Three days ago Chris Roberts, creator and lead on the in-development Star Citizen, deliver another 'Letter from the Chairman' blog entry on the game's official site to discuss the game's milestone achievement of earning $30 million in crowdfunding, $10 million more than the game's initial expected budget a full year before the game's full public release. Yesterday, Roberts sent another similar message as the game hit $31 million. When we started writing this article this morning we figured by the end of the day Star Citizen and developer Cloud Imperium Games Corporation would complete raking in another million and pass the $32 million mark. It's now about to cross the $33 million mark.
It's the kind of momentum space sims deserve, after being thrown aside for over a decade. And Star Citizen is just one big part of the movement. The always-crowing EVE Online Universe is getting an Oculus Rift powered space sim (EVE: Valkyrie) and there are a pile of additional space sims hitting Kickstarter frequently.
We speculated here on Game Rant a while ago that the crowdfunding campaign for Star Citizen would hit $30 million before the year is out and hit the $40 million mark by next November, the game's initially announced release date. Every achievement and milestone hit helps increase the buzz around the game, leading to more new players supporting its development. It's a safe bet that by next fall, Star Citizen is going to many exponentially more money from its playerbase than anyone thought possible at the outset.
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With each additional million dollars invested by players a new stretch goal reward is unlocked, adding expanded or additional features, vehicles and more to the core Star Citizen game. The unlocked features in the last few days thanks to the $30 million+ mile stones include:
- $30 million - Origin 890 JUMP — The rumors are true: Origin Jumpworks has a larger ship in the works! The Origin 890 JUMP is an interstellar super-yacht with exquisite styling and an array of high quality upgrade options. Travel the stars in style with multiple decks, high visibility windows and a small boat bay. Whether you’re outfitting it to explore new worlds or to take a pleasure cruise through Terra, the 890 JUMP is the epitome of luxury, class and refinement!
- $31 million - RSI Orion — Roberts Space Industries’ goal has always been to make the stars available to individual Citizens. Now, with the RSI Orion mining platform, RSI is letting individuals take over a process formerly controlled by megacorporations. The Orion’s features include high-grade turret-mounted tractor beam arrays, durable exterior-accessible ‘saddlebags’ for mineral storage and a cabin designed by the team that brought you the Aurora and Constellation!
- $32 million - Aegis Surveyor — The Surveyor, from noted military contractor Aegis, is an industrial-quality salvage ship. Equipped with a reinforced cargo bay, a long-range jump drive and launch pods for unmanned drones, the Surveyor is an ideal ship for taking advantage of deep space wrecks. Tractor beams, floodlights, scanner options and docking ports round out the tool chest on this capable, utilitarian spacecraft.
- $33 million - Anvil Carrack — The Anvil Carrack has been the vanguard of every UEE exploration effort in recent years. Featuring reinforced fuel tanks for long-duration flight, a highly advanced jump drive array and a dedicated computer core room that allows it to put the maximum processing power into jump charting operations. Originally a military exclusive, the Carrack is now available for civilian use as a pathfinder spacecraft. Features on-board accommodations to allow for truly self-sufficient flight, including crew medical and repair facilities, and a mapping-oriented sensor suite capable of always charting a route home!
- Roberts proudly thanked fans for the support and claimed that the extra money is ensuring that they will have the best space sim ever. They've already raised "more money ever than any other space sim in the history of space sims."
See the latest stretch goals here. Screenshot galleries up top are of the Hornet vessel.
Celebrating the one-year anniversary since the unveiling of Star Citizen, several limited-time-only special ships and a four-hour livestream earlier today where new details and gameplay footage was shown. The additional premium ships are extremely pricey and include the Xi'An Scout ($150), Banu Merchantman ($250) and super rare Idris-P Corvette ($1250) which becomes available for sale in small bundles of 100. Obviously, there's demand to meet the supply since they're selling super quick and even crashed the official site server during the livestream when more became available for sale.
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Some details from the Q&A session with fans (will be updated as we catch up on the livestream):
- Dogfighting module will not only be PvP but will include AI opponents as well.
- They have working version of Oculus Rift. Waiting for new HD set with the newer optics and trying to reduce lag from CryEngine. They want to wait until it's perfect and expect to having something public ready for early next year.
- Xbox One & PS4 controllers were spotted in the feed and responding to questions about their presence, Chris Roberts explained that they have them to play for research and to compare, joking that they'll destroy all of the available games. In a serious comparison to Ryse: Son of Rome,
- Capital ship battles will be a part of the game.
- Track IR support will launch next year.
- Dogfighting module likely not coming until early next year. Developers are adopting strategy of not releasing content or videos until they're polished enough - part of the beauty of not being under publisher or shareholder deadlines or budgets. When it does release, players will be able to earn "test credits" to buy and try different stuff available in the game.
- Roberts thanked fans and urged that the extra funds will help ensure that Star Citizen is the "best best sim ever." He confirms that it's the biggest budget space sim ever.
Excited for Star Citizen? Will it meet expectations when it launches? Can the ambitious project meet its initial dates? Planning on sharing a capital ship with friends? Let us know in the comments!
Star Citizen will launch in November 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.