Welcome to some more Star Citizen. CIG have just released their latest financial statement – these are Very Simple Accounts for the year ending 2022, yesthese are a year behind BUT allow us to delve deeper into what CIG have attained income wise of the projects 11 years. As we also have the income earned from 2023 also available to us.
And CIG also talk about where the project is now. We are going to look at CIGs Funding, Costs, Financial Health, Staff and Expansion.
Please bare in mind that figures are rough as there might be some changes with currency conversions and we are using figures from CIGs Statement as well as the funding tracker.
Let’s start with how much the project has funded Star Citizen Financials
Between 2012 – 2022 – $637m (636.989) – According to previous Financial statements
2023 – 134m
They raised 117m in funding during 2023 but thats Not the whole story as it doesn’t include Subscriptions & “other income” which includes (partnership income with various hardware and software vendors, sponsorship income, and various local incentives based upon the nature and location of our development and production activities.)
Which if we roughly assume is the same as 2022’s then it’s an additional 17m.
CIG also have Private Investments from Clive & Keith Calder – $63.25m
March 27 2020 – $17.25m
December 20 2018 – $46m
Star Citizen’s Approximate Total Funding To Date – $834.25m
Star Citizen looks like it will easily break the $1B in crowdfunding barrier before it’s released… that said Squadron 42 could release before that!
Let’s take a look at what CIG said about 2022 before we jump into how much they’ve spent!
The 2022 accounting shows that Cloud Imperium grew again with total income up 30% on last year’s record-breaking annual performance. The regular and improving game deliveries with increased playability and stability was a key part to our success in 2022, but unlike 2021 the performance was more consistent throughout the year. Also, departing from prior years leading up to 2022, the US growth in income was higher than that of the Rest of the World. It is difficult to draw direct conclusions for this shift but the instablity caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict and the generally slower rebound of the European economy in 2022, compared to the US, seems likely to be a factor.
Costs, including capex, also increased by 29%, although excluding capex, principally focused upon the new Rest of World offices, trading costs rose moderately (compared to income) by 18% in 2022. Nearly all cost categories were up on the previous year but overheads, external game development, and publishing operations, including customer servicing costs, were the main drivers for this increase in costs. Salaries and related costs for game development and support remained the highest spend category accounting for almost half of the total operational spend in 2022, and almost 60% when factoring in the growth in external game development costs, managed mainly through the US.
2022 continued the trend of record-breaking growth with revenue up 32% to $114M. This was fueled by a growth in player numbers and increased player time arising from regular content delivery early in the year and improved game stability throughout the full year. Subscriptions were up 6% to $5.3M and other income increased 21% to $11.4M, driven in part by the growth in UK development and the associated credits arising thereof.
The vast majority of revenues are of starter pack pledges granting access to the Star Citizen alpha game, as well as spaceships and digital items immediately delivered and playable in the game. A significantly smaller fraction of revenues came from pledges for concept ships.
So How Much have CIG Spent?
Trading Costs 2012 – 2022 $631m (630.687)
If we assume that the costs are roughly the same for 2023 (tho I am going to add on 10% more for wage increases and new staff) let’s say an additional $136m for the year of 2023 then the total costs roughly are – $767m
Going back to the recent statement on 2022s costs:
With much still to do, Cloud Imperium pushed forward with its objectives and the commensurate growth in its cost base accordingly. Costs increased by 18% over 2021 to $116.5M and capital expenditure, primarily for the flagship offices in Manchester, England, and the new facilities in Frankfurt, Germany, rose to $12.9M, compared to only $2.0M in 2021.
The US operations grew slightly in 2022, although like the previous year there was a continued shift in the mix of personnel as publishing, community, and marketing teams grew whilst internal development contracted in the US, although with a rise in management of more external development resource, mainly from our associated entity Turbulent, which is based in Montreal.
Rest of World operations grew considerably with headcount up 18% on 2021 and additional space taken on to facilitate future growth.
All cost areas except General and Admin (G&A) increased in 2022 although the growth in Publishing Operations was not as significant as in the previous year, which had set the groundwork for the projected growth in customer numbers and playtime, which trended upward toward the end of 2021 and continued on an even greater trajectory upward into 2022.
Salaries are the biggest expense for CIG as they grow their workforce.
They increased employees in 2022 from 748 to 860 by the end of the year plus another externally 150 at Turbulent. Salaries & Contractor Costs being $66.8m (66.813)
Tho CIG did expand their studios massively which contributed to some of the other big cost increases.
In the Bank – CIG show their net position as 64.7m at the end if if 2022.
If we translate that to now It looks like it leaves CIG with around $67m in the bank at the end of 2023.
That said there could of been a massive change in costs, certainly CIG are going to see less external dev costs with the acquisition of turbulent BUT more internal costs.
Other costs might of come down potentially but staff costs will have gone up at least 10%.
In keeping with prior years, the 2022 Accounting shows the Group continued to spend its income on the ongoing development and publishing of the games in its unrelenting objective to deliver a world-class gaming and social experience for its players and community. Besides reinvesting into its people and partners – particularly Turbulent in Canada, whose teams servicing Cloud Imperium grew considerably during the year – it also put substantial funds into its new offices and facilities to create a destination space for its post-Covid returning staff, creating an environment to encourage collaboration, innovation, and creativity to make all the hard work undertaken and still to come more pleasant for the growing number of people working on the games.
Consequently, the funds on the balance sheet moved little in 2022 despite a very successful year, and they remain earmarked for the future activities planned and required to push the games forward to the commercial launch and the ongoing evolution of the underlying technology and Intellectual Property being developed.
What About Now?! Well CIG Say:
At the time of writing, I am pleased to report that in 2023 we have made great strides in that respect and despite the significant cost of dedicating more resource to Squadron 42, at the expense of ongoing regular releases on Star Citizen, particularly in the first three quarters of 2023, we have progressed Squadron 42 to a level of feature complete, which is a very significant step on our roadmap to final release for this hugely ambitious AAA game. At our first physical CitizenCon in several years at the Los Angeles Convention Centre we unveiled the progress made ‘behind closed doors’ and we were happy to show how this will translate into the Star Citizen Universe and the ongoing releases that are planned over the coming months and years.
In 2023 we were also very pleased to have completed the acquisition of Turbulent that we announced in July. As noted in this and previous reports, Turbulent has become an important part of our operations and we have been working with them since the early days of the company’s founding. They understand us and our goals and thus it was natural that we would formalize that relationship and bring their key people into our leadership team. It is great to harness the skills and talents of the 200+ people working there who augment our internal teams and represent a large part of our worldwide workforce, which now exceeds 1,100.
In conclusion, 2023 has not been an inexpensive year but we have a had a great – record-breaking again – end to the year and the targeted investments we have made have been focused upon our goals, setting us closer to achieving our vision and mission to deliver a gaming experience and universe of truly epic scale, fidelity, and quality for all our current and future players and community.