When legendary game designer, Chris Roberts, announced the start of crowd funding for his new Star Citizen space opera, the response was so overwhelming that his company’s website was offline for several days. As a result, Chris decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to finance his new video game.
The Kickstarter campaign, which began today and runs until November 19, 2012, has already raised close to $100,000. The funds from Kickstarter will be combined with the reported one million dollars previously donated on his Cloud Imperium website.
Mr. Roberts commented on the problems with his website and the choice of Kickstarter as a solution:
“At a time when most would have given up, some dedicated fans kept trying to log on and eventually were able to get through and make a pledge. We appreciate all those efforts and now with Kickstarter, we believe we have an answer for everyone.”
“It is all about giving our fans the opportunity to choose the platform and payment provider they feel the most comfortable with. We asked whether they wanted Kickstarter as an option and they spoke! Between Kickstarter and the original site, which supports Paypal and major credit cards, I believe we have the tools in place to make everyone feel comfortable in backing this game. I would also like to take a moment to thank the great people at Kickstarter. They were quick to offer help and have been great as we put together a solution.”
“Those who pledged via Roberts Space Industries through our very rough first week of operation and those who make a pledge going forward on Kickstarter or on our site will all have their pledges tied directly to their Roberts Space Industries account. Nothing has changed there. We just hope that people will understand the situation we were in and support us and support what we plan on bringing to the table for PC gamers everywhere.”
Roberts is returning to game design after 10 years of self imposed exile from the video game industry. He retired due to the technical limitations of computer technology and the reluctance of investors to back major PC based video games. Among the games designed by Mr. Roberts are the classic space combat games Wing Commander and Privateer.
After his departure, Chris focused on producing and directing motion pictures. Roberts directed a motion picture version of Wing Commander and produced several major films, including The Punisher, The Jacket, and Lord of War.
Chris attributes his decision to design a new video game to the vast improvement in computer technology and the success of the Internet as a medium to distribute games. The ability to download game software quickly and the lower cost of direct download games played a major role in his return. Roberts was also motivated by a desire to initiate a resurgence in games created specifically for the PC.
Today’s launch of the Kickstarter Campaign for Star Citizen was introduced with the following announcement:
“Reclaim the stars in the exciting new Space Epic from legendary game designer Chris Roberts.”
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”
“The traditional publishers don’t believe in PC or Space Sims. Venture Capitalists only want to back mobile or social gaming start ups.”
“We say they’re wrong. We say that there is a large audience of PC gamers that want sophisticated games built for their platform. And inside this audience, a significant group of people that have always loved space games, and if given a quality one again will be happy to play it.”
“Ask not what your genre can do for you, but what you can do for your favorite genre.”
“Let’s put high-end PC gaming and Space Sims back on the map!”
“Star Citizen brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. At its core Star Citizen is a destination, not a one-off story. It’s a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlist as a pilot, protecting the borders from outside threats. Chris Roberts has always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allowing players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish. That universe is Star Citizen.”
Star Citizen is schedule for release in 2014. Are you excited by Chris Roberts return to the video game industry? Did you play Wing Commander or Privateer and do you plan to play Star Citizen? How do you feel about using crowd funding to finance new video games?