Star Citizen's Massive Funding Proves There Is a Market for PC-Only Space Sims

Chris Roberts says if he had approached a publisher and asked for $50 million to make a space sim for PC, he would have been told, "Get out of here."

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Star Citizen's massively successful crowdfunding campaign--which currently stands at $49 million--proves there is a market for PC-exclusive space sims. That's according to the creator of the project, Chris Roberts, who says he thinks traditional publishers would have never gotten behind a project like Star Citizen.

"If I had gone up to any publisher and said, 'Hey, will you give me $50 million to do a space sim on PC only?' everyone would say, 'Get out of here,'" Roberts told The Verge in an interview publisher today. "But we're in a situation where we're getting to do that."

If funding for Star Citizen continues at its current pace of $1 million every three weeks, the game should reach $50 million by the end of the month. More than half a million people have contributed to the campaign so far. Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history. The most-funded Kickstarter project ever was the Pebble Watch, which attracted $10.2 million.

Though Roberts does not have a publisher to report to, that does not mean he's just breezing through development, feeling no pressure at all. "The biggest amount of pressure comes from myself," Roberts said. "I can see this game. I've got a very clear picture of what I want it to be, and I get frustrated when we're not moving as quickly as I want us to move. I want it to be the best thing I've ever played."

Overall, Roberts said he expects Star Citizen's focus on detail to be what will set the game apart from the competition. "For me, it's all about feeling like I'm in the world," Roberts said. "There's an attention to detail you need to suspend that disbelief and for me that is the motto of Star Citizen. We're going for that extra level of detail, so there's a real tactile sense to your environment. It feels like it's lived in."

Star Citizen, developed by Roberts and his studio, Cloud Imperium Games, is expected to launch in 2015, and support for virtual reality is planned. Parts of the game, including the dogfighting mode, are currently available in beta form.

For more on Star Citizen and Roberts himself, check out part one and part two of GameSpot's interview with the legendary designer.

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