Nothing, it seems, can stop Star Citizen's unprecedented push forward as a crowd-funded titan of the video game medium, even though there is no hard release date set. The passion project of Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts has amassed over $350 Million in funding, crossing yet another immense milestone.
I remember pledging, as it is called with Star Citizen, for a Rear Admiral package back in October, 2013. A month later, near the end of November 2013 outlets published news stories about the game hitting the $33 Million milestone. How far we've come, since.
At least, in terms of money acquired. Since the game has not actually been released in the almost 10 years since, Star Citizen has often been the target of criticism and controversies, with skeptics and disgruntled fans calling it a scam, or predicting that it will languish in development hell eternally.
These voices seem to be a vocal minority, as the recent milestone proves that plenty of gamers consider the project worth spending on. While a full release of neither Squadron 42, the single-player campaign portion of the game and the persistent Star Citizen universe, which is the open-ended MMO portion, is on the horizon, players with access have been able to play portions of the game that are finished for years now.
The rate of growth isn't slowing down either - it's picking up speed. Star Citizen hit broke multiple crowd-funding records at the start of this year, and pulled serious numbers throughout 2020 as well with almost $80 Million earned just that year.
With all the ambitious plans laid out in the Roberts Space Industries roadmap for the game's development, and the sort of heavy-weight talent like Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman on board, it makes sense that the project is gobbling up all this cash. Things will need to pick up pace though, as there's some heavy competition.
Elite Dangerous, another highly involved open-ended space sim related to a beloved franchise of old is actually available, and has been out for years now. Where Star Citizen seemingly had the future advantage of letting you step out of the cockpit, in Elite players could never actually leave their ships or lunar rovers - until now. With the upcoming Odyssey expansion, it seems that Elite Dangerous will be able to be everything Star Citizen claims it will be.
Having played both, there are some core differences between the experiences, but if Odyssey truly lives up to the hype, it could definitely end up being a new home for die-hard Star Citizen supporters instead of simply being a temporary solution to tide them over until the project finally launches for real.
The upcoming year is definitely bound to be an exciting one for space sim fans, that's for sure.