Star Citizen has become one of the most spoken of multiplayer games in recent years due to the immense size of its ambition of becoming a fully-fledged virtual world. Not only that, but the money that’s turning the ambition into reality is crowdfunded. The largest and most successful of crowdfunding projects, to be exact. When over $200 million was gathered for the development of the game alone.

Star Citizen

If you’re familiar with EVE Online and the highly complex economic system of the game that rivaled the realism of even the economy in the real world. As well as the freedom that the game gives to the player it is technically a functioning world and society compacted into a single video game. Then the concept of Star Citizen would not be so strange to you.

As far as I know, it is hoped to simulate all of that with higher graphics and a lot more nifty tricks up its sleeves having the advantage of coming out later than EVE Online. Thus, having access to newer and more advanced technologies than the former had back in its day. Notably, CryEngine 3 that has managed to generate a world that’s merely eye-popping to look at from what I can see in the alpha trailers coming out every once in a while.

If it’s anything like Chris Roberts - the man behind the title - promised us, Star Citizen is going to be the game of the decade.

Squadron 42

However, while Star Citizen - after nearly four years of fundraising, constant development, peppered in-between with problems and controversies - is still not yet finished. Cloud Imperium Games, the formal studio behind Star Citizen, is embarking on a different adventure.

And it’s called Squadron 42.

Unlike its sibling Star Citizen, despite being set in the same Universe, thus, sharing the same lores and sets of characters. Squadron 42 is a single-player title instead of multi-player. The series has now been able to appeal to players on both sides of the line. And I also expect Squadron 42 to also serve the function of a world-building tool that would set a precedent for sequels to come.

Chris Roberts announced just two days ago (December 20th, 2018) that he had successfully gathered $46 million in private funding to green-light the new project. And that he expects the project to be finished and ready for release by the summer of 2020. But this deadline certainly must be taken with a grain of salt, as Roberts along with his studio is somewhat notorious for not meeting their own deadlines in time.

The investment is credited to Clive Calder - the billionaire record producer who founded Zomba Group of Companies, considered to be the most successful independent music company of all time. Calder, along with his son, Keith seem to have grown an interest in the video game industry, and this deal spoke volume about their seriousness. In return for their investments, the Calders were given 10% of the company’s share and some seats on the board of directors. However, Roberts still retained the majority control of Cloud Imperium Games.

Squadron 42, along with its sister Star Citizen was stated by Roberts to be: “… two of the most ambitious games ever embarked on in gaming,”. He also commented on a budget of the upcoming game, noting that it is: “unmatched by all but the very biggest projects.”

This is not particularly surprising, seeing the A-grade graphics that the rare images of the game simply. Roberts also said that the funding would be routed mostly to the marketing campaign for the game. Seeing how the majority of the gaming community had yet to know much about the company nor the game itself. Interestingly, Roberts also revealed that many Hollywood actors would be involved in the project. The list at the moment includes Mark Hamill, Gillian Anderson, and more.

Bright Financial Prospects

Along with the news was also the first financial statement from Cloud Imperium.

Aside from the money raised by crowdfunding. By selling virtual spaceships in Star Citizen. Cloud Imperium had also partnered up with multiple companies to receive sponsorships. The additional $46 million brought Cloud Imperium Games’ valuation to $496 million, according to a statement released by the company. Effectively bringing the value of Star Citizen as an entire series up to half a billion in total. The game has still yet to roll out officially. But it can already be noted in the released statement that the company had gained a total of $36.8 million for the year 2018 alone from public backers. This is a true testament to the financial prowess of the series that’s likely to only increase by orders of magnitude in the future.

While Star Citizen is still a relative mess filled with bugs, lags, and other mayhems that had made the early alpha next to impossible to enjoy for some. It still shows well the future potential that the title could have. Just in case you’re worried about the state of the game, updates and improvements are always rolled out daily, but I wouldn’t be so optimistic as to say that you’d be able to play the game in its fullest by next year.