There's A Star Citizen 'Australia Tax Sale'

Image: Aelanna Tesla/Flickr

Over the last couple of months, Australians have been slugged extra charges thanks to changes in the GST law. Video games are no exception to this, but fortunately some developers are using the forced impost to have some fun.

In an email to backers and a post on the official website, Cloud Imperium Games announced that thanks to the Federal Government, they would be discounting several of their ships following changes to GST law.

"In an effort to help our Australian citizens and as we have done previously when the EU implemented VAT, we are offering several of our most wanted ships prior to this change," the post read.

Because the GST changes are specific to Australians, CIG has restricted the sale by emailing out individual codes to backers down under. It'll run until tomorrow, when the GST changes come into effect.

It's worth noting that most of the ships "on sale" aren't really cheap. The RSI Aurora LX is available for $US30, but apart from that every other ship on offer will set you back at least $US125, with the most expensive weighing in at $US350.

I wouldn't advise against dropping that amount of money for in-game purchases, but hey, it's your money. If you've been holding off on grabbing an Anvil Crucible or an Origin 350R, you can check out the offers here.

Update: As fellow Kotaku writer Luke pointed out to me, the changes to GST were actually delayed by a year. They won't come into effect until September 1 next year. Here's the guidance from the ATO's website:

The Federal Parliament has passed law that will extend Goods and Services Tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2018.

Businesses that meet the A$75,000 registration threshold will need to take action now to review their business systems to ensure that they are able to comply.

The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border are unchanged.

If we hear back from Cloud Imperium Games as to what's going on - it could just be a case of crossed wires - we'll let you know.


    If they still had lifetime insurance I'd be tempted, but without that I'll give it a pass.

    It's worth keeping in mind the ship prices are basically backing pledges, they're set that way to help generate development funding. I like the game, I like the progress they've made on it and I'm comfortable with its length of development so far, but I don't think they really need that kind of help for funding any more, they're sitting at something like $150M raised over its life so far.

      They actually do need that help for funding, considering their burn rate for funding is estimated at somewhere about $3 million per month over all studios. $36 million per year since, say 2014, plus start-up costs to open new studios, say another $36 million. That would account for about $140 million. Now of course they have loans and investors as well, but in terms of backer funds only, they NEED to keep on selling, or they will be forced to cut jobs and close studios or else go bust.

        I can't find any information on expenses other than speculation. Are there any sources on the $3M figure?

          Nothing official, but there have been many speculative threads based on employee numbers, average salaries + overheads etc. Many people believe the burn rate to be $2m - $3m per month. When you consider they built an entire studio + mocap studio from scratch, and paid A-listers (sci-fi A-listers but hey) to record thousands of pages of dialogue, contracted Star Marine to Ilfonic, all the ATV and other streaming eps etc, you would expect the overall figure to be very high indeed.

          Now CIG might be making some money from third parties through co-marketing, product placement and endorsements, but the vast majority of funds are doubtlessly provided by backers. With even CIG's funding chart averaging about $2m per month, there is a real need for CIG to continue fundraising efforts if they want to keep the current scale of the project going into the future. With Chris admitting that the game is going to be a rolling (Star Citizen) and episodic (SQ42) release rather than a one-shot deal, you'd imagine that this would require CIG to maintain the majority of its development resources years into the future.

          Just my opinion, of course :-)

            $2M seems more likely from personal experience (it's hard to say with any certainty of course), which would give them a good 2 years worth of funding still even just from fundraising, not including professional investment.

            I think they're a good 75% through their funds, but I don't think they're in direct danger of it running out before their planned launch. How funding continues after launch will come down to sales figures I suppose, but I don't doubt they'll be shedding significant resources at launch regardless.

    The offers aren't displayed at the link for me, maybe because I don't have an account.

    I wonder how many of the offerings are actually flyable in-game now...

    And 5-year insurance instead of LTI? LOL, stingy pricks!

      LTI was dropped years ago, I'm not really sure why.

        At a guess, because CIG is worried about future ship sales for IRL$ drying up due to the proliferation of LTI.

        There must be a terrible temptation at CIG to make ships fairly tedious to earn via in-game means, so as to encourage spending of IRL$.

        For that to be a real option, CIG will first have to make the game play airtight. No more rovers exploding because the slope physics are borked!

        It was only intended to be a special thing for those who backed waaaay at the start. It only covers the basic hull and default items, not cargo or fancy weaponry, and the intention isn't that insurance for the base items will be all that expensive, so it shouldn't matter too much.

          The limited scope is why I'm not sure why it was removed. It's more of a convenience than anything else. They offer up to 5 years insurance through various means still which might as well be lifetime, for how many credits I'm betting can be made in that time.

    As if buying digital goods wasn't expensive enough within Australia..
    The government cited "protecting Australian businesses by helping them to compete with international business" as their reasoning for this tax, but who are they protecting by making online purchases of games more expensive than they already are??
    Do we even have game development studios in Australia? Who in Australia is competing in the internet spaceships marketplace? This is complete rubbish.

    The result of liberal application of poorly constructed legislation, at best!

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