Friday, March 26, 2021

Revising The Timing For Star Citizen

 If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

- Stein's Law

Two weeks ago, Cloud Imperium Games reached $350 million in crowdfunding for the development of its two games, Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. Much of the coverage I ran across mentions the length of development and lack of a game. At the risk of jumping on the bandwagon, I want to update my Star Citizen post from December.

Star Citizen funding on 26 March 2021

Since my last post on CIG's finances, CIG has raised an additional $13.6 million. When combined with the additional $56.4 million in known revenue through 2019, CIG has raised $409 million so far. A projection of $425 million total raised outside of venture capital at this point is plausible. We also know that Clive and Keith Calder have invested an additional $63.25 million. Sometime this year, total funding for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 will likely exceed $500 million.

I do have to revise my timing for when Star Citizen might launch. In December, I projected that Star Citizen would release at the end of 2022. After learning Star Citizen is confirmed to remain in alpha through the end of 2021, I have to assume the game will remain in alpha though the end of 2022 and extend sometime into 2023. Add on one year for a beta and we are looking at a 2024 release. While researching Star Citizen, I found a site that keeps up with SC updates. The operator of the site believes the earliest commercial launch date for Star Citizen is sometime in Q3 2024, meaning a launch sometime in 2025 is not out of the question.

I'm not going to try to recalculate the burn rate for CIG from the December post. I'll just double the total needed to finish Star Citizen and Squadron 42 from $150-$200 million to $300-$400 million. Typing the amount of money CIG still needs to raise is mind-blowing, especially since I have the feeling I'm underestimating the amount. But spending $700-$800 million to develop a game seems insane even to say.

For now, I just plan to look over at the funding page every three months or so. Over the past three months, CIG is raising at the low edge of the range needed to fund the project to completion. If the funding lasts, in 4 years players will be playing a finished product. The question I think most outside observers are asking, will the funding last?

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