Star Citizen continues to soar, hits $43 million in funding

"Another incredible accomplishment," says creator Chris Roberts about the space sim's latest achievement.

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Star Citizen, the upcoming PC space sim from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, has reached yet another funding milestone. The crowdfunding campaign has now reached an incredible $43 million, which is up from $42 million just two weeks ago.

"Another incredible accomplishment by Star Citizen's backers," Roberts said in a blog post about the latest achievement. To mark the milestone, Roberts released work-in-progress images of the Gladius light fighter, which was unlocked at $42 million. One image of this ship is embedded above and more are available at the Star Citizen website.

All backers who contributed to Star Citizen before $43 million will receive a set of marine combat armor added to their accounts for use in the game's planetside first-person shooter module. The armor is (virtually) created of composite mesh fibers reinforced with ablative plates. This allows the person wearing it to be protected against energy and kinetic weapons, Roberts says.

Should Star Citizen funding reach $44 million, players will receive an additional hangar room. In addition, the votes have been tallied and the $45 million reward is a mystery object. "It's pretty cool seeing the community take a chance on something unknown instead of going for a free weapon or other upgrade," Roberts said. This object is "more than just a piece of flare," he went on to say, noting that "it's a puzzle players will someday compete to solve."

Voting is now open for the penultimate $46 million player reward stretch goal, and the options are updated scanner software, a new role-specific outfit, an engine tuning kit, a ship skin, and a space plant.

To put Star Citizen's $42 million into context, Epic Games revealed in 2006 that development on the original Gears of War cost $10 million, while Tim Schafer's 2008 action game Brutal Legend had a budget of around $25 million. It's still well below, however, the development budget for MMOs, which can run into the hundreds of millions.

Star Citizen is due to launch in full sometime in 2015. A total of 440,831 people have backed the project so far.

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