Letter from the Chairman: $ 40 Million
We’ve done it again! The Star Citizen community has pushed us to another incredible crowd funding goal: $ 40 million, a number that would have been an impossible dream at the start of the game’s development. I’m constantly amazed by the continued support we receive and how this community manages to grow every day. Since the last milestone we’ve added over 10,000 new citizens! Some say that space sims are niche. I’m not so sure!
At $ 40 million, you unlocked the last of the backer-voted star systems. Since the results of the last poll were so close, we decided to include both of the top two options:
- Kabal System – The discovery of a new system is always an exciting time. Even the most jaded NavJumpers can’t help entertaining the possibilities for scientific understanding or new species or even a new home that could await them on the other side of a new jump point. The discovery of Kabal was certainly something new. By all outward appearances, the system seemed empty. It was only during when a UEE Surveying team began to assess Kabal III, did they find something disturbing; old uninhabited Tevarin cities. How could an entire Tevarin system escape detection all these years? Did the Tevarin that were assimilated into the UEE know about it? How was it kept a secret? The questions multiplied when a detachment of Marines, sent to secure the planet ended up discovering a cache of old Tevarin war machines. Among the rows and rows of weapons, they made an even more disturbing discovery; some of the technology was made in the last ten years…
- Oretani System – Oretani was just one of many systems that were being discovered during the rapid Expansion era of the 25th century. The surveyors noticed nothing in the system’s six worlds of immediate importance. Only one planet seemed to be a viable candidate for terraforming. The terraforming Corp that won the bid sent a mid-level team (and their families) into the system to start processing when the only jump point into the system collapsed. Scientists scrambled to figure out a solution, but it was the first time an incident like this had occurred. As years stretched into decades, people studied the area around the former jump point, hoping for a sign that it had reopened, but after time they gave up. After all this time, Oretani is only ever debated among select number of historians. Most believe that without support, the initial terraformers probably died out, but no one really knows what to expect on the other side if that jump point ever reopens.
Per tradition, we are announcing the $ 42 million stretch goal today. 42 is a celebrated number for Star Citizen. Before the crowd funding campaign launched, I teased the game to my oldest fans with the RSI website. To enter you had to guess the password. The hint was “Life, the Universe and Everything”. We expected most Sci-Fans to get the reference to Douglas Adams “Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy”. We planned to launch the teaser site 42 days out from the announcement however the realities of web development intervened but we did manage to work in a lasting reference to the project’s humble beginnings by using 42 in the name of the legendary fighter squadron you aspire to join in the single-player adventure, Squadron 42!
It’s only appropriate for the $ 42 million stretch goal that we do something that recognizes the role that the answer to “Life, The Universe and Everything” has played in this amazing journey.
Star Citizen’s equivalent of “The Hitch Hikers Guide” is the Observist section of Star Citizen’s Galactapedia.
The Galactapedia isn’t a simple wiki or a static how-to guide: it’s going to integrate directly into the game universe and respond in real time as players steer the course of Star Citizen’s world. We envision making the news with an impressive feat in the Galactapedia as a major goal for many players: if you’re the one who finally defeats the Dread Pirate Roberts, charts a new Jump Point or makes the Advocacy’s Most Wanted list, your actions will become memorialized for all time in the Galactapedia! What’s more, the Galactapedia will be available both inside Star Citizen and through the RSI website.
With all of this in mind, we have a few additions to the game and some rewards for our loyal backers at the $ 42 million level! Read on:
- Updated Observist Guide – Additional funding from the $ 42 million level will go to expanding the website area of the Galactapedia: expect to see holographic ships, items and navigation interface in 3D! Imagine admiring your ships or planning your loadouts right here at the RSI website.
- Explorer-class mobiGlas Rig – Every player who backs before we hit $ 42 million will start the game with their own, visually distinctive mobiGlas “ExoGlas” rig which can be used to access the Observist at any time. I’ve charged the mobiGlas team with a very difficult task: creating a realistic interface that will help keep your affairs in order in an expansive galaxy that we hope players will expand in unknown directions. It’s almost like building our own in fiction operating system for an imagined future, and it’s very different task than building spaceships. This backer-exclusive mobiGlas kit will come pre-loaded with additional galactic information that new players would ordinarily need to explore or barter to fill out; it’s our way of honoring the information you’ve collected about the Star Citizen universe through the RSI site and community over the past year!
- Gladius – The Squadron 42 team will develop an additional fighter for the game, the Aegis Dynamics Gladius-class light fighter. The Gladius will be the first fighter built entirely from concept to CryEngine in the UK! Here’s the official description: The Aegis Gladius is the UEE’s reigning light short-range patrol fighter. A single-seat ship with no room for expansion, the Gladius is fast, maneuverable and capable of punching far above its weight. The main advantage to the design is simplicity: cheap to produce, easy to repair and outfit and quick to train new pilots on. The Gladius is an aging design nearing the end of its life-cycle, although iterative updates have kept it the most nimble fighter in the active fleet.
- Towel – And of course, everyone who backs before we hit $ 42 million will also receive a towel for their hangar. Don’t explore the galaxy without it!
Remember that our stretch goals are examples, ways of showing you how we are improving the game with the additional funding and ways to thank you for your early support. The full impact of each additional dollar is actually felt across the board: the project currently employs over 200 people. As a result, every dollar allows us to support this large team and helps improve Star Citizen in both scope and scale.
Thank you for your support, for making this possible. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for Star Citizen; stay tuned!
— Chris Roberts
P.S., A number of Citizens have asked why we stopped giving out stretch goal rewards to backers (like the repair bot and the space suit offered early in the campaign.) The truth is, we had so many new features we wanted to discuss that the practice slipped our mind. For the next set of stretch goals, we’re going to give you in-game rewards… and we’re letting you pick what you want. Please vote in the poll below to pick the $ 43 million unlock reward. The winner will be described in the next Chairman post and the option with the lowest votes will be eliminated from contention!