Letter from the Chairman, Chris Roberts
Two Hundred Million Dollars.
The amount is the highest total for any project in the history of crowdfunding and is beyond anything I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
While the number is impressive, that is not what sets Star Citizen and Squadron 42 apart.
The true celebration is one of how a community came together to enable a shared dream to come to life. How gamers from all over the world came together to finance one of the biggest and most ambitious projects ever embarked on. There is no publisher. No big conglomerate. This is all grassroots, funded by gamers for gamers.
To highlight just how global the support is, the person that took us past this milestone, Algared, hails from New South Wales in Australia and has been a backer since 2014. We have backers from 171 countries, from some of the smallest like San Marino or the Maldivesto the largest like India and China. We cover the globe, pole to pole from Antarctica to Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Considering there are only 193 countries in the world, that’s an amazing number and shows how universal the appeal of Star Citizen is.
And it’s more than just the funding, it’s been six years of ground breaking open development, where all of you have been actively involved in what we are building.
You have watched us grow from a handful of people to a global staff of over 500, across 5 studios, 4 time zones and 3 countries. Some of the best talent in the industry is working on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, most of who are gamers that are inspired by your passion to push the boundaries of what is possible.
We give you multiple updates every week and have been since the inception of the project. This year we rolled out a live roadmap for Star Citizen’s development that is linked to our internal task and scheduling system and shows the planned features and content for the next four upcoming releases of Star Citizen Alpha. This December, we will also add the roadmap for Squadron 42’s completion.
Speaking on behalf of the team, we are always amazed and humbled by the talent, imagination, creativity and passion that we see from the community. The beautiful screen shots and videos, the streamers that push the boundaries of what the game can do even in Alpha, the detailed proposals and feedback on how to make things better and the patient bug hunting so many of you do.
To reduce Star Citizen to just be about the amount raised is to do a disservice to all this. No other game shares as much information on a weekly basis, and no other game I know of is as focused on listening to and working with its community to make the best game possible. When I look around and see other games, even ones from major publishers, copying our playbook, I know we have had a positive influence on the gaming industry.
How Star Citizen is made, in public, warts and all, is part of what makes it special. It should be a no-brainer to cheer on a grassroots funded game that is literally shooting for the stars. No one is attempting to do what we are doing, in the manner we are doing it, nor being as open about as we are. Different and new can be scary, but it can also be exhilarating and rewarding. These uncharted frontiers of game development and funding, mirror the draw of the game itself; the lure of distant planets to explore, realized to an unprecedented detail and scale.
This is why I believe Star Citizen has resonated with so many; we’re breaking both real and virtual barriers and boldly going where no gamer and game has gone before. And we couldn’t be doing it without all of you, our partners in this journey and the best community in gaming!
This milestone is coming at a very exciting time for the project having just released Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 with Object Container Streaming (OCS) and Client Bind Culling, which makes a huge difference in client performance and memory usage. Face over IP (FOIP) is in the community’s hands and is proving to be a game changer. No other game has the ability to drive your avatar’s face and look via a webcam, as well as to place your voice diegetically inside the game. The possibilities for social interactions inside the world of Star Citizen now mirror what you can do in the real world. Lastly, with ship purchasing live in 3.3, we have a full game loop with basic progression, where you have a reason to haul cargo, take missions or mine.
This week marks the start of our 2948 Anniversary Event, which celebrates the end of the original crowdfunding campaign back in November 2012. This year we are particularly excited by our Free Fly event where we are opening the opportunity to try out the 80 flyable ships and vehicles in game.
Star Citizen Alpha 3.3.5, which brings a lot more content, including the planet of Hurston, it’s moons and the major landing zone Lorville, is currently in PTU and should be Live in the next few days.
We are getting closer all the time to having a living, breathing persistent universe and as we close out this year, I look at the technology we must complete to achieve the vision and realize we are nearer to the end than the start.
This knowledge, aided by the continued support and excitement we feel from all of you propels us forward with enthusiasm and a thirst for seeing the universe of Star Citizenbecome a home for gamers everywhere.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for believing in the vision, supporting its development with unwavering commitment and making gaming history.
The shocking thing however, is that because of how big the game continues to get, and what it's continually adding, it still seems years and years away from any sort of 'completed' 1.0 release. Just check out the official Star Citizen development roadmap to see. By mid-2019 they're still only targeting adding things like more locations, in-game physical inventory, exterior ship repair, etc.
At this rate, the total universe may never complete. It's been seven years and it could be another seven. We don't know. For now, players can try out the public test universe to see what's in there, or try the first-person shooter gameplay and racing. Star Citizen is a lifestyle and a promise, but it's far away from being a game.