Star Citizen: Too Big Not Too Fail?

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Star Citizen is a game that has generated a large amount of discussion since its crowdfunding campaign first kicked off in 2012, both about the game itself, and its business model. Ever since Star Citizen reached its funding goals, it has continued to take new backers, offering many multi-tiered backers levels and in game items such as ships, as well as physical items like t-shirts.  Heck, they are practically running an in-game item store right now, years before the game even launches.

All of this has led to some players being invested in the game to the tune of several thousand dollars. As I did when discussing Shroud of the Avatar, I can’t help but wonder what game could ever be worth that kind of investment to you without you feeling that whatever is released does not offer sufficient return on investment. I mean, what if you drop $5000 on a game, only to hate it when it launches, or 6 months later. As always I imagine some people are wealthy enough to treat this investment as some sort of a donation, well aware of the risks of doing so. Yet, you can’t help but think that there’s going to be at least some extremely disgruntled people post-launch who’ve heavily invested financially in the vision of the game.

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I say vision, because that’s really what we have at the moment. Some brilliant sounding features, and the dogfighting and hangar modules already released, and the dreams of a whole community. I’m extremely interested in the game, but I’m very aware that it is promising to be all things to all people, and many gamers seem utterly convinced it’s going to be the best game ever. It very well might be, but at this point, when we aren’t even fully aware of what minute-to-minute gameplay even consists of, I think caution is advised.

Maybe I’m being overly cynical, but in all my years of gaming, I’ve never seen hype like this turn out well. It’s very possible that when all the post-launch drama and recriminations die down, we’ll be left with an excellent game that just couldn’t please everybody, but what worries me is that it just might be trying to.

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4 thoughts on “Star Citizen: Too Big Not Too Fail?

  1. As with many Crowd funded projects it’s so easy to get caught up in the the hype over something that doesn’t exist yet.

    I tend to back those project that are pretty much complete and are usually looking for funding for distribution or promotion. Generally you get the goods (almost) matching what you backed and normally in a quick time frame.

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    • I think a general fervor is almost inevitable when people are this invested in a game years before a potential release.

      I’m ok with backing ideas that are only in the design stage, as long as you are fully aware of the risks of doing so. But yeah, I think it’s generally safer to back projects that are close to completion e.g FTL.

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  2. You are absolutely right. This game is being whipped into a frenzy like a Hollywood PR machine would do for a movie. Maybe I’m old school to think a game shouldn’t be selling merchandise before it’s even released. The adding of more merch all the time to sell gets to me for some reason.

    For disclosure, I did buy in at a low level.

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