Star Citizen started out as a small, independent attempt to build a massively multiplayer space exploration game. Through the magic of crowdfunding, however, the game is very closely approaching $150 million. As great as this news is for fans and investors, a recent article from the New York Times says the release date for the game has been postponed indefinitely, making some investors uneasy.
Developer Chris Roberts, creator of the Wing Commander series, had the idea of developing Star Citizen back in 2012 with a goal of raising $500,000 to launch the project. However, as his idea become more popular, investors wanted to get onboard. Roberts didn’t want to rely on the usual video game publishers, though, and instead opted to avoid the corporate route. Taking note of how Minecraft started as a small, homegrown project that eventually became a video game and merchandising empire, Roberts sought to build his IP independently.
Over the past four years, the game has quietly amassed more than $148 million, all of which came through donations from either Kickstarter or through the game’s own online donations game. That amount has earned it the Guiness World Record for a crowdfunded video game, and is one of the largest amounts for any crowdfunded project. Its an especially staggering amount when you consider that Roberts and his development team Cloud Imperium Games haven’t taken any money from regular AAA video game producers.
Despite all this moneymaking success, the game has yet to actually be released, and it looks like it still won’t be out for a while. Star Citizen originally had a release date of 2014 that was pushed back to 2016, and now that release date has been pushed back again. This time, there is not set release date.
This is due to Roberts and team adding more features to the game. Roberts said he was investing in “film-level graphics” for Star Citizen as well as building an ever-increasing universe with multiple solar systems and planets to explore. Developing all that and rendering it in film-level detail will understandably take quite some time.
While some investors may have doubts as to whether or not Cloud Imperium Games can actually meet these lofty goals, most of them believe that the final product will eventually be worth it. Or at the very least, it will be better than No Man’s Sky.