Chris Roberts: Crowdfunding 'isn't really about the money'

Star Citizen funds expected to reach $100m this year
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Crowdfunded space simulator Star Citizen has raised a ridiculous amount of money – and the support keeps on coming.

Cloud Imperium boss Chris Roberts has already said he hopes the funds pledged towards the game's development will reach $100m, and now he expects this milestone will be reached within the next year.

Speaking at a BAFTA Masterclass event, the developer said the company's focus has always been its community, according to Polygon

While the crowdfunding campaign for Star Citizen has generated close to $70m since it began, Roberts points to the sizeable and enthusiastic audience helping to shape the game as a crucial benefit. The game has been funded by more than 730,000 people so far.

Star Citizen is currently only available in beta form to backers, with a new build of the game's Arena Commander mode released this week. The full game is expected to launch later in 2015, and Roberts says this will be thanks in no small part to the fans.

"We're incredibly community focused," he said. "From the beginning we started with a community site, even before we announced Star Citizen and we had 30,000 people sign up.

"It's built into the DNA of Cloud Imperium, who's the company that's making Star Citizen. It's the community focus. And we get headlines because we're the largest crowdfunded anything in the world. We're now close to $70m and it's likely the carry-on will probably be over $100 by the time the game is close to public release.

"But the crowdfunding isn't really about the money. Yes, the money is nice. Yes, the money enables you to do some of these things you do, but it's really about bringing people in to create this community and have them sort of share that experience with you as you're building it."

Roberts, all too aware of any criticism aimed at him and his staff, has even hired a team of community managers to further improve the transparency of the Star Citizen development process.

"Transparency, in our mind, is critical," he said. "We try and share as much as we possibly can of what we're doing. 

"Sometimes it's not enough for every member of our community, because we still get accused of not being transparent enough even though we literally publish these monthly reports from every one of our studios that goes into more detail than any report I ever did for a publisher back when I was working at EA or Microsoft.

"But, you know, you can never please everybody all the time."

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