At the time of writing, the developer has raised just over $51 million from more than 525,000 fans. The latest milestone has unlocked yet another premium feature for the game; natural and realistic languages for three alien races.
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Such a high level of crowdfunding is almost unprecedented in the video game industry. Kickstarter has helped a number of independent developers put their passion projects into motion, but the time-restricted nature of the platform usually limits the overall level of funding for each campaign.
Cloud Imperium raised over $2 million on Kickstarter back in 2012, but it’s been able to increase that amount exponentially by accepting pledges on its own website. With no deadlines to speak of, the total amount only continues to climb. The developer is promising new content and features as its budget increases, but that in turn is feeding the hype surrounding the game.
Star Citizen is grand in scope. Cloud Imperium wants to give players a huge, fleshed out galaxy for players to explore with one another. Similar to the colorful and equally ambitious No Man’s Sky from Hello Games, the promise is a world brimming with life and your own personal spaceship to take it all in.
$50 million isn’t lavish compared to some other big-budget video games, but it’s still a sum that the crowdfunding community isn’t used to seeing. As Polygon’s Ben Kuchera notes, the final product will have a huge impact upon its release; if it’s a success, it’ll validate the crowdfunding movement. If it fails, players will be averse to backing such a large and ambitious video game project in the future.