The staggering value of Star Citizen—the upcoming, space-trading, star-battling MMO from Mr. Wing Commander himself—brings up some important questions, but mainly: how the hell does one game raise 30 million dollars through crowd-funding?
To put that in perspective, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 cost around 28 million to produce. As the single, largest crowd-funding project to date, Star Citizen now has a larger budget than last year’s biggest game.
It goes without saying that this is beyond impressive, but we’re more interested in the implications of what a massive budget means for crowd-funded games. While Star Citizen is pretty, the stretch goals have been dedicated to improving how the game plays, not to how it looks. As a frequent criticism of large game publishers is that they’re caught in a graphical arms race that drives the industry towards shiny but shallow experiences, the Kickstarter approach to financials could help tilt the balance back towards prioritizing excellent play. We can’t wait to see what this one tops out at.