Star Citizen Has Now Raised Over $550 Million

Star Citizen Has Now Raised Over $550 Million

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.


  • It would be interesting to compare and analyse how this compares to other AAA studio titles.

    e.g. For GTA V and RDR 2, numbers in the order of ~ 500 M was being thrown around…

      • While this one is for Chris Roberts to roll around in his Scrooge McDuck moneybin.

        I respected Chris back in the Wing Commander days, but the whole Star Citizen spending thousands of real dollars on ships thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. His old boss, Richard Garriott, does the same with Forsaken Virtues so…

        • I want it to succeed and be what it’s promising to be.. I loved the Wing commander games but there is no way I am putting money into this. Too many warning bells are ringing for my taste

          • Same here. In the end though, its going to be an interesting lesson whether it succeeds or fails. Both scenarios will have a story to tell in the years to come.

          • Honestly, they’ve raised $550m – whatever people like you or I might chip in at this point would be so insignificant that it might as well be zero anyway. It would make no difference at all to the quality of the final product.

  • As an early backer I’ve checked in to see how things have been going now and then over the aeons, as my interest slowly decreases. I’m bemused by the whole experience as it just seems to be an exercise in adding more and more components to an ever-increasing game universe that quite possibly will never be completed.

    • Kickstarter backer here. Honestly, I’ve gotten my money’s worth from all the media released as part of the development. I like to check in every few months, just to see how things are going. I’ve never put anything in other than my initial Kickstarter amount. Which was an awesome bargain, considering the excellent Aussie dollar at the time.

      The open universe will, as you say, never be completed. I’d say they will release something in the next few years, with the features that they’re currently happy with. New features will be added over time, and new star systems, and events, and all that sort. That’s just standard with a massively multiplayer system these days.

      The single player SQ42 should be released next year. They’re getting to the point where development is going at a very handy pace. Beta is due the latter half of this year. Then 6 or 7 months or so of polishing, and it’s done.

      • I like your optimism! I’ll certainly be looking at the major updates and hopefully will get excited again.

  • By the time this comes out, the joystick I purchased just for this game will have died, never used.

    Loved Wing Commander but this…. what the holy hell huh? Like. There’s a lot of greed functioning in that company. If they were even 50% focused on completing a game, then it would have shipped a few years ago.

    They’re just trying to get as much money as possible. That’s their real goal. And if a game gets made by accident, well they didn’t mean to.

  • To the author, just in case you aren’t aware, sprint tracking is just sort of the development model they are using. In this case; seems like they’re using SCRUMM (as that’s the method that’s usually used when discussing ‘sprints’ or better known as just agile). Or at least; that’s what I’m assuming that’s what they’re referring too. It could be that they plan to just rip it from JURA or whatever their project management software is called.

    The whole Star Citizen saga is something that I hope that it’s something Chris Roberts will be able to use to silence his critics, but over half a billion dollars being spent on it’s development (in addition to SQ42’s) is a truly a staggering amount of money, and it’s money that means that means that I can’t see how the project could be considered a profitable one (unless from now till it’s release I suppose it doesn’t raise any further amounts etc). Personally I’m far more interested in Squadron 42, but still.

    • Something that tends to get missed in this is that the funding should be delivering at least two products – SQ42, and SC. Its still a staggering amount of money, but the groundwork is something that can be used to plenty of products over time, if it all works as intended.

      Which ends up being the big IF. Will it do what they want? Doomsayers say no, others say yes, time will tell which is right. I want it to work, but I wont be discouraged if it doesnt because as Mythbusters said on numerous occasions, failure is always an option. Succeeding or failing, there are lessons to be learned.

      • In theory I completely agree with you that it lays the groundwork for other projects, but as you’ve pointed out, only if it works as intended.

        Between SQ42 and Star Citizen though, it’s crazy that between them they have to earn over half a billion dollars now to even break even, to say nothing on how quickly it believes it will be able to do it (5 years, 10 years?). It’s possible that lifetime sales of Star Citizen can do that I suppose; Swtor I think recently broke half a billion or something over it’s lifetime, but I can’t find the link. But that was based off an established IP, and there aren’t as many franchises that are as beloved as Star Wars.

        • Yeah, its a big ask any way you cut it. As of now, thats something like 10 million sales across the products. If it was just SC, its a massive ask but across both SC and SQ42, not so bad. I’m not sure the genre has those sorts of sales in it, but it could surprise. Nobody realistically thought GTA V had 100 million sales in it, yet it made that rare list.

          Its not going to be near that by any stretch, but it shows that games can have legs to keep selling good numbers for years after release. So if the game is good, and fun, why not?

        • Why would it need to make a profit? They’ve MADE 550m already and they haven’t even finished the product.

          • Well, I admit I’m making the assumption they invest all the money they’ve raised in its development to its development.

          • Yeah. I don’t want to be too cynical but a lot of that’s going to their personal income. Guaranteed. They’ve made an amazing way of making money based on promises and dreams. Why stop now when people are buying virtual land?

          • I think wages and staff personal income counts towards development costs. I meant everything to do with it’s development, from staff wages, and utilities etc, research and of course, actual active development towards the products.

    • There are a great many ways for companies to make a profit.

      It’s extremely common, in fact, for profits to be taken as healthy wages and director’s fees with any remainder churned directly back into the business never to be paid out as a dividend.

      Chris Roberts and his friends have already made out like bandits on this for nearly a decade, anything else is just accounting.

  • For almost a full decade now, this project has been newsworthy only in how much money it raises. That’s it. There is never any news on how they are releasing a quality finished product.

    • Most Star Citizen news is rather technical and specialised. Not really appropriate for general gaming news. It’s all new ships, new flight models, server side object container streaming, planet tech 4.0, mining mechanics, prisoner gameplay, economic models, A.I updates, inter-system travel, long term persistence, etc, etc.

      They’re being very tight-lipped on updates to SQ42, for fear of spoilers. Though we’re looking at a beta for SQ42 at the end of this year, likely for release some time next year.

      If you want news on Star Citizen, you’re best off looking to the reddit community, youtube videos, and the Roberts Space Industries website. I only browse the updates fairly casually, but there is quite a lot of info out there if you look for it, and plenty of people that are really into all the details.

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