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Star Citizen’s Record Breaking Funding

2020 has been a massively record breaking year for Star Citizen Funding with just this year  raising over $73 million so far BUT it’s actually a lot more than that even.

Star Citizen seems to have gone into overdrive with it’s funding since CitizenCon 2019… Covid and Global Lockdown seems to not have hampered the progress of the games funding in fact quite the opposite. Star Citizen is making more money than it ever has.

I wanted to talk about some interesting numbers and figures like how much Star Citizen has made from it’s recent IAE 2950 event and how much the project has raised in total BECAUSE it’s actually a lot more than what they show on the Funding Tracker which currently sits at $334.5m USD

Please prepare for at least a moderate amount of wild speculation this is not an accurate account audit, we are estimating and assuming a lot!

Firstly I wanted to talk about 2 of the biggest fundraising events for Star Citizen ever… and they are both in 2020. FleetWeek in May and the 2950 IAE which is just wrapping up now.

These were both ship sale events held over a couple of weeks where players could also try the game and it’s many flyable ships for free. I am going to throw lots of numbers at you now.

The 31st of May saw what has now become the 2nd largest single day crowdfunding influx $2.26m which is almost as much as the entire kickstarter funding the project originally got! And the whole of Fleet Week made $12.7m with May’s total being $15.5m… 

The IAE saw this total broken with it making around $16m itself and November almost $17m The best month for funding Star Citizen has ever had almost doubling November 2019. It also saw the highest earning single day of the project of $2,509,654 on the 28th of November… the day of the Perseus Concept Sale. This mighty Large Gunboat along with all the ships being on sale is why that event did so well.

This is a huge amount of money to fund the development of the game… for some context thats not as much as WoW was making, I remember it making $1.2B a year. Though that’s a fully finished, constantly updated popular game that has a massive player base… I think it was around 10 million active subscribers a few years ago, that player base fluctuates massively with the release of expansions and wow classic BUT I digress.

Star Citizen by comparison is a buy to play game… no subscription required (tho there are voluntary ones) and there are almost 3m player accounts total … though not all of those are going to be unique players… However Star Citizen is still an infant, even so it’s looking to hit 1million unique players in 2020 and lots of people are buying spaceships which is how this huge amount of funding is achieved (even tho you can buy them in game).

So how much has Star Citizen actually raised in total? Cloud Imperium show their accounts every year (although it’s a year in arrears) and that shows that there are various other incomes that are not included from the Funding Tracker that being Subscriptions – so backers paying monthly for access to Jump Point Magazine, some extra in game flare and to help support videos and community interaction like AMAs, ISC, SCL etc… we also have incentives, partnerships & other… so this is a mixture of deals with intel like with the Optane Drives / Sabre Raven and AMD with the Mustang Omega Game Packages BUT it can also be tax breaks/rebates/incentives a wide range of things AND this is also in addition to Private investment.

We have the Funding Tracked Showing as $334.5m to date

We know that the Private Investment amount is 63.25m this is from the Calder’s who invested in 2 rounds one of $46m and another of 17.25m.

However we have to estimate Subscriptions & Other Stuff as we only have accurate figures to end of 2018 I am going to assume a 10% increase in the yearly amounts for 2019 and 2020 (I am also removing a month as we haven’t had December yet!)

That puts the total throughout the years so far in potential Subscriptions at around $21.7m And Other Income at around $46.3m.

So by my estimate Star Citizen has been funded to the total of around $465m probably more like somewhere between $450m and $470m as we end 2020. 

This total looks like it might already be Adjusted for any Refunds too as October 2020 had some mystery money removed from the funding tracker of around $2m.

This funding isn’t going to waste… tho I suspect some people would disagree with that… as a statement… what I mean is it’s being used by Star Citizen to hire more developers, staff and make their game.

CI now effectively has 6 Studios with around 600 staff Focusing on Star Citizen & Squadron 42.

2 studios in the USA Austin & LA, 2 in the UK Manchester & Derby, 1 in Germany Frankfurt and a New one announced in November and headed by Turbulent in Montreal Canada.

This new studio has for one of it’s major focuses the building out of Star Systems & Gameplay area… you want to know how Star Citizen is going to build out 100+ Star Systems in our lifetimes, well it’s building another studio to focus on that.

They plan to grow that new studio to 100 people over the next 3 years.

Also CI have been building up a Marketing Department over the last couple of years (which is one of the things they were using that Private Investment Money for) which may of helped pay dividends with funding but I suspect this will also be for a push of Squadron 42 stuff in the future too.

We don’t have the costs and it’s harder to estimate those… we will have more of an idea on that once CI release their 2019 accounts to us and we will look at those then.

Star Citizen is a beast of a development and funding model and I love the project… it may not make as much as released finished games like WoW… but it’s still a growing baby boy… well it’s like a 8 year old now… but that’s besides the point.

I just thought it was an interesting subject and some interesting figures to discuss.

I genuinely think that Star Citizen could get to $750+ Million before it’s release… if you include money from potential Squadron 42 Sales after that release it could be over $1 Billion but that’s just wild speculation at this point. When will that release be… well we just don’t know… Squadron 42 shouldn’t be too far away BUT Star Citizen’s PU is optimistically an end of 2024 release in my opinion.