Despite being in development for nearly 8 years, Star Citizen continues to accrue crowdfunding and has now surpassed $230 million.
To be fair to Star Citizen, developer Cloud Imperium recently released alpha update 3.6, which proves that the game is still in very active development and not truly in Development Hell, the term used to describe a game (or other creative works) that is hung up on the details and isn’t going anywhere. Star Citizen is very clearly going somewhere, it’s just that nobody is sure how long it will take to get there. And it’s been a VERY long time already.
If Star Citizen were a family road trip, dad would have turned the van around and gone home already from all the kids’ whining and screaming.
It's a testament to the game's vision that it continues to accrue funding from anyone, let alone enough to surpass $230,000,000. But that's exactly what has recently happened, according to Star Citizen's website. So far, the game has amassed $230,391,653 from over 2,349,404 accounts as of the time of this writing.
This puts Star Citizen well above the second most expensive video game to develop of all time, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and almost twice as much as the third most expensive game, Grand Theft Auto V.
And that number is still climbing. Most of Star Citizen’s funding comes from selling extremely expensive digital space ships for real-world dollars under the pretense that you’re also making a donation to the game’s continued development. The latest example is called the Ballista anti-aircraft missile tank which will cost just $120 USD.
Previously, that was the only way you could get new ships in the game, but the 3.6 update adds ship kiosks that will finally allow players to use in-game currency to purchase ships. Perhaps this will result in a dip in “donations,” but given Star Citizen’s $230-million-plus budget, you’d hope that Cloud Imperium has the cash to make a complete game by now.
Then again, if development goes on for another 8 years, who can say for sure?