In the beginning of May we played catch-up with a game that’s topping our list of most anticipated 2014 releases, Star Citizen. At the time it reached an impressive new milestone in crowdfunding, crossing the $9 million mark. Famed developer Chris Roberts (Wing Commander) and co. promised a new website design and the construction of their own motion capture studio if they could hit the $10 million mark.
And hit the $10 million mark they did. Star Citizen, a game that serves as a tribute to the popularity (and awesomeness) of PC-only space sims of the ’90s, is now the most successful crowd-funded project ever. How are they continuing to earn money?
With super cool space ships and a brilliant community strategy. There are videos and information updates every week on the Roberts Space Industries website, from brochures of space ships and different variants (think car dealership brochures) and the pre-sales of new vehicles with various options. For example, in May, there was a sale for the Aurora ship. It earned the developers over $700,000 in additional crowdfunding in the span of a week.
This sort of funding helped Star Citizen hit the big $10 million mark (the game will cost over $20 million in total) during E3, and not long after, we got this gorgeous teaser video for the newly unveiled 300i starship, which – like the brochures – serves more as a high-end car commercial than your typical game trailer.
And here are the teaser images and official bruchure art of the 300i, a luxury one-person spacecraft by Origin Jumpworks:
Interested players new to the world of Star Citizen and fans who’ve already pledged but are still interested in the 300i, can click here to see the large amount of package options that include various versions of the ship from the brochure. Each new milestone usually comes with a few bonuses for backers – like so:
- If we can make it to $9 million in total pledges before the new site launches, we’ll go ahead and put a cool Roberts Space Industries Class II space suit in your closet, colored to match the new site! What’s more, every current pledger will get Lifetime Insurance! This will be your last opportunity to get LTI before the game launches.
And with $10 million in the pool:
- Our big goal before the website is $10 million. That’s a crazy amount of money, but we have a plan for it: $10 million would allow Cloud Imperium to build our own mocap studio rather than hiring out time from someone else. Renting mocap equipment and studio time is expensive: upwards of $35,000 a day, with four hours work for each 30-second segment. Having our own studio would cost more right now but will allow us to produce a lot more content for Star Citizen in the long run! We’ll provide more details very soon, but here’s one thought right now: it would even allow us to mocap a few lucky fans into the finished game!
Players finding the long wait until the late 2014 release date difficult to handle will be able to get sort of hands-on with the game this August when the Hangar Module releases. It will allow backers to access their ships and play with customization. In December, the Dogfighting Module will be available for download where players can fly their ship against other players or AI. Chris Roberts compared it to a MOBA game with matchmaking. The universe won’t be there, but the ships and flight mechanics will be as a test, letting players get in early and help provide feedback for testing.
Here’s a gallery of Star Citizen concept art released for the game since our last update:
Fans and backers should stay tuned as later this week, on June 28th, Roberts Space Industries will host a livestream which will reveal new details on starships featured in the game and more behind-the-scenes look at Star Citizen‘s development.
Star Citizen hits PC in November 2014.
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