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Businesses The Almighty Buck Games

Star Citizen Takes the Crowdfunding Crown, Raising More Than $4M 123

Posted by timothy
from the just-like-to-thank-all-the-little-donors dept.
Zocalo writes "Star Citizen, Chris Roberts' attempt to reboot the Space Sim genre, hit a major funding milestone earlier today, exceeding the previous record of $4,163,208 secured by the game Project Eternity and more than doubling the initial funding target set by the producer of the Wing Commander series. With Stretch Goals now being passed every few hours bringing new features to the planned game, and David Braben announcing a new installment of the classic Elite using a similar funding model at Kickstarter could this be a wake-up call for the big game publishers to take another look at the genre? There are still two days left for Star Citizen funding as well, so if you feel like taking part, you can chip in either at the main RSI site or on Kickstarter."
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Star Citizen Takes the Crowdfunding Crown, Raising More Than $4M

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  • Wakeup Call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klingens (147173) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @01:41PM (#42012915)

    No it's not a wake up call. Only if one of these games is successful like the "500 million US Dollar on the first day" latest Call of Duty sequel$500-million-in-24-hours/ []

    If one of these games, or better several, are huge hits, then the publishers will howl. Not before.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      There are not many sales figures like that. Actually I would say, there is none. Since this is a new record.

      Much more interesting would be to find out who buys that stuff and why? You run around with a gun and shoot and thats all that's to it. The popularity of semi-realistic manshooters, soap operas, X-Factor, reality TV shows and teenie bopper music has always eluded me. But they always have a huge audience.
    • Indeed, Not only is the game not even published yet... $4million is a pretty low budget for a modern PC game. It'll be interesting to see if they can pull it off all, let alone with all the "stretch goals", but it's hardly a wake up call.

      • by Zocalo (252965)
        The total budget for SC isn't $4.25m plus whatever extra they take in the next few days from the crowd funding alone. Chris has some "proper" VC-style backers as well who will be providing the bulk of the funding on top of the crowd funding effort, so the idea behind the crowdfunding was to judge the potential size of the market for the game and likely return on investment for the main backers. The specifics are not public, but the inference was clearly that they would be contributing additional funds in
    • by Nyder (754090)

      No it's not a wake up call. Only if one of these games is successful like the "500 million US Dollar on the first day" latest Call of Duty sequel$500-million-in-24-hours/ []

      If one of these games, or better several, are huge hits, then the publishers will howl. Not before.

      That only happens because of hype and a large player base of your previous games. Plus lots of advertising.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      It doesn't have to be the biggest selling game of all time to still catch the eye of the publishers. If it can sell as well as the middle of the game charts, not cost the earth to develop, and turn a profit- there will be plenty of publishers itching to dip their toe into the genre. Look at the strategy game genre for an example- that's not topped the charts in years (if ever), and yet hundreds of games are still churned out in the genre (some of which are pretty boilerplate and mediocre).

      If "makes $500 mil

    • by khallow (566160)
      Why isn't it a wake up call? Here, is a novel means for funding the creation of games (and plenty of other activities). It raises significant money too without a lot of strings attached, but with a bit of publicity. That's huge value for game creators who don't already have a well established business funding their efforts. I think we're looking at the future of how games will be created.
  • I'm a backer and I really believe this game is going to turn out grandiose. :)

    • Likewise, I feel if anyone is able to pull this off it'll be him. He has a track record. I can't wait for the alpha, and the fact that they'll be supporting flight sim hardware has a few of my friends excited as well.
  • by vell0cet (1055494) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @01:55PM (#42013045)
    X - Wing
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Don't use this particular sequence of characters!
      I remember one particular mission where I had to fly an A-Wing and protect a couple of freighters. There were missiles I had to take out. It was next to impossible and took me two evenings to somehow muddle through. It got changed in the re-releases but the original floppy version had some absolutely spirit destroying missions.

      The OPL2 soundtrack still haunts me.
      • All space sim fans know of this horror. The escort mission. WC2 cost me a keyboard for it...
  • by Smivs (1197859)

    and David Brabham announcing a new installment of the classic Elite

    David Braben, not Brabham - Brabham's the car guy.

  • I wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:04PM (#42013099)
    Why there are so many 'crowdfunding' stories here on /.
    Exactly why is it so interesting how a company raises money? It was interesting the first couple of times, but now? Meh... not so much.
    By the way, its about time for a bitcoin / RaspberryPi story ;-)
    • Why there are so many 'crowdfunding' stories here on /.
      Exactly why is it so interesting how a company raises money? It was interesting the first couple of times, but now? Meh... not so much.
      By the way, its about time for a bitcoin / RaspberryPi story ;-)

      Or an RP project crowdfunded by bitcoins.

    • I understand your view point, the focus isn't so much about how a company raises money but the goal. The lead is the one who created a massive geeky franchise, one which included Mark Hamill. It's not like the story is promoting crowd funding for this project (note the deadline). You can also filter out the game stuff, since most of them are filed under that and you can be back to stuff like rights on line and year of the linux desktop variety stories.
    • It's interesting to note that David Braben's Elite was rejected by publishers, because they wanted games where you had 3 lives and a hi-score. It's very hard to get big publishers to do anything ground-breaking. The bean counters don't like risk, and there's always risk associated with doing something new. This is where crowd funding is most useful, because it bypasses the publishers!
    • by Zocalo (252965)
      To be honest, I tend to agree - and I submitted this story. :) That's why I included the rider about this new record maybe creating enough interest in the Flight/Space Sim genre to attract some attention from the rest of the industry and get a few more titles into production. It might be co-incidence, but I'm sure the early successes of the Star Citizen campaign might have prompted the Elite: Dangerous annoucement to be made a little earlier than might have been planned. I admit, I'm really stoked about
    • by Kjella (173770)

      It's the libertarian streak of Slashdot, people here are very fond of "alternative" ways that don't rely on corporations or the government. Like for example crowdfunding which is a massive move of risk over to the "customer", which is what people consider themselves when the reward for donating $X is one copy of product Y. And then I'm not thinking about the outright frauds but more the projects that just don't go according to plan, either because the plan is terrible to begin with, you don't have the peopl

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It is interesting when projects that can't get funding through more traditional channels manage to do so through crowdfunding. I live in hope that one day good TV shows won't be at the mercy of shitty TV networks, and interesting games that aren't just clones of existing ones will get made.

    • Slashdot's traditionally been antagonistic towards publishers in general - RIAA, MPAA, BSA, even some game developers (EA). Kickstarter is a direct-to-creator funding method that cuts out the publisher. If it becomes a mainstream method of funding, it could spell the beginning of the end for traditional publishers. Because the money's all given up-front, copyright isn't as important for Kickstarted projects as it is for projects whose sole income stream is post-development.

    • by delt0r (999393)
      Mining bit coins on a Beowulf cluster of Raspberry Pi's! More news at 11.
  • by garyoa1 (2067072) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:06PM (#42013113)

    If I had my druthers, I'd go for LLL remake by Al Lowe... []

    • Another interesting thing about this kickstarter is that if it succeeds they plan on remaking all of the games. At present they're only licensed to do the first.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @03:16PM (#42013647) Journal

      Larry got his funding, why not contribute to another classic Sierra team trying to put out a new game? Lori and Corey Cole, the couple behind Quest for Glory, have a kickstarter ending in THREE DAYS. They have $311K out of $400. That's nearly 80% of the way there. This can happen if you pitch in.

      Please contribute to the Quest for Glory reboot: Hero-U [].

  • Star citizen has no procedural content generation. How are they going to fill a whole galaxy without that? I don't see how could possibly a hand-crafted galaxy even remotely compare with procedurally generated one like in Elite.

    Also in Elite gas giant planets (like jupiter) will really have atmosphere where you could fly and harvest fuel (and possibly get crushed due to pressure).

    For these reasons I put my funding on Elite [] :)
    • Star citizen has no procedural content generation. How are they going to fill a whole galaxy without that?


    • by Zocalo (252965)
      Not for system generation, no. It's not been stated how they plan to implement things like planet textures, nebula structures, commodity prices and so on, so that may well turn out to be procedural in the final game. Atmospheres that can be flown through have not been ruled out of Star Citizen yet, but since refuelling stations seem to be tied to gas giants, it's a very real possibility that Star Citizen might have some analogue to Elite's fuel scoop. For star system generation though, I think it's more
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Both approaches are equally valid in my book; it would be very hard for Elite's procedural approach to have the kind of in-jokes that Star Citizen's hand crafting approach makes trivial, such as having one of the bread basket systems called "Kellogg" (yes, really!), so think of it as a quality vs. quantity kind of thing.

        Adding a few hand-coded worlds to a procedurally generated game is trivial, if you want to do it.

  • I'm making a hard science fiction space colony simulator. I'm not a big celebrity, but I do have a lot more to show than half the "big names" that keep turning up to cash in.. []
    • by Cruciform (42896)

      That looks wicked!
      I won't have spare funds to throw at the Kickstarter before it ends, but I'll definitely put in a pre-order when they go live on the site :)

      PS. Is Bomb #20 a 'Dark Star' reference?

    • by mrvan (973822)

      Just pledged!

      This is my first ever kickstarter pledge, so don't disappoint me :-)

      Am currently playing a lot of DF so I like the idea of a scifi themed DF-inspired game (with actual graphics).

      Good luck creating the game!

      • by simoroth (2766069)
        Thanks! Yeah I created the game because I was frustrated by DF being the only game with the sort of depth I wanted, but was too lazy to start relearning it after 3 years.
        • by mrvan (973822)

          Creating a new game because you're too lazy to learn how to i-g and d-b-d another game? Sounds like the kind of inspiration needed to get a good game going :-)

  • Gamers care too much about their favorite obsession to let the likes of EA, Sony and Microsoft pull the strings with their fat grubby corporate hands any more.

  • You can get to fly a really big ship which has it's own fighter in its hold that someone else can fly and gun emplacements that others can use (or NPCs). I want it now ...
  • I hope Chris incorporates some of the elements of Jumpgate and Iwar. I have tried to like X3 but I just can't get into it.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson