Crowdfunding for Star Citizen has surpassed $250 million. Originally announced via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign back in 2012, where it raised just over $2.1 million, Star Citizen has subsequently gone on to raise an additional quarter of a billion dollars through additional crowdfunding on its official website.
There are a grand total of 2,449,279 ‘Star Citizens’, who’ve each backed an average cash amount of $102.50. This includes an additional $50 million and 322,902 backers during the past year alone.
As a point of reference, Grand Theft Auto V cost around $137 million to developer, along with a further $128 million in marketing costs. Star Citizen is close to eclipsing the cost of a game which has sold 100 million copies and regularly pulls in billions from post-launch microtransactions.
Aside from the incredible amount of money raised by Star Citizen, what’s really astounding to me is that more than 322,000 backers in the last year alone have looked at Star Citizen, seen its enormously protracted development, and thought now is a great time to back this project with cold hard cash.
What’s particularly fascinating is the funding isn’t slowing. Quite the opposite, actually. Star Citizen is bringing in more year after year despite no sign of an official launch for either the core game or its single-player Squadron 42 component.
It’s bizarre, it really is, and its long and storied development has attracted as much criticism as it has admiration. Dismissed by some as an elaborate Ponzi scheme, its undoubtedly a crowdfunding saga which is high on promises and low on content delivery. That has led to more than 100 complaints to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) by backers who feel developer Cloud Imperium Games isn’t following through on its promises.
Whatever way you view though, CIG has to be doing something right. $251m is an awful lot of money but, if it all shakes out, Star Citizen could ultimately end up being one of the most ambitious games of all time. None of that necessarily means it’ll be any good, per se, but this is one development saga we can’t keep our eyes off.