If legendary Game Designer, Chris Roberts, had any doubts about creating another video game after 10 years of self imposed retirement from the video game industry, today’s announcement should eliminate any second thoughts, once and for all. Star Citizen, the new space sim being designed by Roberts, shattered all previous crowd funding records for video games. The hugely anticipated game raised an astonishing $6.23 million through a Kickstarter campaign and a campaign on Robert’s own Cloud Imperium website.
The previous crowd funding record was held by Obsidian Entertainment’s Project Eternity with $4.16 million raised. Since gamers love facts and figures, here are the details, as of today, of Star Citizen’s crowd funding efforts:
Kickstarter backers– 34,397
Kickstarter funds pledged – $2,134,374
Roberts Space Industries backers – 55,270
Roberts Space Industries funds raised – $4,104,189
Total backers – 89,667
Total funds raised and pledged – $6,238,563
Roberts new game merges all the best features of MMOS with single player PC games. Chris spoke about the what he likes in online gaming and what he will try to avoid with his new game.
“I wanted to combine things I like about the promise of a MMO, but avoid the aspects that I’m not so keen on like splintered player groups, griefing and grinding, I also was really impressed with how Demon’s Souls merged the single player experience with the multiplayer side.”
Online gaming is at a standstill. The genre has not seen any true innovation in several years and players are starting to lose interest. Many gamers, who once spent 7 days a week raiding with a guild in games like World Of Warcraft, are now jumping from game to game; unable to find one title that is truly satisfying.
Roberts is hoping to revitalize MMOS and prove that PC gaming can compete with consoles. He talked about the ideas he will incorporate into Star Citizen.
“So if you’ve set your game settings to be low PvP and you’re in a relatively safe area, you’ll likely have an NPC (PvE) encounter as opposed to a PvP one. Of course your ranking and any reputation you earn won’t be the same with a PvE encounter versus a PvP. My hope for this dynamic is that it will allow people to first play Star Citizen in a safer more single player open world style, but as they grow in confidence and want to test their mettle against other real players they can take the training wheels off and get into battles with real players. There will also be areas of the universe that no matter what your PvP setting is, will be PvP. These will be systems that are on the fringes of the policed galaxy and will be notorious for pirate and other illegal activity. They will also be the most lucrative areas – if you can survive.”
Unlike many crowd funding projects, Star Citizen is well planned and under the guidance of one of the greatest game designers in the industry. Star Citizen was a work-in-progress long before Robert’s asked for a dime of anyone’s money and there is an amazing amount of content already avaialable for public view. Gamers are rooting for Chris and hoping Star Citizen will bring the fun back to online gaming.