Star Citizen raises $20 million, unlocks planet-side first-person combat

Star Citizen continues to rake in the money, and at this rate Cloud Imperium Games will be able to fund its own real-life space program. We've previously made note of Star Citizen and developer Chris Roberts ' unstoppable crowdfunding effort; this time, the new $20 million milestone adds planet-based combat to the game. Now, in addition to combat on space stations and while boarding enemy ships, players will be able to fight for control on individual worlds.

"It's especially fitting to me that we reach this goal today, on the anniversary of the release of the original Wing Commander,” Roberts wrote in an announcement . “Thanks to the support of this incredible community, Star Citizen embodies everything I dreamed of doing with that series, and opens up the potential for so much more. Each of you has helped to make this possible and you are allowing us to create a game the way games should be created.”

My greatest fear as I watch Star Citizen's coffers fill is that all of these new unlockable stretch goals will bog down the core game with unpolished extras. According to Roberts, however, most of the stretch goals involve adding new art to gameplay that is already in development. “The first person combat on select planets is a great example of this type of goal,” Roberts writes, “We already have FPS combat as part of the game in ship boarding, and we already have most of this already functional thanks to CryEngine, as we essentially have Crysis3 functionality out of the box. But creating all the environments and assets to fill them is a huge task, so we were planning on not doing any planetside combat initially, simply because of its cost, with the idea that we would slowly roll it out once the game is live.”

See? He's on top of it, which I guess is why they crowdfund him the big bucks. Star Citizen still has a ways to go before its estimated release date of late 2014, so we'll meet here again for the big $21 million announcement.