When you discuss games with troubled development cycles, Star Citizen will eventually work its way into the conversation. It began development in 2010 and was officially announced via a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. It has still yet to be released ten years later.
Yet despite its Kickstarter campaign ending and the game still being worked on by developer Cloud Imperium Games, it has nevertheless continued to make money. Half a billion dollars’ worth, in fact, as of this month.
Thanks to continued updates and releases of various content into the game’s alpha via paid expansion packs called modules, Star Citizen has technically made a profit despite languishing in development hell. It’s the most bizarrely successful example of vaporware to date.
With this latest profit milestone, it goes to show that despite the game’s lengthy development, its playerbase is still strong and dedicated. Yet for many, this prolonged development precludes any celebration of its $500K profit margin.
The curious case of Star Citizen and its half-billion profit
Ordinarily, a game making half a billion dollars in revenue would be certainly something to be excited about. And for the development team who has been working on this project for over a decade now, it certainly should be recognized as an accomplishment. But for many, the name Star Citizen has already been tainted by mismanagement and frustration with the project leaders.
This revenue isn’t strictly crowdfunded, however. Cloud Imperium Games has received investment from venture capital firms, and players buying modules now are receiving actual content. Yet plenty of people still can’t shake the feeling that Star Citizen is a sunk cost.
Still, there are many who are eagerly awaiting this title when and if (and that’s a huge if) it finally launches. Whether or not they’re right in thinking the game will actually be finished is another story.
What do you think of Star Citizen’s financial success despite its lack of release? Do you think the game will ever see the light of day? Let us know!