Star Citizen reached another milestone over the weekend, reaching over $200 million raised. I can't just pass by the event, as we may never see a crowd-funded game reach that level of funding again.
I know I should celebrate such a landmark achievement, but I find myself unable to do so. Why? I'm looking at the pace of development so are and wonder if Cloud Imperium Games can finish the game before running out of money.
In the history of MMOs, Star Citizen is approaching the costliest game to develop in history. Both Star Wars: The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online exceeded $200 million to produce. The only game to theoretically exceed that was Destiny, which is listed as costing between $100-$400 million to develop.
Right now, Star Citizen and CIG are in very rarified air. But what has me nervously eyeing the situation and not plunking down cash for a chance to cash in on Roberts-mania is how much work is still ahead of the developers. When evaluating the launch date for Star Citizen, I'm usually overoptimistic. But right now, I would guess at Squadron 42, the single-player game, launching no sooner than Christmas 2020. Star Citizen itself probably needs two more years of Alpha, plus a minimum of one year of beta testing. With that timeline, we are looking at a 2022 launch, although I expect the game to finally launch sometime in 2023.
Will Star Citizen fans continue paying $1.5-$2 million a month for the next four years to make sure their dream comes true. Somehow I doubt that will happen. I expect a big compnay, let's say Amazon Game Studios which already utilizes Lumberyard as their in-house game engine, to come in an finish the job started by Chris Roberts. I know that's far-fetched, as a major tech company coming in and rescuing a Chris Roberts game has never happened before, right?