Not Everyone Making Epic Space Simulators Is Rolling In Cash

Not Everyone Making Epic Space Simulators Is Rolling In Cash
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Chris Roberts of Roberts Space Industries may have in excess of $US50 million to pump into Star Citizen, but on the other side of the coin there’s the likes of Frontier Developments with Elite: Dangerous, which while given a £1.57 million ($2.73 million) injection thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the David Braben-led studio is now “executing a transition” as it reports a £1.5 million loss for the last financial year.

This in comparison to the £1.1 million profit the company made the year before last. Obviously, it’s been pouring funds into Elite to make it rather awesome, with some of that coming from its own stockpile.

The good news is the transition, so to speak, was entirely expected. As Insider Media reports:

Frontier said it had entered a planned transitional investment phase after its IPO to develop and launch Elite: Dangerous, its first large-budget self-published title.

Chief executive officer David Braben said: “We started the current financial year as we expected and are now executing the transition of our business to its next stage. I believe that the continued delivery of our plan will result in greater opportunity and return.”

It also completely understandably why Frontier would be investigating in-game advertising and as long as it’s done well, I don’t think anyone is going to explode in outrage.

Elite has been developed at a steady pace and while most of that comes down to Braben’s experience, it probably helps knowing there isn’t a giant pile of money you can continuously draw on. Going by what we’ve seen of the game so far, its hard not to imagine Frontier making its investment back (and more).

Update: While Frontier raised £1.57 million via Kickstarter, it has taken in a combined amount of £2.7 million ($4.7 million) when you include its own crowdfunding efforts.

Video games maker slips into the red [Insider Media]


  • Elite: Dangerous is already fun, and I feel like they’ve delivered a lot more so far than Star Citizen (which has made a lot of extravagant promises without much to show for it as of yet…) with a much smaller budget. Really hope they don’t have financial troubles that stop them from delivering the rest of the game.

    • I think it’s far enough along now that it’s at the the point where even if Frontier went toes-up, somebody else would step in and buy it and finish the game.

    • Article has problems with facts. First, FD has collected 6M of crowdfunded money, which doesn’t count towards income in their reports *yet*. Second, they invested 4.1 of their own money in ED and COBRA.

      Also FD has never said they will sell in-game ads. EULA has standart clause which it has also for other their games – which doesn’t have in-game ads.

      Less sensacionalism, more facts please.

  • They need to bring Zoo Tycoon to PC. And anyone can see their new Xbox One title will crash just as much as their rollercoasters will.

    • I’m gonna guess you’re not an Elite fan or you’d get it.

      Dangerous was a highly sought after and very difficult to achieve rank in the original games.

      • Yeah, but is the game just going to be Elite players from 30 years ago, or are they trying to pull in new blood as well. Elite: Dangerous is an awesome game, but the name makes me think of a CoD or Spec Ops clone.

  • I’d buy it if it wasn’t 50 Pounds (around $87), I already poured money into Star Citizen.

    I think the timing was wrong with Elite Dangerous. Chris Roberts announced his game in 2011, a year later Elite Dangerous hits kick starter.

    Personally I would love to buy Elite Dangerous, but my maximum would be $40.

  • It seems that for whatever reason these two have to be competing for fans. They are competing with each in a business sense of course, but I mean among fans. Personally I am chuffed for both, if Star Citizen (which I have backed) succeeds in what they have set out to do it will be something incredibly special, but Elite will be good stuff too I’m sure for the money.

  • Have both alpha access to star citizen and elite dangerous.

    While star citizen has made bold promises and seems to be going in about 10 directions, Elite Dangerous is already fun and rewarding to play.
    In fact after playing elite for a while I was strongly tempted to unload my star citizen commitment however I decided against it at least for now.

    Soonish elite will move to $35£ which should make it more affordable.

    I do recommend peeps check it out. It is incredibly immersive and with a HOTAS setup with the commercial release of Oculous VR it will be absolutely insane 🙂

    • elite isn’t in alpha its in beta and star citizen is not even in alpha yet that will come with version 1 of arena commander.

      also do you know when elite will move to 35? I may hold off getting into the beta till they lower the price if its soon.

      • It’s 35 pounds/50 US dollars (be sure to change to the cheapest-by-conversion currency in the store before purchasing) for the full game, which won’t be available til the end of the year. I don’t believe there’s any specified time for when that’ll be, there’s still at least the Beta 2 and Gamma stage to get through before then. The extra 15 pounds/25 US dollars lets you start playing now instead of in several months’ time.

        • ah I see so its still gonna be 80 bucks for me to get into the beta, mm I guess I will get it, it does look like fun.

  • “Soonish elite will move to $35£.”

    Says who? That was supposed to happen back in March this year, the game’s completion date. Braben missed it by a mile. Every few weeks he sends out another mail begging people waiting for the finished game to give him another £15 to get an unfinished “beta” version now. He claims the game will be finished by end 2014, but hasn’t made an update on Kickstarter for months.

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