Financial support for developer Cloud Imperium Games’ space combat sim Star Citizen has continued to pull in millions of dollars after the game earned the crown of most successful crowd-funded project ever four months ago. Since that milestone this past June, the game that is poised to resurrect the space sim genre went on to double its funding and hit its $20 million goal. That heap of dough is enough to fully cover Star Citizen’s expected budget. Less than a month later, additional stretch goals are being unlocked and the project continues to gain momentum.
When the $22 and $23 million stretch goals were announced earlier this month, we questioned whether or not the proposed facial capture system and Xi’an Scout ship were really enough motivation to draw another $3 million dollars in from future players. Although the recently successful stretch goals will undoubtedly help to improve existing features and expand the development team, it would be easy for backers to see the rewards as a $3 million investment to add a single ship to the game.
Despite our hesitation, backers came out in full-force and flew by the $23 million dollar goal. Developer Chris Roberts (Wing Commander) noted concerns like ours of feature creep and used the $23 million milestone announcement to assure fans that the goal here isn’t “simply to add an extra ship to the game, but to add a new ship which can be expanded upon…” The goal is for the inclusion of the Xi’an Scout to set the stage for future expansion of the Star Citizen universe.
“Once we’ve put the effort into building an alien experience for the Khartu, we can apply it to other Xi’an ships moving forward. Essentially, the extra funding lets us build an even more immersive universe.”
Regardless of whether or not the Xi’an Scout unlock will really lead to the kind of universe expansion that Roberts hopes, the milestone has been reached and fans can now begin focusing on the new $25 million stretch goal.
The $25 million Enhanced Alpha stretch goal will allow for a wider alpha test. The expansion of the alpha includes spinning up remote servers earlier and increasing the number of remaining alpha slots. Here are the full details…
- We will use additional funding to build a wider alpha test than we had originally intended for the first phase of Star Citizen’s launch. The initial plan was to first launch servers in North America and then expand to areas such as Europe and Australia to decrease latency in these areas, perfecting the game as we improve the experience around the world. This funding will allow us to invest in a wider infrastructure for our early testing, spinning up remote servers earlier. Hitting this goal will also allow us to increase the number of remaining alpha slots. Extra alpha slots not only means more Star Citizens will travel the ‘verse at launch, but that we will receive more feedback and more stress testing. This in turn will allow us to better balance and enhance the Star Citizen experience!
Although this reward doesn’t add any additional content to the game, the opportunity for more players to get in-game time earlier is always a perk. Having a larger pool of players for stress tests and alpha feedback should also increase Star Citizen’s chances of a smooth launch next year. The extended alpha will also give hardcore fans a chance to start building a community well before the general public jumps in during the official launch. Currently, there are around 6,500 slots open for the alpha. No details on how many additional slots would be opened by the Enhanced Alpha reward were released.
At the moment, there are 279, 358 backers, or Star Citizens, and the funding is approaching $23,300,000. That puts the total at almost 30% of the way to the $24 million Public Transportation System stretch goal. To get a taste of what all the fuss is about, take a look at our Star Citizen ship in the Hangar Module.
Star Citizen will launch in full November 2014.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.
Source: Roberts Space Industries