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One of the biggest games currently in development isn't an AAA title, some Hollywood-produced VR experiment, a movie-based game or an LP themed around a book, song, television show or comic book. No, one of the biggest games in development is an independent project from Chris Roberts called Star Citizen, and it just surpassed $200 million in crowdfunding.
The news was rolled out over on the official Roberts Space Industries website, where it was announced by Roberts that Star Citizen has managed to surpass the $200 million milestone.
The funding comes from lots of gamers hailing from all over the globe. In fact, since the funding drive began for Star Citizen back in 2012, there have been contributors supporting the funding of the game from more than 171 countries, spanning the entire planet.
The game has been in full development for the last six years, and has made some startling progress as the staff has expanded to 500 people across five studios in three different countries.
For a little perspective, that's 100 people less than the amount of people who worked on Resident Evil 6, which was one of the biggest games that Capcom ever produced. Of course, that figure doesn't really come close to Ubisoft, which had more than 900 people contributing to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
The teams across Cloud Imperium Games and Foundry 42 are working on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, the former of which is a persistent universe for multiple players taking place in a massive galactic sandbox. The latter is a single-player, story-driven game featuring Hollywood heavyweights such as Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Henry Cavill, Ben Mendelsohn, Liam Cunningham, Gillian Anderson and Mark Strong.
The cast is stacked and it matches the kind of content-rich gameplay that RSI and CIG are aiming to build out with Star Citizen.
The game is still in its alpha stage of development, but gamers are able to buy and fly ships in a giant open sandbox, take on bounties, dogfight against bandits, haul cargo from space stations to outposts on remote moons, or travel to bustling planets.
The game is one of the few where you can really see where the $200 million is being invested, especially given the visual fidelity and scale of the project. One of the biggest hurdles that the team finally completed over the course of three and a half years was gutting and rebuilding the CryEngine to support the unprecedented scale of the galaxy in the persistent universe, which would allow players to fly from the surface of a planet all the way into the farthest reaches of space.
The latest alpha build also features the implementation of FOIP, the Face Over Internet Protocol, allowing players to use a webcam and a microphone to interact with other players in-game with actual face expressions and mouth movements for the characters to match the player. It's undoubtedly impressive tech.
Star Citizen is still an extremely long ways out from being finished, but the planetary biomes are coming together, the cities are being fleshed out, there are more than 80 vehicles in the game, and lots of accompanying weapons to utilize during combat. You can follow the developmental roadmap over on the official website to see how much has been completed and how far the game still has to go, or you can hop into the game right now if you're a backer by booting up client 3.3.