Star Citizen developer wants to focus less on crowdfunding numbers, more on stretch goal progress

When Star Citizen hit $49 million in crowdfunding, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said he wanted more . So we gave it to him ! But now, with more than $51 million sitting in the bank, Roberts has decided it's time to ease up a bit: Continued funding is still required, but it's going to be de-emphasized somewhat as part of an effort to make the project friendlier and more accessible to newcomers.

In his most recent " Letter From the Chairman ," Roberts said he'd spoken to a lot of people at the recently-completed Gamescom who were aware of Star Citizen but hadn't backed it, not because they didn't like the idea but because "they simply did not understand how to get started."

"We've been taking for granted the fact that our existing backers understand the project so well. Many of you have been with us for eighteen months and understand the nature of the lore we put out, or our process for involving the community in pre-alpha modules," he wrote. "But to gamers just discovering the project, it's overwhelming!"

In order to make the experience less intimidating, the crowdfunding counter on the front page will be replaced with new kinds of goals, including stretch goals based on the number of active players, number of Vanduul killed and number of bugs reported.

"There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is Star Citizen isn't just about making millions of dollars. While continued funding is necessary to build Star Citizen at the current level of AAA fidelity and no compromises, the first experience for new people should be about the game and universe, not about how much money we've raised," Roberts wrote. "Backers do a whole lot more than just buy new ships. You are our eyes and ears; you sell the project to other gamers better than any ad campaign ever could, your design ideas, expand our scope and your bug reports help us make a smoother game."

Despite the change, two conventional crowdfunding stretch goals remain on the table: The BB-12 Manned Maneuvering Unit at $52 million and an Independent Arbitrator's Guild at $53 million. Both will presumably be met with ease.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.