Star Citizen, the perpetually in-development space game, has just passed $350 million in crowdfunding. It might seem like a large sum, but given how much of Star Citizen its creators apparently still have left to make, it probably won’t speed development time up one bit.
In case you haven’t kept up — and, given how long this story has been in the works, I don’t blame you one bit — Star Citizen crowdfunding began eight years ago. It was originally intended to be a spiritual successor to the Wing Commander series and developers Cloud Imperium Games have been adding features to the core game ever since. The largest of these is a star-studded single-player campaign called Squadron 42, which was originally supposed to release in 2015.
While it’s a positive sign that the game has courted so much new money, there are signs the project is running a little behind. Squadron 42 missed its beta release date, originally the end of last year. Creator Chris Roberts defended the delay saying, “Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date,” which is fair enough, but he also refused to release any footage or images from Squadron 42.
A new report released by Kotaku last week alleged that employees of Cloud Imperium’s Austin studio were expected to somehow work during the Texas winter storm that knocked out power for millions and caused over 50 deaths. They were told that, if they couldn’t make up for time not spent in the studio, then they would have to take those days out of their paid time off. Employees also complain of being denied compassionate treatment during the pandemic despite the company posting record earnings, which casts a bit of a pall over the game’s financial milestones.