The Star Citizen juggernaut continues. Players have already poured $US275 million into the long-running space epic, and the studio raised another $US46 million from a group of investors two years ago. That same group of investors has just put another $US17.25 million into the project, bringing the total amount of investment just over $550 million ($US338.25 million).
It's a staggering total from a game that started with $3.4 million ($US2.1 million) on Kickstarter, although the actual transaction here doesn't result in any change of control for gamers hoping for a faster release. An official note on the Cloud Imperium Games' corporate page notes that the $US28 million investment was a pre-negotiated one-time share purchase that was arranged when ITG Investment, Snoot Entertainment and the Calder Family Office bought into Star Citizen back in 2018.
The share prices reflect a discounted option price for existing shareholders that was pre-negotiated at the time of the initial investment in 2018. There were no changes to the Board composition as a result of this transaction. Chris Roberts continues to maintain full control of the Board and Group.
It's worth noting that the Calder Family Office and Snoot Entertainment are the same family. The Calder Family Office is run by music billionaire Clive Calder, who co-founded the Zomba music group in the mid-'70s that would go on to acquire the contract for the Backstreet Boys for a measly $US35,000. Zomba would later pick up the contract for 'NSYNC, but in 2002 the company was acquired by BMG Entertainment (which, funnily enough, was being run by the now-CEO of Take Two Entertainment, Strauss Zelnick). Snoot Entertainment, meanwhile, is run by Keith Calder and Jess Wu Calder, and produces, develops and finances various films, including Blindspotting, Blair Witch and Little Monsters.
As for Star Citizen itself, the Squadron 42 single-player campaign is still aiming for a beta by Q3 this year. The public roadmap isn't being updated anymore, although that's supposedly being replaced with something that works off the studio's "internal sprint-tracking process to visualise our progress". The persistent universe multiplayer game, in the meantime, is working towards alpha 3.9, with weather locomotion, further performance improvements, PvP bounties, a player status system and in-game prison missions all being implemented for the next release.