this.
  9. Malibutomi

    Malibutomi TS Rookie

    Wait until summer when 3.0 patch drops with planetary landings, basic professions, and countless other updates.
    DiFiasco, JoeBlobers and wiyosaya like this.
  10. Malibutomi

    Malibutomi TS Rookie

    Well you read some shitpost then. Also thinking anyone can finish an MMO vastly more complicated than any before when giants like Sony and Blizzard spend 5+ years on the average MMOs is unrealistic.
    killmess, Theinsanegamer and wiyosaya like this.
  11. then they will throw up their hands and say "where did all the money go?"
    Perhaps too many ambitious ideas cooked up after too many beers.......and if @psycros has it right, too many cars, homes and planning sessions in vacation resorts
  12. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,459   +774

    Another "Duke Nukem (takes) Forever"?
  13. Mr Dude

    Mr Dude TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +47

    Summer which year, son?

    We found a fan, everybody!

    But really now, I'm not going to argue, I think it's great to have dreams, I'd love to nail Scarlet Johansson one day.
    Just, you know, keep them realistic.
  14. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,941   +1,355

    that's the problem. you should not be happy that they are making scrambled eggs when the recipe says sunny-side up eggs. more =/= better
    they should have just focused on what they promised to make and then work from there up. at the moment the development is such a cluster**** that it will take another 5 years before they have something ready. by then it will be way too late. even if they release it next year it will still be very late. the novelty wore off a long time ago.
  15. SeanusT

    SeanusT TS Rookie

    Seems to be a lot of hate for these guys...

    They're far from a scam, blind optimism at the start of the project led them to give ridiculous dates.
    I like the Blizzard 'it'll be done when it's ready' approach, you get a product that's better for it.

    There aren't any other game development projects with this level of openness and transparency to their progress, just be patient.
    JoeBlobers likes this.
  16. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,119   +4,178

    Today: "Derek Smart is an imbecile"

    Tomorrow: "Chris Roberts would have pulled it off if it weren't for Derek Smart and you meddling kids!"

    Here's a pro tip. When a company asks for more and more money and keeps pushing back deadlines, the reason isn't "complexity" and "size." It's because life support is expensive.
  17. Endyo

    Endyo TS Rookie

    Clickbait article title.

    Star Citizen has never had a release date, so it has not been "postponed indefinitely". Squadron 42 has a tentative release date which was pushed from "end of 2016" to "2017." Squadron 42 is the single player portion of the game only. Again, Star Citizen has not at any point been given an actual release date. Not 2014, not 2016, not any time. The only thing that ever existed was a Kickstarter "delivery date" that was $146 million and five years ago, obviously circumstances changed greatly, and thus significantly changed the scope and scale of the project.

    The only time the phrasing "postponed indefinitely" was used was in reference to the multiplayer FPS shooter mode Star Marine that was stated to have been postponed with no release date in 2015 and released in 2016.
    oranuro, Burty117, JoeBlobers and 2 others like this.
  18. JudasSheep

    JudasSheep TS Booster Posts: 96   +74

    Show me any Sony MMO that has been near as successful as WoW. Blizzard on the other hand spent years in developing WoW and it wouldn't have released when it did if it wasn't for the publisher pushing for it. Blizzard also kept it behind closed doors and didn't make promises with dates either. That is the key here. When you promise a product at a certain time, there will be unexpected delays to consider, but this game is years late. The majority of money given was associated with the release date and all the things they offered. All that has been pushed back and reorganized and they have changed their TOS/EULA to not allow refunds, because..... people want their damn product and there isn't one to give them.

    I have a buddy who contributed and he kept me in the loop and I told him a year ago, get your money back before it's too late. He listened and you see this developer still making empty promises. I feel sorry for you fan boys, but your passion to see this game come to life is only going to disappoint you.

    It was a nice dream to have and I had similar ideas for a Warhammer 40k game with a similar idea. A mix off Eternal Crusade, Dawn of War, and space battles like Battlefleet Gothic in one game (think Planetside on a much larger scale), but as a realist, I know it would take years of development, lots of money and some major design/game play elements not currently in existence. Not to mention the license from Games Workshop. Would I make promises and keep expanding the scope of the project? Hell no! I would treat it like an elephant and do one thing at a time.
    psycros and Reehahs like this.
  19. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,063   +592

    Wow, such negativity and doom from people who I'd bet only play games, not develop them. I have a small development perspective, but not even I could say if this would sink or swim so early into it.

    This type of development has NEVER been done to this extent before, and you guys are trying to compare it to other development models? The only reason why most people don't have big issues with how things are working is because they're being as transparent as they are. I can see the progress that is more than a demo and can play it, bugs and all (however, I haven't bothered to for a while because it's a big game to have the launcher bug out and redownload 20GB+ after each patch). They've had small and big milestones that they've been hitting, and surprise! they get delayed just like any other development projects. Decent progress is why I will not be so arrogant to say that this game is a scam, but also why I won't say that it's worth investing in.

    Otherwise, I know great MMO's take several+ years, and these guys need a few more years minimum to see how things will turn out :p I can be patient (it also helps that I can jump in and play the build)

    As for @psycros' fearmongering comment, I see nothing with a quick googling. If it was a little true, they would get ripped to shreds from many different gaming outlets.
    JoeBlobers likes this.
  20. thedrelle

    thedrelle TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +12

    Wow, lots of Vitriol on this one.

    No one can really call a game with a working Alpha and a steady and transparent dev cycle vaporware and expect to be taken seriously. I do think they have bitten off more than they can chew, but they are working on it, and are probably only guilty of not having strong enough development management, and are not working efficiently enough.

    I never bought into this one, and I am just as sad about not having alpha access as I am satisfied in taking the safer route. I am still not sure if this will produce a successful final title, but I am hopeful that there will be a good space game at the end of this rabbit hole.

    beware either side of the emotional spectrum on this one. the blind hate is as bad as the blind love.
    mbrowne5061 and madboyv1 like this.
  21. Aussietye

    Aussietye TS Rookie

    This game is not in Alpha, you have to have a game to be in alpha. Now if you were to say parts of this game are in alpha you would be correct. Problem is it is a well known fact that Chris is managing this project poorly and the likelihood of a finished product being released other then modules is slim to none.
    psycros likes this.
  22. Aussietye

    Aussietye TS Rookie

    5 years in development is not early!
    psycros likes this.
  23. dragonherder

    dragonherder TS Rookie

    Is there a reason for the rather sensationalist headline that the article itself doesn't actually back up? They never claimed a release date and mmorpgs take a longer period of time to develop than other games (and more money). While I didn't back the game in any way the headline sounds like it was written by Derek Smart or some **** and the article itself provides no justification for the headline. Are you going for clickbait or purposely being malicious with the article title?
    JoeBlobers likes this.
  24. Aussietye

    Aussietye TS Rookie

    The game does NOT have a working alpha!
    psycros likes this.
  25. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,063   +592

    For what it's worth, if you pay enough attention, you can find a "free fly" weekend and try it out safely :p
    With how big a scope this game has, yes, 5 years is still pretty early. They're still getting core parts of the game in. And as you said, it still doesn't have an alpha ;)

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