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Star Citizen now has a development budget that dwarfs Halo 2 and the original Gears of War... combined! Cloud Imperium Games has announced that they have hit more than $29 million in crowd-funding, making it one of the most expensive independent games in development.

Blues News picked up the news from the official Cloud Imperium website, where Chris Roberts and crew were proud to make the news public for their milestone.

There is still a lot of skepticism from gamers who feel as if this whole crowd-funding business could be one giant scam. It's not like there hasn't been any scams circulating the gaming space when it comes to sourcing funds from average Joes and Janes.

However, Chris Roberts has been smart in marketing Star Citizen and has released milestone builds of the revolutionary space simulator for those who backed the game; this includes the very playable and interactive hangar module. The team also plans to release the dogfighting alpha module at a later date.

Right now the team is trying to hammer down the planetside first-person combat mechanics, where players will be able to fly to planets and engage in some intense firefights on or off of their spaceships. There is a heck of a lot of excitement about this feature, because it opens the door for all sorts of unforeseen possibilities. It's a little like combining CCP's MMO duo of Dust 514 with EVE Online, but all jam packed into one game. It's some amazing stuff.

Star Citizen is also powered by Crytek's CryEngine 3... one of the most high-end game design, development and graphics rendering engines on the market. The team has gone over and beyond to really bring to life Star Citizen in a way that's only possible on a high-end PC and gamers are loving RSI for it.

But circling back around to budgets right quick... Star Citizen's budget is nearing Final Fantasy X territory, and all of the budget is going into making the kind of game some creative directors have only dreamed about doing. I mean, Roberts has a rare opportunity here to exercise complete free reign of creativity with Star Citizen, and set a new precedent in independent game design with AAA-quality production values. I sure hope he doesn't screw it up.

And just so you don't leave here empty-handed, you can check out a brand new developer diary talking up the game's epic story mode and character-driven space opera universe. If the game has enticed you and you want to learn more, feel free to do so by paying a visit to the official website.