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A new record for video game crowdfunding at $6.2M
A new record for video game crowdfunding at $6.2M
November 19, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi




Who said space sims were dead?

Wing Commander and Privateer creator Chris Roberts' return to game development, a new space sim called Star Citizen, is the new king of video game crowdfunding campaigns.

Between contributions sent to its homegrown crowdfunding website and the Kickstarter page that became necessary when it was overwhelmed with traffic, the game has brought in over $6.2 million in funding.

Don't miss: Star Citizen, crowdfunding and new hope for the mid-tier

That total easily surpasses the previous record-holder, Obsidian's old-fashioned RPG Project Eternity, which brought in just over $4 million.

"In recent years, game designers have stopped innovating and pushing the boundaries of what you can do in this genre," Roberts recently told Gamasutra. "I plan on bringing that kind of development mentality back into PC gaming, and space sims in particular."


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Comments


Scott Woodbury
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Damn Straight! Gratz! Hey big pubs, can you hear me? I have been talking but all you offered was excuses. Hey RSI take my money. :) Can you hear me now? :D

Lech Lozny
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I wonder how worried traditional publishers are over this. While it's easy to ignore a figure like $500,000 or even $1 million, $6 million seems sizable enough to matter, even to the big boys like EA and Activision.

Michael Joseph
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I think it matters to them a great deal.

The key to indie game success isn't the fundraining though, it's the wide open methods of distribution.

Michael Joseph
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double post

John McMahon
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It depends how well this big-budgeted Kickstarters sell. It's great they raised this money to create the game. But now we gotta see if people will buy them when compared to Halo or Call of Duty.

E Zachary Knight
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John,

Why do we need to compare them to Halo or Call of Duty? They are not in the same league. Halo's and Call of Duties have way larger budgets and thus require far larger number of sales to be counted as a success. This game has already theoretically sold 206666 copies (assuming $30 per copy) of the game and is already at the break even point (assuming that they have no unexpected expenses and delays) so any sales after that are gravy.

John McMahon
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@ Zachary, It's not about a 1:1 comparison. But a relative look at the number of copies sold that would deem it as successful.

First Person shooters were fun and popular before Halo and CoD. But those franchises changed the landscape of video games.

Seems the goal for this project is to inject new life and energy into the creation of space sim video games. There was a boom years ago, but it has died off for a various reasons, but one was the proven track record and appeal of FPS.

I know I am going off a bit, but I would like to see space sims make a comeback in terms of demand by consumers.

Joe McGinn
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It is irrelevant to traditional publishers. Even $6M is no a game budget to them, and this is the exception, not the rule. Only a very few big names can get this kind of attention.

Greg Quinn
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@John does it really matter how well the game sells?

After all, its about them delivering the project as promised, and delivering even more if they have a bigger budget. What matters is that they give this game and it's vision to the world and the backers, not sell a million copies or beat Halo or COD in sales figures.

Stephen Chin
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In a sense, the funding raised is the same as units sold - that is, the project has already broken even. However, the major concern is more likely to be quality. And in that sense, yes, the games do need to compete with something like Skyrim or Mass Effect, for better or for worse. People are, rightfully or not, expecting something Big (TM). They're still going to be looking for high production values and the sort of experience the average (non-developer) expects when they hear the words "record breaking" and "XX million dollar budget". I think the companies can accomplish it but I get a little anxious wondering if what the companies are thinking is the same as what the consumers are thinking.

James Yee
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I think another thing to note about this project was how most of the money was NOT raised on the Kickstarter page itself but on RSI's own page. Interesting to note that discrepancy and I'd love to know if it was because their site allowed more payment options that weren't Amazon or what?

Mark Fronstin
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I believe this also shows that there is a market for the Space Sims on the PC and it proves that the PC is not dead. This is a game designer who doesn't have to conform to any dumb down game features that we see in many games today due to his audience and community. We are looking at input from an age group that were part of pioneering the game industry joined by younger fans- its absolutely fantastic and should send a clear message to the biz what people really want as a consumer and a community. I am frakn stocked!!!!! Gratz!

Greg Quinn
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PC will never die!

Alan Barton
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The PC never was going to die. The whole "PC is dead" story was invented by the console manufacturers to try to sell more consoles. The irony is, the progress of the PC graphics cards, (which consoles are based on old version of) shows and proves the PC leads consoles by years. Also the vast success of games like WOW and Facebook games etc... proves the PC leads in games software sales as well.

The whole "PC is dead" thing was an invention and a lie, created by the console companies to sell more consoles.

Jorge Molinari
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Holy crap!!! I cant believe this day has come! Im just seeing this now, hopefully I can still pledge money on this!

I am as of yet a crowd-funding virgin and I always said there were only 4 projects that I would make me throw money at them. And I mean real support, not just pledging the what amounts to the price of the finished product. These are (in no particular order):

A Big Budget Xcom Remake No longer necessary, Firaxis did it on its own.

A Big Budget Privateer Remake Yahoo!

Firefly Season 2 (TV Show)

Earth Reborn Expansion (Board Game)


I have a lot of catching up to do now.

Side question: I was planning on getting a beefed up 27 iMac to use for general purpose/video editing/gaming. Im well aware that an equivalent specd Windows rig would probably cost the price of a beefed-up iMac. Notwithstanding, do PC games run well on bootstrap?

Chris Melby
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For production, if the program you're looking to work on is only available on OS X, definitely buy the iMac -- as work always comes first. But I would not rely on it to be a good option for a PC game that's promising to actually push the envelope, not when an iMac is just an all-in-one with "mobile" components -- so it's a beefed up notebook.

There's nothing wrong with owning both platforms. I have my PC plugged into my old Apple 30" along side my 17" MacBook Pro.

Before I ramble further, I have decades of using and owning both Macs and PCs under my belt. I've tried the Mac only route on two separate occasions and even now it's still not where it should be and I can see that it will never be given Apple's migration towards iOS-ville.

Cost and manufacture driver support are a big factor in favor of going with a dedicated PC. A PC at a much lower price point, "can" be much more powerful, expandable/upgradeable, and it does not have to rely on Apple to support its hardware under Windows...

And since it's a PC, you can cool it properly, something Apple seems to detest with their mobile based comps; if not for a 3rd party program Fan Control, I'm sure my current and last MacBook Pro would have melted like my G5...

Now even if hardware were the same price point and fully expandable on a Mac as a PC -- which it's not, Bootcamp is not a magic bullet and has problems upon itself.

Bootcamp relies on Apple to support its hardware under Windows -- which is not a good thing -- and having been using it since they introduced it, I can tell you that it has gotten more difficult to setup whenever Apple upgrades their OS -- which is becoming a shorter and shorter cycle.

When I upgraded to 10.7 -- I actually did a clean install, something Apple "lied" about, they lie a lot these days -- Bootcamp Assistance refused to even finish the process on my Mac -- I had absolutely no problems under 10.6. If not for my 10.6 install DVD, I would not have been able to even get Bootcamp setup on my Mac again. And speaking of discs, with Apple now days, they want us all on their asinine CLOUD service, so new macs don't even come with physical discs... yay.

Anyways, there's more to this, but outside of sounding ideal, using a Mac for PC gaming is more of a problem than a solution. Star Citizen has another year or so before it's even released, so by that time PC hardware capable of running it smoothly will cost even less... rambles...

Eric Pobirs
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An iMac is going to be pretty limited on handling the most recent and demanding PC titles. The GPU especially will be a sticking point. You'll spend more but be far more satisfied by having separate machines for Mac software and Windows software.

If Apple were keeping the Mac Pro desktop line up to date it would be a different story but those machines are getting seriously old for the price.

One nice thing about the PC side: if start with good basic components, you can get going for fairly cheap and upgrade as the best deals come along. The newest Intel graphics will let you play a lot of older games pretty well and you can drop in a good video board when it fits your budget.

Jorge Molinari
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Thanks for the thorough reply. I'll probably explore getting both, but I would like to aviod it if I can.

Chris Melby
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Yeah, I know that situation and would still prefer one solution that has the best of everything I like; it avoids having to buy double the peripherals, and of course saves space.

And of course not buying two systems, allows more budget for peripherals, like a HOTAS setup and a Track IR for head tracking; which is absolutely worth every penny for any flight-sim, or space-sim.

Anyways, good luck.

WILLIAM TAYLOR
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Now seems like a great time to be a game dev, especially one with some clout.


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