No other game has come even close to reaching one million backers, so it was inevitable that Cloud Imperium Games would celebrate in some form or fashion. And in his latest communiqué to all and sundry, Chris Roberts has confirmed the company is, of a fashion, doing just that.
It's not a massive livestream party or free Star Citizen for all, although Cloud Imperium Games is giving back — at least to its backers, anyway. In the post, Roberts says the company is abandoning the module pass and Alpha Access systems that had previously gated off access to various parts of the game.
Getting rid of the module passes, which were being sold at US$5 a pop, and the Alpha Access model means that anyone who becomes a backer, or was a backer previously, will have full access to any part of Star Citizen. It's sensible given the ever-expanding scope of the game, although it's a little difficult to praise the company too much given the additional funds they would have recouped since those models were enacted.
As a further extension of goodwill, anyone who did pay for the privilege of alpha access will get 10,000 UEC added to their account. Those who bought passes to get into the Arena Commander module will get half of that, and Roberts says the credits cap will be increased to accommodate the change.
"Going forward, should we need to put out some sort of limited release it will be done through the PTU test server. All backers will have access to any live release, the moment it publishes."
Star Citizen as an idea is complex enough already, and making it a simpler product will benefit everyone. It should help CIG too: without these added systems it becomes easier to sell, although one would argue the depth of reverence amongst fans of the 'Verse (I believe that's the proper terminology) did that for the company anyway.