It’s all starting to feel a bit routine. Cloud Imperium Games, the developers behind the unreleased Star Citizen, have found themselves on the wrong side of their fans yet again. This time it’s due to the decision to charge fans $20 for an E-Ticket to watch the livestream of their CitizenCon presentation. Fans were furious and CEO Chris Roberts quickly reversed the original decision in a blog post update.
“After sleeping on this, I am going to chalk this one up to experience. We’re going to cut back on the live-streaming crew / costs but have both stages streamed for anyone with a Star Citizen user account.”
CitzenCon is a yearly convention celebrating all things Star Citizen. This year the event is being held in Austin on the 10th of October and it’s an event that gets fans of the upcoming space MMO very excited. Those unable to attend the event in person were naturally looking forward to watching the livestream to hear all about the latest updates to development and any other exciting announcements. So when Cloud Imperium Games first introduced a purchase price to watch the livestream, people were mad.
Fans of Star Citizen are also the same people who funded Star Citizen. The game continues to raise revenue for development through donations and the purchasing of digital goods, and has managed to raise a staggering $193,065,935 US, according to the Star Citizen website itself. That’s a crazy amount of money to put into a game. What’s upsetting about this is that the game started raising funds in 2013 with an expected release date of 2014. Now we’re in 2018 and there’s absolutely no sign of the game releasing any time soon.
The selling of an E-Ticket isn’t even the first bout of controversy for the game. Alongside its constantly unreleased status, Star Citizen also got a lot of flack for introducing a $27,000 microtransaction. Yep, that’s $27,000 US for in game goods. The ‘Legatus Pack’ comes with 117 ships and 163 extras like upgrades and skins. It’s a ludicrous amount of money clearly targeting whales, people who are more susceptible to dropping huge amounts of money for digital goods. The Legatus Pack is still up for grabs, but you can only view it if you’ve already spent $1000 on the game, otherwise you get a 404 error message.
The development and controversy around Star Citizen is starting to become a bit of a joke. It’s certainly intriguing from an outside perspective, although I do feel sorry for eager players who bought in early, expecting a game within a few years, and are instead still waiting and sitting through a lot of company bullshit.