Starting back in 2012, developer Cloud Imperium began a Kickstarter campaign for Star Citizen, advertising it as a spiritual successor to Wing Commander, a series created by the Director of Star Citizen. Initially, the game was slated for a full release by 2014, however the scale of the game has since become much more vast, further delaying the project’s full release.
By the release window of 2014, the project had accumulated $65 million USD in crowd funding, adding stretch goals to the Kickstarter campaign. This was the source of the first of many controversies, as donors were expecting the game to release, and some backers complained that they felt rather cheated.
Four years on, and players are still donating to gain access to extra features, with several versions being available, as newer features go into alpha stages of development.
Initially, the game was slated for a full release by 2014, however the scale of the game has since become much more vast.
The controversies surrounding the Kickstarter have continued through the game’s now six year development period - mainly surrounding concerns as to when, if ever, the project will be finished, as it has seemed in these past six years that Roberts and the Cloud Imperium team are more interested in adding more features, rather than delivering a finished product.
Taking into account the vast amounts of money spent during development, as well as the genre and controversy, many parallels can be drawn between commercial flop No Man’s Sky and Star Citizen. According to PC Gamer, only three other games - Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic - have had budgets in excess of $200 million USD.
For now, there is still no end in sight to the fiscal black hole that is Star Citizen.