Papers Please: Star Citizen’s Final Hours

Any Kickstarter junkie would be up so early, looking through the ending soon category for one last hit swag before it is lost forever. At least that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night. The mega projects though, the high dollar projects that dominate the charts for their life-cycle are a special case. They capture my attention in a way that makes it difficult to see past them to the wider ecosystem sometimes. Well, for at least a little while this phenomena is coming to an end.

Soon our favorite Nostalgia title, the rebooted grand-child of Wing Commander and Free Lancer will come to the end after doing a pretty god job of blowing away its goals. It started out bravely going for crowd funding without a crowd funding site, and later opted to run a parallel campaign on Kickstarter as well; both of these sources have paid big dividends, in the neighborhood of 3.4 million and 1.8 million dollars respectively.

Let’s dig into the specifics a bit more.

The project started out promising the world, and only got more ambitious as time went on. At it’s core Star Citizen is promising EVE with more dog fighting and less spreadsheets. That’s a pretty compelling offer, for an on again off again EVE player like me.

I was also very impressed by its go it alone funding strategy, and after it decided to branch out to Kickstarter I was pretty disappointed. I’ve heard all the arguments about server strain, and they make sense, but I can’t shake the feeling that it an effort to crank up the fundraising. Which is fine, it just made me switch from thinking about the $100 reward levels to the lowest end ones.

Star Citizen has run a pretty active campaign, but it’s frequent updates feel like mostly filler to me. I am sure there are backers out there who love to know about all the different systems and ships they plan on putting in the game, but that feels like putting the cart a bit before the horse to me. When the project started they were promising to build an MMO and flight sim game for two million, but as funding they continue to pile the features on.

At the 4 million dollar mark we seem to have unlocked the first person shooter part of the game, and it is here that I have to ask myself if they have started to bit off a bit more than anyone can hope to chew. I mean if an experienced Dev team tells me they can make a superior product for less, and it is within their area of expertise, I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, but at this point I am expecting to offer to upload your mind into their virtual universe at the 8 million dollar mark (side note – post singularity crowdfunding ill be AWESOME). I don’t have much riding on this one, so I can still manage a wait and see attitude, but if I was a high dollar backer, this trend would drive me crazy. Promising the world to so many fans seems like setting people up for disappointment.

Or maybe I’m just way off base. Thoughts?

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This entry was posted by David Winchester.

6 thoughts on “Papers Please: Star Citizen’s Final Hours

  1. I was completely turned off by the double-dipping, so I’ve been avoiding this one. I guess it’s nice for the people who want it, but yeah, this does look pretty aggressive. I hope, for the sake of the people who’ve sunk money into this behemoth, that the developers don’t have a serious case of Molyneuxitis.

    Another thing that turns me off about this, as I’m looking at their funding chart here and the Kickstarter campaign itself is that they’ve promised KS backers special backing rewards, but at $4.5 million, all of those got unlocked for everyone, not just KS. Dude, if you’re promising something special, deliver something special.

    I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not backing video games as a rule. There’s just too much risk involved, between over-promising and under-performing. And the development times are what they are, but seriously, Star Citizen backers won’t get a complete version of the game until November of 2014. If it’s that amazing, I’ll spend the $50 in two years, and while my reward won’t be beta access or a spiffy ship, it WILL be the glorious rush of immediate gratification.

    • “’ll spend the $50 in two years, and while my reward won’t be beta access or a spiffy ship, it WILL be the glorious rush of immediate gratification.”

      Best quote ever. I totally understand your position.

  2. dude, you guys are a bunch of debbie downer whiners. You make me want to hate life. You guys rant with knowing like 10% of what’s going on with the project.

    • Dusty, if you want to hate life, go on with your bad self! Don’t let these guys hold you back. Wring all the angst and ennui outta life that you possibly can! Just believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything!

  3. I backed the project but I tend to think they’ve over promised too even if they do have an angel investor sitting in the wings to fund this the rest of the way. I’ll also be surprised if this thing is out in two years. What video game ever comes out on time unless it’s a sports game that gets shoved out the door whether it’s done or not. Hopefully I’m wrong and the fanboys are right.

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