The upcoming PC-only space simulator Star Citizen has achieved $40 million in crowdfunding, up from $39 million two weeks ago, thus pushing the eagerly anticipated Crowd Imperium Games title past a new milestone in its closely watched development stage. Currently, Star Citizen stands as the top crowdfunded project, let alone game, of all time, having surpassed the Pebble Watch, whose funding efforts concluded in May 2012 at $10,266,845.
In a letter posted on the game’s official site, titled “Letter from the Chairman: $40 million”, lead developer and Wing Commander mastermind Chris Roberts writes: “We’ve done it again! The Star Citizen community has pushed us to another incredible crowd funding goal: $40 million, a number that would have been an impossible dream at the start of the game’s development. I’m constantly amazed by the continued support we receive and how this community manages to grow every day.”
As further evidence of the game’s rapidly growing support base, Roberts adds that 10,000 people have joined the community of backers since the end of February this year, bringing the total number of backers to 405,834 who have so far pitched in $40,043,740 to fund Star Citizen.
As a reward for the increased support, prospective players will have unlocked two new star systems in the game: the Kabal and Oretani Systems, both of which were voted in by backers. Subsequently, Roberts has detailed the subsequent reward should the game reach $42 million in support: a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-inspired “Galactapedia”. This would essentially be an evolving encyclopedia of Star Citizen that will change based on the collective actions of players within its persistent, massively multiplayer world. “The Galactapedia isn’t a simple wiki or a static how-to guide: it’s going to integrate directly into the game universe and respond in real time as players steer the course of Star Citizen’s world,” Roberts writes. Rewards for funding that surpasses that $42 million milestone will include, among many other things, holographic 3D navigation in the Galactapedia, and a new type of ship for all players who back the game before the $42 million mark.
Having started development in 2011, Star Citizen is seen by many space-sim enthusiasts as the new flag bearer for its genre, which has seen relatively few new titles recently. Last year’s much anticipated X: Rebirth was released to great disappointment, achieving a Metacritic score of 32/100. Anticipation for Star Citizen is high, with one user on the official site even proclaiming: “I am so excited, I have left my job and wait every day for this!”
Star Citizen is being developed with two main components: An offline single player campaign with the option for drop-in co-operative multiplayer, and a persistent massively multiplayer universe that will be continuously developed well after commercial release through add-on content and emergent gameplay brought on by players. The game is estimated to be released sometime in 2015.