Star Citizen: a rising star or greatest pyramid on the $ 150 million?

Star Citizen – a unique case in the history of game development world. It is formally an independent project, with a budget already exceeds the cost of many AAA games famous studios. Beginning in 2012, the studio Cloud Imperium Games sly gamers gathered with about $ 150 million, so that Star Citizen has got into the Guinness Book of Records. And not as “the most expensive kraudfandingovaya game” and as “the most expensive kraudfandingovy project in any sphere was.” It has at times serious.

Studio fundamentally refused to take money from classical financiers, with the result that the initial expectations were quite modest. “I thought we collect on the strength of four million” – says Chris Roberts (48 years), the founder of the Cloud Imperium. “Investors are lining up to help with the rest, but Sandy, my wife said, do not worry, privlechom 20 million themselves. I told her she was crazy – but the way it came out. ”

But Star Citizen project began in 2012, the year with modest ambitions to collect only some 500 thousand. Dollars. Due to the fact that the financial goal was eventually exceeded dozens of times, the problems started. The official release date steel constantly endure. Gamers have started to demand reimbursement of funds spent. One made especially large return through the District Court in Los Angeles.

“I’ve already make the best game, which I am capable” – Mr. Roberts said in an interview with New York Times, recognizing the existence of such problems. “But just imagine – a game that I can build for $ 140 million, will be radically different from that which would have cost just 10. If I can create a more comprehensive and powerful experience – I’ll do that.”

Crowdfunding is now in vogue, so that we can say with certainty that Star Citizen has got into the stream. According to research firm EEDAR, a member of the NPD Group, on Kickstarter has successfully funded around 30 thousand. Game projects, the total investment of the public in them amounted to almost $ 600 million. But not every kraudfandingovy project becomes immortal hit, or at least comes to the release.

The most notorious example – Mighty No. 9. Keiji Inafune long promised fans a “spiritual successor” of the classic Mega Maine, gathered on this case $ 4 million, but then slid into the constant postponement of the release date. As a result, the arcade was released only in 2016, with gamers and the press greeted her coldly. But indie version of For Honor from the 1st person – Clang – never made it to the electronic counters. It raised $ 0.5 million in 2014, but then the work on the project was stopped.

So after all, Star Citizen – New Hope of space simulators and game development in general (because there will desmatchi in CoD style and racing buggy), or is the huge pyramid scheme?

There are some factors that feed at least a glimmer of hope. Yet Cloud Imperium Games – anyhow who did not. Company in 2011, founded Kris Roberts, creator of the legendary Wing Commander: the first and only competitor Elite. All subsequent kosmosima no longer be considered rivals – rather, it is the grateful descendants.

Roberts started to make games more teenager in England, but then moved to Texas, where he settled in the company Origin Systems, which became the publisher of Wing Commander. Mr Roberts then tried to prove himself in the field of producing in Hollywood, but it was not possible to achieve staggering success.

Chris Roberts thought about Star Citizen for many years, but to step it pushed fantastic rise Notch’a. Swedish programmer created from blocks the alpha version of the immortal hit, which subsequently – the sale of the Microsoft – personally brought him $ 2.5 billion in two and a half billion of of Minecraft, in which there is no Hollywood cinematics a la GTA Blizzard or super graphics V:. It still it remains one of the most impressive deals in the history of game development.

“I wanted the same thing,” – says Chris Roberts – “And I saw that success can be achieved without major publishers.” Campaign to raise funds for Star Citizen began in 2012, from two fronts: on Kickstarter and the site of the project. What is curious, a Kickstarter brought only some $ 2 million, but on the page of Star Citizen people metsenatstvoval more than active, so the developers decided to continue there.

Minimum donation, unlocking one ship – $ 30. Max – $ 10 000. And so it has run. At the end of 2013th was $ 35.5 million in 2015 -. $ 104 400 000 And now, as we have said -. About $ 150 million.