Star Citizen might not be a game that you recognize, and Chris Roberts might not be a name you've heard before, but the two have made history in their own way. Chris Roberts envisioned a follow-up to his Wing Commander series, and Star Citizen was born from that dream. Except, the game's not out yet. And there isn't any certainty as to when it will be. There are games that never make it out of development. There are games that generate a lot of hype that flares up only to dissipate. There are also plenty of unreleased games. And then there is Star Citizen, which has quite the crazy story.
10 A Historic Kickstarter Campaign
Kickstarter has matured into a dependable resource for games to elicit public interest and to accrue sufficient funding for production and distribution of their concept. But Star Citizen was a titan when it came along. It launched back in October 2012, and it went on to collect over $2 million from over 30,000 backers. That was quite a feat back then, and it still remains one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for a video game on Kickstarter. However, an interesting component of the campaign was its connection to additional crowdfunding on the Star Citizen website.
9 An Additional Crowdfunding Campaign
Most games that announce their plans and share the game with the community for funding do it just once. But Star Citizen is not most games. In tandem with the Kickstarter campaign, Chris Roberts also launched crowdfunding on his website for the game. By the time the funding period on Kickstarter had closed the website had pulled in a comparable pool of donations, and the combined total was over $5 million. But, what's confusing is not the existence of a separate campaign to fund Star Citizen, but the staggering size of a crowdfunding effort that hasn't finished yet.
8 Over $200 Million In Funding
If the story stopped with over $5 million of pledges from two different crowdfunding campaigns, then it might not be quite remarkable, but the funding didn't stop there, and it hasn't stopped even now. While some investments have stemmed from other sources, the majority of the money, which has surpassed $200 million and is on its way to $300 million, comes from ordinary gamers who believe in the game and are interested in the final product being delivered. And the number of backers for Star Citizen has greatly outgrown the Kickstarter campaign.
7 The Number Of Backers
The Kickstarter campaign finished with almost 35,000 backers who pledged financial assistance for Star Citizen. If you include the mass of supporters that have joined the game's community through the website, though, that number has skyrocketed to over two million. The sheer volume of fans for the game is astounding. Many games that are released aren't able to maintain an active player base of that size. But Star Citizen has enamored gamers, and a veritable mob of them have staked a claim in the development of this title. And what they're buying with their pledges has grown in scale, too.
6 Ships Galore
There are over 100 ships in Star Citizen, and that number shows no signs of stopping. More money is funneled into the development of the game, and more ships are being designed for the loyal supporters that wait in the wings to see the newest additions in the fleet. There are small and speedy fighters. There are intimidating gun ships. There are freight ships for hauling and trading. There are bombers, destroyers, racers, and even transporters. And the game's road map details more ships on the way. For a title that hasn't been released, the amount of content that is being produced strains belief.
5 One Of The Most Successful Crowdfunded Projects...Ever
Star Citizen has been successful in persuading gamers to part with their money. It's one of the highest-grossing Kickstarter campaigns for video games. It's the highest-grossing crowdfunding project for a video game overall. But its unrivaled collection of funds doesn't just outshine other video games. It topples almost all other contenders as well. The only crowdfunded projects that have surpassed Star Citizen are related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. That is a feat unlikely to be by another entry in the video game world. There is something alluring about the world of Star Citizen that has possessed its fan base.
4 Seven Years Of Development
In an industry where AAA games are spit out annually and there is no dearth of titles to peruse when looking for the next fix, people rarely play games more than a year or two. After that, they move on to something else. Few games withstand the test of time to keep players engaged and invested. For every Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege, there are hundreds of games that fall by the wayside. Which is why it's impressive that Star Citizen has not succumbed to the fatigue or impatience of the gaming community. Chris Roberts and his team have been actively tweaking the game for seven years, and it's still very much alive.
3 Weekly Updates
It would be catastrophic if Star Citizen raised over $200 million and then the studio didn't communicate with its backers or the industry at large. Thankfully, that hasn't happened. The opposite has occurred. Chris Roberts and his team have constructed a ridiculous level of transparency and feedback with the community. The constant stream of information is likely one of the main reasons why supporters haven't lost faith in the game or in the development team. Star Citizen spits out more patches and updates than many released games, and the commitment to laying out a road map for the players has been strong.
2 $500 Million Valuation
After a private investment in December of 2018, Cloud Imperium Games, the company behind Star Citizen, was valued at just shy of $500 million. That's unbelievable. A video game company, whose biggest project isn't even available yet, is valued at half a billion dollars. What Chris Roberts has built here is crazy. It would be one thing if Star Citizen existed in full, and if players had swarmed to it in a way similar to Fortnite. But we're talking about a space sim that is still in development and has been for years.
1 Celebrity Cameos
Star Citizen even features appearances by Hollywood heavyweights. The single-player campaign, Squadron 42, has a trailer revealing the turbulent world of space flight and combat, and there was a slew of famous faces that appeared. Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Gillian Anderson, Ben Mendelson, Andy Serkis, and so many more. AAA titles might feature a celebrity or two if they're lucky, but this game has them in spades. Just when you think the game has stopped surprising you, it pulls another card from its sleeve. It will be incredible to see what happens when Star Citizen actually makes it onto the shelves. We'll see what happens.