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 Star Citizen  raises $200,000 from sales of a single spaceship
Star Citizen raises $200,000 from sales of a single spaceship
August 18, 2014 | By Mike Rose

August 18, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    35 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Chris Roberts' Star Citizen blasted through the $50 million crowdfunding mark over the weekend, thanks to the launch of a series of expensive ships.

Roberts Space Industries launched what it called "The 2945 RSI Constellation Lineup" last Friday -- a selection of four spaceships that range from $150 in price, to a whopping $350.

The $350 ship in particular, named the Constellation Phoenix, is limited to 5,000 sales. 567 have been sold at time of press, meaning RSI has made $198,450 in revenue from this single ship.

The sales of these expensive ships have caused funding for the game to rocket. Before the announcement, the game was making around $40,000 a day in crowdfunding. After the announcement, the game made over $1.3 million in a single weekend.

More than half a million people have donated to the Star Citizen crowdfunding initiative to date, and over $51 million has been raised.


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Comments


Maria Jayne
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Chris Roberts has found a gold mine based on promises and pretty trailers, I hope the developers are as good at making the game as they are making it look attractive to market. Because if not.....the fallout from this will probably single handedly sink crowd funding for everybody else.

Kyle Redd
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Star Citizen's funding has become ridiculous. Although I think there have been enough success stories by this point that even if it were to fail spectacularly, crowdfunding as a model will carry on fine, though maybe with more caution and care from all involved. Which would be a good thing.

Andreas Ahlborn
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I wonder how any kind of progression functions in this game.

I mean basically they are selling "Legendary Items" upfront, that should be XP-Locked or something to keep it interesting or are they expecting players to grind their way to space- admiral after having sunk hundred of dollars already to get their goodies to be able to use them?

This has so many paralells with Diablos Auctionhouse, only that the game that it`s for has not even launched...

Thomas Johansen
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The ship hulls are not going to be hard to get in-game once you get momentum, the real progression is in ship upgrades. On a scale from 1-10, the ship equipment from any pledge package is a 3-5, leaving plenty of curve still to go.

The pledges are meant to be for people to start the game with their desired playstyle. A Constellation is a 4-man ship, so it's reasonable to make it cost as much as, or more, than 4 one-man ships.

Johnathon Tieman
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Actually, equipment has very little to do with capability in Star Citizen - it is largely dependent on how good a pilot you are. Awesome weaponry/shields won't matter if you can't hit the broadside of a barn at close range.

As Thomas said, it is more a matter of play styles. They've got one man fighters, cargo haulers, scouts, information runners, racing ships, and things like the Constellation, which is technically a variable-manned ship. It can be flown by one person, has up to three control stations with up to two additional turret stations, and has four to five beds, depending on the model (yes, I own one). Also, as Thomas also mentioned, all of these ships can be acquired in the game using either in game currency or you can just flat out steal them in game as well (if you go pirate).

Kevin Fishburne
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It's basically a sci-fi RPG using gameplay elements from flight sims and FPS's, so I suspect a lot of people will want to start at the bottom and work their way up to whatever role they've decided to pursue. Progression is only a grind if it's no fun, and I don't think everyone would want to be a space admiral. I think it would be more fun to be a space pirate or bounty hunter, for example, with a lean crew and a handful of ships. Buying nice ships up front isn't for everyone; some think it's a bit like reading the end of the book first.

Johnathon Tieman
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@Kevin:

No, it is nothing like a sci-fi RPG, it is a space flight simulator. There is no XP at the moment, nor skills, nor classes, and I've never heard anyone on the development state there will be. The game is built first and foremost around the flight simulator mechanic like Chris Robert's old Wing Commander games, only with the realism suitably cranked up. There are roles for all those different types, space pirate, bounty hunter, war hero, as well as information runner, smuggler, cargo hauler, explorer, and more. There are multi-crewed ships as well as single-pilot ships. Buying the game gets you an initial ship that can be outfitted for any of the roles. If you want to buy a different ship, you can, but it isn't necessary and great care is being taken to make sure all starting players will be on an equal playing field (which, since there *isn't* anything like XP or other RPG trappings, is much easier, since personal skill will win out, not stats).

Thomas Johansen
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There is hard equipment progression. For example, there are size 5 power plants that are just going to be flat out better than other size 5 power plants. There will be engines that will be both more fuel efficient and faster than other engines of the same size. So saying equipment doesn't affect capability is just wrong.

All pledge ships come with mid-range equipment, and in all cases there will be better, more expensive equipment, to earn and replace it with.

Johnathon Tieman
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@Thomas:

I never said equipment doesn't affect capability; I just said it affects it very little, at least from a starting position. The pledge ships do not give players a wide range of starting capabilities, by design. The initial comment claimed that people were essentially buying "legendary" type equipment, and that is just false. The game is also being designed so that no specific equipment gives players such a large advantage that no other player can stand up to them. Player skill, not character skill/equipment, is what matters most.

Kevin Fishburne
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@Johnathon

I'm with you, but it depends on your definition of a role playing game. Sadly at some point we starting associating the term with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest and not AD&D. According to the traditional definition Star Citizen is very much an RPG, in that you act out a role of your choosing amidst a reacting world (like AD&D). I think it's kind of weird that the modern common usage of the term RPG is associated with largely archaic gameplay elements refined in the early 90's (XP, skills, classes, etc. as you mentioned). A much more useful definition would be a game that lets you assume whatever role you choose to play, as opposed to pigeon-holing you into a specific role of the developers' choosing (Skyrim versus Call of Duty, for example).

Johnathon Tieman
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@Kevin:

While I get what you are trying to say, Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest are associated with RPGs because they share the fact that your interactions with the world are largely based on statistics assigned to the character, just like in AD&D. At the moment, your character in Star Citizen does not have any statistics - it's all dependent upon the capabilities of the player. I would argue that it is more equivalent to LARPing than playing AD&D.

Kevin Fishburne
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@Johnathon

I see... I always wondered how the term RPG ended up describing games that had no role playing. It's a bit ironic, really, as the statistical part of AD&D was often largely (if not completely) ignored by DMs. The storytelling was what made it so great.

It seems we need a new term. One for actual role play and one for statistic-based world interaction. With all the recent articles about what to call Roguelikes, maybe someone will blog about it?

Anyway, my apologies for spreading disinformation about Star Citizen. I didn't intend to say it was a stat grind...I just chose my terms poorly. Sometimes I let my own personal definitions trump the generally accepted ones.

Marvin Papin
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But many people bought the game. When incomes will fall, what will that means ? You have more than 35 people probably at more than 6000$ a month plus charges and company fees, they have to finish the game and to keep a reasonable amount of money to launch another game after. They'll have to take care of the community and there is Elite dangerous near. There is place for both but, I donno if they are much aware of how thing could go or couldn't go.

With that amount of money I'm confident but it goes quite slowly compared to the final game's expectations IMHO.

Marvin Papin
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And I've just seen a new teaser on an FPS part.
Hope it'll not become a "Game of all trades"

http://www.jeuxvideo.com/videos-editeurs/0004/00046472/star-citiz
en-pc-teaser-fps-00122438.htm

Johnathon Tieman
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@Marvin:

It isn't. The FPS portion was always intended to be there at some point. It is to support the pirating mechanic in the game - if you want to steal a ship, not only do you have to disable it, but then you have to board it and "take care of" the crew.

Ben Oakley
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I noticed a 6 month insurance policy has been applied to these ships. What is that? It can't permanently be destroyed for those six months?

Thomas Johansen
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The game world has insurance paid through a small time-triggered in-game currency sink. The store page footnote means you have 6 months of pre-paid insurance.

As long as you have hull insurance, you will receive a replacement if it gets destroyed, and the time it takes is based on in-world factory availability, location and supply/demand. Small popular ships will rarely have to wait, but the larger more valuable ones may come with a time sink, so having backup ship(s) is going to be a good idea.

Furthermore, hull insurance and ship upgrade insurance (gear, weapons, shields, engines essentially) are separate, and the latter will be much more expensive.

Marvin Papin
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Maybe you will not have to pay the insurance for 6 months. Pass that time, if you cannot pay the insurance and it's been destroyed, it's lost permanently.
Not sure, but I think it's the most obvious case.

Freek Hoekstra
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"micro transactions.."
right...

Iain Howe
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Macro transactions? Mega transactions?

Chris Melby
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I haven't bought this game yet, let alone any crowd-funded title, but I will buy it day one of release for the single-player experience... And then I'll upgrade my PC...

Kyle Redd
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My understanding is that this is an MMO, or at least a sort of Guild Wars-ish "online universe"?

Johnathon Tieman
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As a backer, I can answer this. There is a single-player experience similar to Wing Commander (with equivalent Secret Mission packs to be added later) called Squadron 42. On top of that is a persistent universe (no monthly payments required).

Chris Melby
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@Johnathon,

That to me is awesome, I didn't know about the secret mission packs. I hope I can buy this game in a box, I honestly have not looked into it.

Kyle Redd
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Thanks Jonathon. So, the single-player experience is an entirely separate program? Would we still need to create an account and login if we want to play only that part?

Johnathon Tieman
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@Chris:

The add-on pack was one of the stretch goals we passed a long time ago. You will be able to buy the game after it comes out. Actually, you can still buy any of the starter packs now. Unlike most Kickstarter campaigns, they basically continued allowing people to back through the Star Citizen site (www.robertsspaceindustries.com). They also have all the previously passed stretch goals listed, so you can see the growth. Certain packages come with a physical box (in addition to downloads), if you are willing to spend the money for it. The boxed versions are going to be similar to the old Wing Commander boxes (schematics, physical ship models, etc. - tons of feelies). The rest are digital downloads.

@Kyle:

You'll probably need/want an account in order to download the game and updates, but you won't need to be logged in to play Squadron 42 (no required online connection like Steam, if that is what you are asking). In fact, they are building it so you will basically be able to host some portion of the game for you and your friends, including some level of personal modifications (definitely new ships, but with all the recent stretch goals we've been unlocking, that could easily expand). There's basically three games here: Squadron 42, the Wing Commander type game, the persistent universe, which will be an online version of a Privateer type game, and the local universe, which is still not fully defined.

Kyle Redd
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Ok, I believe that clears it up for me. Thank you. What a project it has become.

Michael Thornberg
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He sure have found a gold mine there, and people are obviously willing to pay for it. This is exactly the kind of people who buys games pre release, only to get a semi useless gun included. Etc.. This is here to stay I think. But I do like the guy, and hope the game becomes awesome.

Benjamin Quintero
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wow.. I have a bridge to sell these consumers.

Duong Nguyen
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Star Citizen have become a phenomena and isn't constrained within the bounds of logic or reason anymore. I'm not surprised, my only concern is that the playerbase has invested so much of themselves into this project I hope Star Citizen can deliver, otherwise it would be monumental disaster changing the face of Kickstarters and crowd funding forever ( for the worse ).

Chris Melby
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I'd like to think that Chris Roberts has just tapped into an existing user base that every modern-myopic-publisher has been going out of their way to ignore/neglect in recent years in favor of the FPS-console crowd.

I've personally liked and owned all of his games and have been wanting a good PC space-sim for a longtime now and I'm guessing I'm not alone.

Jin Kang
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This is it. At least for me...though I do wonder if I'll be able to afford the rig I might need to play this properly. :)

Will Hendrickson
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Hey, slide a couple mil my way, will ya?

Jeremy Wiersma
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The only real money costs are (if you choose to);

- Pledging to the game during it's development in the way of ships that you can start the game with, or gift to friends/family, or even 'melt down' for in-game credits later.
- Pledge with purchases of physical goods like patches, dog tags, playing cards, ship models, etc.
- Pledge via monthly subscriptions to help cover costs associated with community efforts. Two subscriptions exist each with their own rewards (both in-game and out).
- I think the lead in single player narrative game Squadron 42 (aka. modern Wing Commander) may need purchasing if you are not already a backer.
- When the Persistent Universe is live you may still purchase a ship (from a small selection) to start the "Star Citizen" game with proper

Otherwise the game is free-to-play.

ALL ships, items and services (e.g. insurance) are acquired through gameplay using in-game credits WITHOUT limitations.

Perhaps some research would be advantageous: https://robertsspaceindustries.com

Jeremy Wiersma
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https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14089-Letter-From-The-Chairman


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