Welcome to some more Star Citizen, today I wanted to to a breakdown of RSI Subscriptions what they are supposed to be, what perks they give, are they worth the cost, what content it supports and some of my thoughts on that content, problems with it, solutions and a bit of a rant as well as talking about Star Citizen Official Video Content.
What are Subscriptions?
RSI Subscriptions are voluntary monthly that started in 2012 to help fund the project… today this now helps pay for video & behind the scenes content shows like Calling All Devs, Around the Verse, Reverse the Verse, Ask the Devs, as well as the Jump Point, the monthly digital magazine about Star Citizen. This revenue also funds the development and release of subscriber-exclusive perks like the monthly hangar flair series and exclusive subscriber merchandise.
What do Subs Get?
Subscriptions come in 2 flavors:
Centurion – $10 the standard subs
Imperator – $20 the premium subs
All Subscribers get a monthly Newsletter detailing the additional perks they have access too as well as
Jump Point, Star Citizen’s official digital magazine including exclusive behind-the-scenes articles and interviews into the development process of Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Subscribers can also access the entire collection of Jump Point back issues at any time.
Jump Point is released the third Friday of every month.
You get First-wave (I refer to as wave 0 sometimes) access to Star Citizen’s Persistent Test Universe (PTU)
A different flyable ship every month.
Subscribers receive an exclusive digital flair item, from hangar collectibles to in-game special weapon skins, awarded monthly. This also allows access to the Flair Store, where previously issued pieces are available for purchase. Imperator-level Subscribers receive a special variant in addition to the standard flair item. Subscriber Flair is attributed the second Wednesday of every month. For those that subscribe over the weekend after that, subscriber flair will be attributed on the following Monday.
You get some REC for use in Arena Commander | Centurion-level Subscribers receive 20k REC monthly, while Imperator-level Subscribers get 40k.
There is an active subscriber (and dev) only chatroom & forum.
Active Subscribers get early access to tickets for events produced by CIG, such as CitizenCon, giving them the opportunity to secure a spot before others.
You get access to the Vault contains collections of Star Citizen concept art and work-in-progress renderings, a rare look at images and designs that otherwise wouldn’t be seen. The Vault is updated every Thursday.
Every month there is supposed to be a town hall, Subscribers can submit questions for our developers, some of which will be answered in our monthly Town Hall web series – They actually have expanded this to take questions weekly for RtV but sometimes have these town hall specials.
There is also discounted Star Citizen and Squadron 42 merchandise and exclusive limited ship pledges through the RSI store.
After 12 months of subscription time, you’re eligible for a discount coupon. (Valid for any accumulated subscription time starting in January 2015 through present. Coupon is good for one-time use on digital products only capped at a maximum discount of $50 USD (and 10% off for Centurion) or $100 USD (20% off at Imperator level). These coupons can’t be used on Subs, REC Items, Merch, Tickets, Promo Pledges or Buy Backs.
As an Imperator-level Subscriber, you’ll get one week to test fly newly flight-ready ships and variants with our live quarterly releases.
Imperator-level Subscribers get the chance to attend several exclusive events throughout the year at our studios around the globe. Upcoming events will be announced in advance, through the monthly Subscriber newsletter with tickets available to Imperators on a first-come-first serve basis.
How Much does it generate?
The last official figures we have on Subscriber Content from the 2017 financials is that it was pulling in over $3 million. I would expect that figure in 2019 to of grown somewhat, maybe closer to $3.3 – 3.5.
What Shows Exactly Does it Fund?
As of February 2019 it appears that just weekly AtV, RtV & the regular (monthly) Subscriber Perks are being funded by subscriptions .
AtV (Around The Verse) is the weekly Star Citizen News show and project update, they show off the latest work on the game, what’s coming soon and some deeper dives into certain features of the game.
RtV (Reverse The Verse) is typically a LIVE Q&A with devs about a recent topic that may of been highlighted on AtV or from the Forums or hot topic because a major patch is about to release or they have just had CitizenCon. Sometimes these maybe Townhalls, Interviews with Key Devs, Game Dev Specials where they might have someone from a discipline to make a new animal OR little physics game, they’ve made a Basketball mini game, Vanduul Hounds, Space Whales and more LIVE in the past on these shows.
Recently they canned CaDs which was actually one of my favorite shows this was pre-recorded Questions from the Community answered by an appropriate dev and provided a huge amount of info each week on the project.
It is worth mentioning that Historically CIG do change, add and evolve their video content and this is very likely what is going on in the background now, the start of 2019 however has been very scarce when it comes to video content and news.
AtV – Is a bit too short now
RtV – Sometimes Great – Bit it’s hit and miss with topic choice imo
CaDs – being caned is lame
Once Subscriptions hit a certain level that all perks and the basic AtV / RtV shows are paid for then they should be using that additional monies to produce more shows and maybe improving the quality of the current ones. I would assume that they are a magnitude above what they require for the current shows. Now there maybe more of that money used for on other bits that I am not aware of.
What I like / My Opinions
Are Subscriptions worth it? If you want the Sub Perks, you like the flair then for a lot of backers their subs are worthwhile. It helps contribute to these major shows BUT these shows are available to everyone & in turn generate Star Citizen a lot of exposure and help make monies, it’s a big part of their advertising, it would make sense for them to make them EVEN IF THEY WERE NOT CHARGING SUBS. Ship Sales get a big boost from them being covered in AtV / Ship Shape.
They are generating a large amount of money from RSI Subs now and I feel the current Video Content that CIG puts out does not reflect the amount of funding it receives THEY need to provide something more again NOT less.
In AtV I’d like to see a couple more mins of cool and eye candy in there, it’s a news show but that eye candy and cool new stuff and understanding what’s going on / giving context to the project should be it’s main goal. Last Year they shortened AtVs with what I thought was the plan to have an additional show/series occasionally…
I’d like to see a show that focuses of deep dives into a single mechanic, ship, department, tool, team, aspect of the game. Basically some of the bits they removed from AtV but in it’s own show. I supported and wanted shorter AtVs BUT with the understanding they were going to have these bits as a seperate video.
RtV has some great moments & weeks, sometimes I am not interested in the topic they have there. I would like to see at least a % of time each week used to answer hot topics and new FAQs LIVE.
CaDs – They should just bring back Calling All Devs OR have another Pre-Filmed FAQ / Q&A series they do weekly.
Personally I’d also like to see a Community Manager / Info disseminator that’s job is to get Questions Answered by devs and then post it as a weekly Forum Post, here is a load of questions we got answered and encourage discussion.
Maybe they could also actively post answers to the community and signpost too just around all mediums.
I love it when some of the devs take to Spectrum or Reddit and chat to the community, you get some awesome info and interaction… MOAR OF THIS PLEASE!
One of Star Citizen’s Cores is they way it has involved it’s community throughout the project BUT that community needs interaction, questions, answers and talking points, AtV and RtV go a long way to providing that BUT they have the budget to do more, if you need to hire an additional community manager or other hires then I think it’s worth it.
Another thing was that Disco the Global Video Content Manager I think his title is now went on a well deserved holiday BUT that paused a lot of the content, I feel that the sub funding should provide at least some level of redundancy for that in the future too.
There is an argument that some of these community shows “eat into dev time” BUT there is clearly work arounds to that and they have the funding to solve these issues, that’s only going to be an issue with certain devs and certain times of the year. They just need to be utilizing those funds and giving the community a good amount of content, you can’t say they can’t do the shows and still say that subs are funding them, if that’s the case then update the Subscriber Perks / FAQ to say that.
I feel I can just justify a good portion of Sub Money previously for cost of equipment, cameras in every studio, gearing up, trying different formats, editors. Maybe some of that money also finds it’s ways to other Videos / Specials GamesCom, CitizenCon, the Squadron 42 VS, Panels, additional LiveStreams… someone said to me it may of been used to support some of the events in the early days too.
So yes for some RSI Subs are worth it individually BUT I do not feel they are utilizing that funding in the best possible way they could for video content.
I don’t believe it’s the case that the funding supports CitizenCon or anything like that, they have seperate tickets for that, though I suppose you could argue that the LiveStreams for those events may use Sub Funds HOWEVER I would again say, that the Video Content and CitizenCon LiveStream.
I personally am an erratic RSI subscriber, I want the Newsletter, sometime the flair and the early access to tickets, Jump Point. When I say erratic, I typically sub for a month and only sub again when I see something I want again. I am mega thrifty.
I did see in Spectrum there was a survey about near future topics you’d like to see on ATV/RTV that was put up by a backer, I think that’s a great idea for getting a feel for what these shows should cover in the short term.
Twerk’s Answer the Call on Subscriptions – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=998u_iCL2j4