Breaking: Roberts Space Industries Hits $6.237 Million! (November 19, 2012)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The official end to the RSI crowd funding campaign hit at 1 PM Central Time this afternoon, and the numbers are incredible! Chris Roberts has pulled in more than $2.1 million via Kickstarter and more than $4.1 million at the RSI site for a whopping $6.2 million total. This puts the project more than $2 million beyond the next most supported video game in history. The KS tally is now locked, although existing contributors will be allowed to make certain upgrades over the next year at the RSI site.

The conclusion capped an amazing weekend that brought in some $2.5 million. It was accelerated by a fun-filled webcast with a rotating lineup of Origin/Wing Commander guests and Q&As direct with the team behind Star Citizen. Congrats Cloud Imperium team!

Original update published on November 19, 2012
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I wish I had been there to listen to Richard Garriot, but I had to work. :(
At least I've watched the beginning and the end of the stream.
as a pc gamer and wing commander being my all time favorite game, the game that got me into pc gaming, Chris Roberts is my hero. The pathetic state of pc gaming these days has been tough to endure, and hopefully the overwhelming success of this crowd funding campaign can show the big publishers that not all pc gamers are pirates, we have cash, and we are willing to spend. Other crowd funded games have been successful, but Star Citizen set the record. If anything pc gamers like myself have been looking for someone who recognizes the PC and believes in it. However, I doubt that if it had been anyone but Chris Roberts, it wouldn't have reached the goals that Star Citizen has.

I'll tip my hat to them, the timing couldn't have been better. The space genre as a whole has been down, not a lot of games outside strategy games (turn based, RTS, 4x, etc) to choose from. Tip your hat to the fan made projects like Standoff and Saga, and the many others, for filling the void as well.

Maybe its my bias, but I believe in Chris Roberts and his team. They have an enormous challenge ahead. sorry for the rambling novel, im tired after staying up watching the webcast all night.
Answer to my question! Should have waited that extra 4 minutes before posting in the previous thread...

Are we going to get some kind of summary of the webcast? For those of us that needed to work/sleep?
Awesome! I go away to work @ 5.4mil and comeback from work to find out we hit 6.2mil. I think my head just exploded.
Even though I previously already encountered the momentum such pledge campaigns can gather towards the end, I still greatly underestimated it with SC. I didn't think they (we?) would get the 6 millions.

Congratulations on inspiring so much confidence! I at least could up my pledge on KS for 25 $ for a T-Shirt. :)
This is fantastic news! Now we just need Chris to make all our dreams come true and announce it's going to be a Wing Commander. That would make the year!

I went in for $575. The Man pledge, Hardcover Squadron 42 manual and both t-shirts.
Hey Dundradal, didn't the man pledge come standard with HardCover Squadron 42 manual? I know that my pledge (Wingnut), did, and so assumed that all tiers above mine would by default include it.
I thought it was a digital version of it?

Either way, you can never have too many Claw Marks/Victory Streaks/Star*Soldiers can you? :)
Haha, absolutely not! Yes, I didn't think this part was very clear. For the wingnut package it clearly states "Hardcover copy of Star Citizen Manual", so with that I assumed it was definitely a physical copy whereas in the higher tiers there is mention of a hard cover "Making of Star Citizen" and hardcover "Modders Manual". Maybe in those tiers the manual was simply a digital version... I added on a physical "Making of Star Citizen".

Holy crap... don't think I've ever spent so much on a single game in all my life... and I still need to find a way to break it to the wife... yikes! Been trying to show her the vids and get her super enthusiastic so the blow of my pledging wouldn't be so bad coz she'd understand just how incredibly awesome the game is and deserves to be well supported. But her most enthusiastic response can pretty much be summed up as "meh"... *sigh.
You just got the making of book as a hardcopy at that level. I went in a little lower but I did the same and added both the T-shirts and the squadron 42 manual.

I wasn't able to watch all of it by any means but the webcast was great fun. I missed Billy Cain but it was great to see some of the guys from Origin supporting the game and I really enjoyed the Dallas Snell interview especially. It's hard to believe how fast the money rolled in over the last day. Huge congratulations to all involved, it's easily been the best run campaign I've seen on Kickstarter. After all the build-up it's going to be a long wait to play this now but it does give me a chance to save up for that Oculus Rift.
I ended up spending over $500 in the finish. Worth it!

I don't doubt this is the game many of us have been waiting a long time for. All hail Lamp!
Lets clear this up... The Lancer and Wingnut levels were the same price. Wingnut comes with the "Squadron 42 Manual" in hardcover (not star citizen). The Freelancer package comes with the "Engineers Manual" hardcover which is the modders guide. Higher tiers come with the hardcover "making of" book.

The Star Citizen Manual is the basic manual for the entire game... It comes as a digital copy with every tier that includes the game. I don't believe you can get it in hardcover at all (note that there are only the three previously mentioned Hardcovers available as addons).
Are we going to get some kind of summary of the webcast? For those of us that needed to work/sleep?

It's a bit tough to summarize 24 hours. In the front page update, we have a list of some of the guests who showed up on the cam. I recorded a small portion of it, and eventually I'll see if that footage turned out okay.
I have to say this whole finish was incredible. I expected SC to end with about 4 Million. Then when I looked at the counter on the weekend I was stunned that that goal was already far behind and there might be the off chance that we would make 5. I never expected that all stretch goals would be met. That was just... WOW....
I wonder if this campaign will raise any further press regarding PC gaming, crowd funding,... that might even reach decision makers from large companies (no matter how SC will work out). IMO it is a pretty big statement from 'the gamers' as to what they want.
@cff: As much as I wish that was true:
This is a statement by some 90,000 guys. Of whom approximately half didn't even pledge more than 30$.
Big publishers aim for millions of players spending 60$ each.
So even if you assume pledgers*10 for the number of people who actually want a AAA space game it looks not that great. Publishers are expecting revenues of half a billion dollars (or more) and such things from AAA games.
Look at the numbers of Battlefield, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed and similar games.
So publishers may look into the genre again to make some casual games and stuff, but I highly doubt they will spend more than a few (3-5) millions on such a game. There is still no big market. Maybe it will change when Star Citizen, Elite:Dangerous, X:Rebirth and Infinity are released (yesterday Infinity announced that they are going to do a Kickstarter in early 2013, what a coincidence :D ), maybe not.
I wonder if this campaign will raise any further press regarding PC gaming, crowd funding,... that might even reach decision makers from large companies (no matter how SC will work out). IMO it is a pretty big statement from 'the gamers' as to what they want.
Well, let's put things into context here. Chris Roberts raised an incredible amount of money from the public - but it's still small change compared to what is actually spent on AAA games these days. Star Citizen has huge implications, but not for large companies - rather, it's expected to make a lot of waves amongst mid-sized companies, the ones that have been suffering badly for the last couple of years. There has been a lot of trouble on the publishing side in recent years, and the result is that money in that "mid-budget" range (between half a million and ten million dollars) has been increasingly difficult to obtain.

The industry has been watching Kickstarter very carefully ever since Tim Schafer raised three million to make a classic adventure game, but there has been a lot of scepticism, people suspecting that this won't work for most companies, that the Kickstarter bubble will soon burst, and that ultimately, you can't raise that much money. After all, three million dollars only seems like a lot of money - for a development team, it's not huge (think about it - $3 million in 2012 dollars is just over $500,000 in 1990 dollars - that's the price of making Wing Commander I, with a team of about two dozen people).

What Chris Roberts has achieved, I think, is the following:
1. Proven that there's no such thing as a "Kickstarter bubble". Yes, there may in the future be some big failures on Kickstarter, which will make people more wary of unknown projects. But if Chris Roberts is able to raise four million without even touching Kickstarter (plus another two there), then clearly crowdfunding is something bigger than just a temporary wave of enthusiasm about a specific service.
2. Proven that you can in fact raise a lot more money than anyone previously thought possible. Remember, Tim Schafer got three million... having asked for $300,000. Now Chris Roberts had the gall to ask for two million... and still ended up getting three times as much. So now, we're amazed by the six million raised - but just wait until someone else raises twelve million to make a game in a genre that people actually care about :).
3. Shown the way to do it. Engage with the fans directly, circumvent Kickstarter and other similar services, and make your own rules. I expect in the future there will be a lot of experimentation with this. In particular, I am dead certain that soon some companies will actually try offering opportunities for actual investment - i.e., offering a small percentage of the revenues in exchange for money. Nobody will want to be the first to try this, because everyone obviously prefers to raise money without giving up revenue - but someone will try it, will achieve big success with it, and others will follow.

It's going to be interesting to watch, because there's going to be some very spectacular successes ahead... and failures, too. Most people, I suspect, are only capable of supporting one major product at a time. If you've contributed several hundred dollars or more to Star Citizen, you're not going to contribute that kind of money to another project for months, if not years. So, this market will be as easy to glut as the MMO market. To be honest, I'm kinda worried now, that mid-budget projects like this will soon come to dominate the crowdfunding scene, and the poor indies will once again find it hard to raise any sensible amount of cash.
Then it is time to create a site called "electrostarter" which only gives money to projects that ask for less than a million. :D

I agree with what Quarto said, it is going to be interesting to watch what happens.
The whole crowd-funding of Star Citizen was the best experience for me in backing projects so far. It was done with great professionalism (Star System updates appeared immediately after the 100.000 tresholds were achieved, Ben and Sandi replied almost immediately and were very helpful with fixing things. Chris along with rest of the team did their best to satisfy the community while at the same time being careful about what they promise or not and keeping true to their vision (which seems to be clear as day). All those things (along with the fact that we've been waiting for such game for decades!) made this crowdfund such an amazing success! I congratulate THEM and, even more, ALL OF US!
BTW: didn't Mr. Roberts say at the beginning of the campaign that he had some backers who were willing to put up some money if and only if he could raise two million from other sources first? How much was that money going to be? One million? Two? Three?

Anyway, Wing Commander III had a budget of 5.0 million, so the Star Citizen budget is roughly comparable, adjusting for general inflation over the past twenty years. Since all of the video is going to be computer-rendered instead of FMV, less of the budget of Star Citizen would be devoted to the costs of actors and physical props (since voice acting tends to cost less than live acting, even if you do have Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell in your cast).

Six million dollars does sound like a lot to an individual--and indeed that amount in today's dollars is about twice the median American's lifetime income. However, over a 24 month game development period, it would be just barely enough to pay the salary, benefits, equipment, and office space for a staff of about twenty-five to thirty, assuming typical present-day salary and benefits, and that assumes that any voice acting gets done at the lowest Union rates rather than celebrity-level pay. The fact that Mr. Roberts had proposed doing it on even less money (3-4 million) implies that either he was willing to try to manage with a fairly small staff for such a large game, or else that several of the staff members would be doing it as a labor of love and taking below-average salary for game developers.