Saturday, April 1, 2023

Cloud Imperium Games Earns $9 Million In March 2023

In March, Cloud Imperium Games recorded $9 million in sales of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 related merchandise as recorded on the funding page. The total represented a year-over-year increase of 53.8%, or $3.1 million. Looking at the first quarter as a whole, CIG sold $20.9 million, a 4.4% increase over 2022's first quarter revenue of $20 million. Overall, CIG ended the month having sold $560.9 million in goods since the company incorporated in April 2012.

Some people might not believe the figures and consider this post an April Fool's joke and I will report the actual numbers in a couple of days. For those people, I have to say, put down the copium, the release of Alpha 3.18 was greeted warmly, at least in a financial sense.

I can think of three reasons for the increase in sales in March. First, Alpha 3.18 was a long awaited (almost 10 months) patch. Do people really abandon a game if they can't log in at launch? As someone who lived through FFXIV's Endwalker launch, I can safely say no. Next, Alpha 3.18 involved a complete server wipe. A lot of people who hadn't purchased ships in the past probably hit the cash shop to replenish their ship hangars. CIG held a couple of ship sales to encourage the practice. Finally, year-over-year sales fell 43% in February, which means a lot of players saved their money for the launch of Alpha 3.18. At least, one can assume they did based on the March sales figures.

But just because CIG is 4.4% ahead of 2022's record sales does not mean the company is meeting financial goals. At the beginning of February I tried to estimate how much CIG needed to record in sales to meet the company's goals. The figure I came up with was an increase of between 13.2% and 18.5%, mostly based on CIG's assumed goal of fielding one thousand employees by the end of 2023.

I don't have sources in CIG's headquarters, but the sales goals had to have suffered due to the multi-month delay in deploying Alpha 3.18. Perhaps CIG learned last month releasing updates brings in more money. On Wednesday, CIG announced a more aggressive testing schedule to do just that. We shall have to see if the move works, but if I am correct, expect to see CIG's sales and marketing efforts to become more aggressive throughout the remainder of 2023.

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