Star Citizen Reaches One Million Backers!

Ijuin

Admiral
As of this writing, Star Citizen has registered 1,000,834 backers, contributing over $92,410,000. $100 million is within sight. Think about it. A million fans backing a hundred-million-dollar game. Just wow.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Hey, wow! That actually only amounts to an average of $92 per person, and the end result is a really solid budget that even some AAA games would be envious of. Now, obviously many people put in substantially less than that, and this is offset by some people putting in substantially more, but it's really great to think about. In a sense, this really confirms that crowdfunding can potentially work on any scale of game. I mean, if the choice I face is to spend $50 buying a new game made for a mass market (and then having another $50 squeezed out of me through DLCs), or spending $100 on a game that's tailor-made for a much smaller market with a narrower demographic... that second option is really not looking that bad at all.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
Chris Roberts wanted $20 million.. we gave him near $100 million. I think the publisher model is quaking right now.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Only if he actually delivers.
Star Citizen IMHO also has the potential to seriously damage the whole scene if it fails. And right now we are still really more on the hoping side then on the success one.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Though you gotta admit it looks freaking amazing... if they truly manage to deliver, Squadron 42 and the persistent universe will shatter everything like it that ever was.

When Assassin's Creed Black Flag came out (and let me state that I am not a big fan of this series), it features these sea battles in which you were controlling this guy... seamless boarding, naval combat and stuff. This is what Sid Meier's Pirates wanted to be 25 years prior. We are finally at the point where we can pull off pretty much everything scenario-wise without resorting to artificial boundaries.

Chris Roberts & Team are attempting it, finally! The first-person space-combat universe, the unachievable dream.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I mean, if the choice I face is to spend $50 buying a new game made for a mass market (and then having another $50 squeezed out of me through DLCs), or spending $100 on a game that's tailor-made for a much smaller market with a narrower demographic... that second option is really not looking that bad at all.

Speaking of which, they just announced the $50 "season pass" for Star Wars Battlefront...

Chris Roberts wanted $20 million.. we gave him near $100 million. I think the publisher model is quaking right now.

The "publisher model" is a $100 billion annual industry... If there were Star Citizens spinning off left and right, then sure, they might have reason to be worried, but Chris Roberts and team are the exception here. You have Elite Dangerous that made about $2 million and Descent that almost didn't hit its $600,000 threshold (and has yet to crack $650k six months later). Both are good comparisons here as classic space sims with name recognition and relatively experienced development teams. If you throw out Star Citizen as the extreme outlier, the video game crowdfunding-sphere is a pretty tiny niche.

Alternately, if crowdfunding does take off, the big publishers could turn to it themselves! See Shenmue 3. Even with a big Sony push, that one "only" came in at $6 million, but that's $6 million that the publishers won't have to front now while they benefit on the back end when the game is released... But I think like Groupons, freemium games and motion control, there will be fatigue. It's one thing to preorder games, but a lot of people will always be wary of plopping down money months or years before their game materializes. That's not to say crowdfunding isn't a vibrant compelling model in its own right, but I think it's growing the marketplace from the margins, not replacing swaths of the industry.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
The biggest space for crowdfunding of games is for those games that the established publishers don't want to fund because of their conservative impulses (i.e. won't fund anything that marketing analysis doesn't predict big sales for).
 

Whistler

Commodore
All the doom and gloom. :rolleyes:

I'm just happy we made it this far, content to sit and watch it unfold one way or the other. Still betting on success.

You'll never please everyone and the game may not completely mesh with what you envision it to be, but we pledged for Chris Roberts' universe and that is what CIG is banking on. The fact that we can semi-directly impact it during creation is unparalled in any game let alone all the shows, commlinks, and content we're already being overwhelmed with. Going to the masses and foregoing the traditional publisher model is, so far, doing well for them.

I think I may even upgrade my 350R to a Sabre, Wing Commander references aside.

We are making history ladies and gentlemen, for better or for worse. Let them do what we are paying them to do. There has to be a method to the madness.

EDIT
Cheers to a hundred members in our SC organization!
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
It's one thing to preorder games, but a lot of people will always be wary of plopping down money months or years before their game materializes.
Actually it's true preordering games is the most stupid thing you can do, as there is no reason to throw your money n almost finished game that would be made regardless, without any knowlege if it is good. On the other hand, crowdfunding is about creating the game that would not be made if not for your money. The risks may look the same, but the reason someone asks for your money before release is very, very different. There have been many instances of publishers prolonging review embargos just to cash in on preorders, because the knew that no sane man would buy their game(ever heard of Aliens colonial marines?), while with crowdfunding they are actually asking for money before game is made, so even if they don't deliver it's not used as a way to get money for sub-standart product. And most importantly crowdfunding is for just that - funding. it's to get money to make a game, not to gain income from a game that is already funded but not done

So, for the love of god, please do not preorder videogames.

Sorry for a bit of OT rant but I really believe prordering hurts gamers in the long run
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I'd say that it depends on how far in advance you are pre-ordering and your motive for doing so. If you order a week or two in advance so that you will have a reserved copy instead of waiting in a long line at the store and finding them sold out, then I think you should do it. But if you're talking about ordering months in advance when the game is still unfinished, then yeah I get your meaning.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Actually it's true preordering games is the most stupid thing you can do, as there is no reason to throw your money n almost finished game that would be made regardless, without any knowlege if it is good. On the other hand, crowdfunding is about creating the game that would not be made if not for your money. The risks may look the same, but the reason someone asks for your money before release is very, very different. There have been many instances of publishers prolonging review embargos just to cash in on preorders, because the knew that no sane man would buy their game(ever heard of Aliens colonial marines?), while with crowdfunding they are actually asking for money before game is made, so even if they don't deliver it's not used as a way to get money for sub-standart product. And most importantly crowdfunding is for just that - funding. it's to get money to make a game, not to gain income from a game that is already funded but not done

So, for the love of god, please do not preorder videogames.

Sorry for a bit of OT rant but I really believe prordering hurts gamers in the long run
Firstly, I don't think God needs to be brought into this :). Secondly, you're wrong, because you're making a very broad, sweeping statement, based on just a few experiences. Yes, obviously there are publishers that abuse pre-orders, fool people into buying a bad game, and so on. But that's not anywhere near the end of the story. For small developers who work with a publisher, pre-orders can be crucial. A small developer cannot afford to wait until the game is successful to sign a contract for the next project. Usually, they will sign a contract before the previous project is finished. Pre-order figures can help them enormously by strengthening their position in the negotiations. Equally, even for a large publisher, pre-orders provide vital information, allowing them to make projections about post-release sales and so on. Such projections help publishers to work out their financial standing, which in turn keeps people's jobs stable. If publishers were entirely reliant on post-release sales, things would be much more unstable for employees. Job security would be greatly affected. This, in turn, would affect the quality of games being produced. As an industry, we already have a very hard time hanging on to veterans - many game developers leave the industry after ten years or so, because they want greater stability. That's bad news for customers. The lack of pre-orders is far worse for gamers in the long run than the occasional abuse of pre-orders by publishers.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'd say that it depends on how far in advance you are pre-ordering and your motive for doing so. If you order a week or two in advance so that you will have a reserved copy instead of waiting in a long line at the store and finding them sold out, then I think you should do it. But if you're talking about ordering months in advance when the game is still unfinished, then yeah I get your meaning.

People also usually have more information available to them than final game reviews. Each game is made with different levels of transparency into the development process that goes beyond screenshots and trade show appearances. Developers that are posting weekly development diaries, open betas and soliciting prerelease feedback can provide a pretty good window into what the game will be likely. Also publishers and development studios have a track record, and players should spend accordingly. With all this in mind, preordering a week or two in advance these days often allows people to preload digital copies which can be very nice.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
I'm interested in what people think 'failure' might mean. In a conventional scenario, a 'development failure' usually occurs when the publisher pulls the plug (i.e. money) for whatever reason, so the developer cannot afford to pay staff to finish the game. A 'retail failure' is when the game fails to recoup the costs of developing the game in the first place (+/- profits), putting the publisher out of pocket.

In the case of S.C., what happens? The developer already has the money...

The only scenario I can imagine for 'failure' is gross development delay; thus running out of pay for staff. It's unfortunate that C.R. has a reputation for this - so I guess I'm hoping the previous projects were learning experiences!
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, the scenario for failure would be basically if the flow of money were to start drying up, and there wasn't enough left to finish the project. It is certainly possible that even the $90 million collected so far would run out. There is more money coming into the project pretty much every day, but if it were to happen that the monthly inflow of money were smaller than the monthly expenditures, then at some point cash would run out. Given the number of people working at CIG at the moment, the overhead costs and everything, Star Citizen easily burns through at least two million per month, and actually probably a lot more.

Keep in mind, the project is a race against time in this regard. People are very happy to back Chris Roberts. But if the project were to stretch on for too long, then the number of people willing to put more money in would start falling. At the moment, this doesn't seem like a serious risk, but I suppose if 2016 were to come and go without a release, things might start be a bit less comfortable.

Of course, even then, Chris Roberts might be able to find a way forward. A traditional publisher or some other form of investor might be willing to step in and help finish the project, if it is promising enough.

By the way, there was an article about Star Citizen and crowdfunding on Gamasutra today, with a very interesting graph showing, year-by-year, a comparison of total funds raised by Star Citizen and the total funds raised by all game-based Kickstarter projects. Amazingly, in 2014, Star Citizen actually raised more money than all other projects combined (but it was a very bad year for Kickstarter, with no big projects on the horizon). So, it's a very remarkable result. It's also interesting to note, however, that based on the data for 2015 so far, this year Star Citizen will probably raise a bit less this year than last (a very rough projection would be about four-five million less). All in all, things are looking great for Star Citizen, but I definitely wouldn't say failure is not an option.
 

Silverforce

Rear Admiral
I'm okay with waiting til whenever its done (enough time to make it good!) and I hope that CIG understands that the core fans of this genre have no issues with that.

They should even make it clear "it's done when its done" to avoid repeated disappointment as ETA deadlines are passed.

@Wojo
If they do run out of funds and have to make a choice, I prefer they not rush it out broken with bugs while going for feature-rich. Rather, they should ditch some features. I much rather than a persistent freelancer type space trader/combat sim with uber fidelity.. I don't really care about the FPS aspect, that can come later via updates/patches. At the core it should offer next-gen Freelancer gameplay, everything else is icing on the cake.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I personally subscribe to Shigeru Miyamoto's Maxim: "A delayed game can be made good, but a rushed game is bad forever."
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I personally subscribe to Shigeru Miyamoto's Maxim: "A delayed game can be made good, but a rushed game is bad forever."
Though it has to be said, this maxim dates back from days when Nintendo's consoles (the only technology Miyamoto has any experience with) had no possibility of patching a published game :). There certainly are games out there that were bad or mediocre initially, and were made good using patches and/or DLCs.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Though it has to be said, this maxim dates back from days when Nintendo's consoles (the only technology Miyamoto has any experience with) had no possibility of patching a published game :). There certainly are games out there that were bad or mediocre initially, and were made good using patches and/or DLCs.

But thanks to Metacritic they won't be played by nearly as many as if they'd waited.
And I have to say if I have a bad initial experience with a title I never go back to check what has been improved with patches .

Nintendo still subscribes to the same maxim - games like splatoon may launch with a minimal amount of content, but still with very refined core mechanics.
 
Top