Star Citizen has managed to accrue record-breaking amounts via crowdfunding, but does that money lead to a good game in the end?
Star Citizen has been a big name in crowdfunding since it was announced back in 2012. Since then it has had its ups and downs, courting controversy for the massive delays to its release. That hasn’t stopped the game from accruing a quarter of a billion dollars from crowdfunding alone.
The real question is: can Star Citizen possibly deliver on the massive promises they’ve made during their campaign? Even with $250 million, it’ll be hard to make a game so large actually work. Of course, the money might actually make development harder rather than easier.
Games are expensive to make these days. On average it costs between $90 million -$100 million to produce your standard triple-A title. There are outliers of course, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, which cost $200 million. That doesn’t even begin to take into account the money spent on marketing such things.
Compared to an average game, Star Citizen has a budget of more than double. That might seem like a good thing, but it has led to some issues. For a start, it has caused an issue called ‘feature creep.’ Feature creep is the phenomenon of a poorly managed game that keeps adding features during development to the point that it is never finished.
Another problem that the huge budget has created is an expectation. Backers of the project were promised a game in 2014, finished or not. Not only did the game not come out, but it has been five years and we’ve no idea when to expect it. At this point, many people are losing faith that the game will ever come out.
There are some signs that Star Citizens is doomed to be a massive failure. They’ve gone about raising funds with a great amount of zeal but have entirely failed to meet deadlines. On top of that, they didn’t stop at crowdfunding but got even more cash from a nearly $50 million investment.
Even if you ignore the issue of funding, the project seems to have been mismanaged and the company has acted childishly when faced with criticism, from threatening frivolous lawsuits that never materialized to changing their refund policy when things started going wrong. In general, the company and Christ Roberts, in particular, have acted in a highly unprofessional way.
Cloud Imperium cannot be trusted with the amount of money that they’ve managed to raise. From the way the project has been shaping up, it seems like this company cannot be trusted to run a child’s party, let alone a multi-million dollar video game project.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
Last modified: January 11, 2020 2:31 PM UTC