The largest crowdfunded project ever just keeps getting bigger, and so to does the scale and scope of the project itself. Star Citizen, the most ambitious space sim and perhaps even the most ambitious video game overall ever, has been in development for so many years that I can't even remember when I backed it. This week, Star Citizen celebrated another monumental milestone in reaching two million "Citizen into the 'verse."
Two million players have invested in Star Citizen and the vision that creator Chris Roberts (Wing Commander) and the dev teams at Cloud Imperium Games have promised and showcased over the years.
I was there before Star Citizen even launched its Kickstarter campaign, back when reaching $2 million was an impressive milestone on the team's own website. They wanted to get fans to fund half the game for $10 million so they could have creative control. That was the big goal. Fast-forward six years and the current funding total sits at well over $183 million making it one of the most expensive video games ever made. As has been well-documented for a few years now, a testament to the transparency and openness between Chris Roberts, the devs, and the community, Star Citizen has constantly evolved, becoming the biggest victim of "feature creep" ever but it's also a case of perfectionism.
For some, the years and years (and years) of delays have been a source of frustration, but for the whole, it's been for good reason. Roberts and co. are striving to build the biggest and most dynamic and complex game possible, and as tech evolves alongside the genre, so to do the expectations and plans for the game, down to the details of user interfaces and ship controls. What was once a space sim in a persistent shared universe where players played the pilots themselves and not just starships, has grown into something where players can also land on planets, drive ground vehicles, and so much more.
It sounds too good to be true perhaps, especially given that development began in 2011, but for years now the team has delivered on playable modules. Right now, backers can download playable version of a shared universe (the Alpha 3.1 build) and try out the Star Marine and Arena Commander modes.
As we look ahead to Alpha 3.2 and beyond, the team and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts. When we started on this adventure, we couldn’t have imagined the passion, perseverance, and dedication that so many would have. It’s because of that dedication – your dedication – that we can continue to design, build, and deliver the Best Damn Space Sim Ever. — Chris Roberts
To celebrate the two millionth player, backers receive a few in-game digital items (T-shirts). 20-30 thousand more backers have already joined the cause in the last few days even though there's still no release date for Star Citizen or its now-standalone story campaign, Squadron 42. Still, this game is build by and for its community, and this is alive and strong. There are frequent events or "cons" to celebrate the game and chat with the devs, and very active forums for those interested in following along or getting involved.