Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship, and it’s pushed the game to $155M funding

Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship — it’s a freakin’ rover. Dubbed The Tumbril Cyclone, the vehicle’s multiple variants will run up to $70 for those who buy in.

“The Cyclone provides multiple interactive displays to give both the driver and co-pilot ultimate control of their vehicle and its systems. The Co-pilot’s seat not only gives the ability to survey the area, but also provides controls to additional systems provided by the various modules. […] The new X-TEC tires are the perfect solution for off-road vehicles. These articulated treads can change their configuration to handle soft and loose terrain or harder surfaces to provide equal traction, no matter the environment.”

Perhaps the bigger news is that sales of the ship this weekend have pushed crowdfunding for the sci-fi MMO to a grand total of $155,000,000. Going on $155.2M, in fact.

Reddit is chattering with details on which ships the Cyclone will fit into, if you’re worried about that. Is there a point to them in a game world where you can land on planetary surfaces in your spaceship? Maybe. Expect the full Q&A later this week.

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227 Comments on "Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship, and it’s pushed the game to $155M funding"

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Michael18

I’d like to see a video of the physics of this vehicle driving on the proc gen surface. What we saw from ships touching ground, so far, looked pretty bad. Sure, this was all footage of very early prototypes, so here’s hoping they can make it awesome. But I guess this won’t be easy.

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Ken from Chicago

Yeah, I figured it was an early step. It reminded me of what I learned as a kid about shock absorbers. Cars do NOT bounce around a lot on good shock absorbers. Still, better than ships landing like a brick.

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Jonny Sage

They do when youre driving them on the moon.

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

LOL…a fool than their money…(you know the rest)

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Dividion

Do the wheels remind anyone else of this?

styopa
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styopa

Sarge: May I introduce, our new light reconnaissance vehicle. It has four inch armor plating, maaag buffer suspension, a mounted machine gunner position, and total seating for three. Gentlemen, this is the M12-LRV! I like to call it the Warthog.
Simmons: Why ‘Warthog’ sir?
Sarge: Because M12-LRV is too hard to say in conversation, son.
Grif: No, but… why ‘Warthog’? I mean, it doesn’t really look like a pig…
Sarge: Say that again?
Grif: I think it looks more like a puma.
Sarge: What in sam hell is a puma?
Simmons: Uh… you mean like the shoe company?
Grif: No, like a puma. It’s a big cat. Like a lion.
Sarge: You’re making that up.
Grif: I’m telling you, it’s a real animal!
Sarge: Simmons, I want you to poison Grif’s next meal.
Simmons: Yes sir!
Sarge: Look, see these two tow hooks? They look like tusks. And what kind of animal has tusks?
Grif: A walrus.
Sarge: Didn’t I just tell you to stop making up animals?

Estranged
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Estranged

I won’t debate the pricing, there is no point. This supposed BTP game is a cash shop title before launch. Is simply amazing. Good luck grinding for all of this stuff, minimal backer.

However, there is a use for the vehicle. Relaunching ships costs precious fuel. Is also sorta hard to explore efficiently totally on foot. However, why wouldn’t ships capable of carrying such a vehicle obtain one automatically?

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Ken from Chicago

Yes, there’s a reason airlines have tiny land vehicles moving jetliners on the ground because those plane use an insane amount of fuel.

Also, small vehicles are stealthier than big spaceships, can fit into areas a big spaceship couldn’t travel into.

Some ships do come with a Cyclone or with an Ursa Rover (another land vehicle).

Chris Roberts and CIG have said repeatedly you don’t have pay a cent for the ships but can earn ships with in-game currency.

Estranged
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Estranged

Ken – thanks for the response.

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Necromonger

I love grinding games. i love them more if the road is full of dangers and has fun gameplay.

Bought this game way back for 60 euro or something and i wont spend another dime and yet whenever i check in after 6 months to see what progress they made i see many improvements.

And i dont care that i need to grind for 2 months to reach a goal in a game, it makes the finish line that more sweet.

So far i do not see anything close to this game and its ambition so let it take another 2 years to get this game into shape what harm can it do for 60 euro to see such an amazing project being developt even if it fails or do not meet all checkpoints ?

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primal

Because there’s different types of ground vehicles

Estranged
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Estranged

How are those obtained? Cash. Does minimal backer cash allow access to a vehicle?

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Ken from Chicago

Now you can get vehicles with cash. However when it launches you can get all vehicles with in-game currency, namely you earn in with time in game.

You might be able to earn in-game currency before launch. They had been testing earning in-game currency by completing some of the in-game missions.

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primal

Cash atm but I bet with launch of alpha 3 they will give people access to a ground vehicle for 1-2 weeks

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DoomSayer

What’s wrong with just earning it in the game? Do you have some knowledge about how much it will cost in game to buy or how long it will take to earn that money? Didn’t think so. So maybe complain once the game comes out and if it’s a terrible grind to buy even the cheapest vehicles with game currency then you might have something to stand on. So please stop spreading Fear of the Unknown disease.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: ” Does minimal backer cash allow access to a vehicle?”

No minimal package does not allow you either to own a Battlecruiser… Many people do not have an idea of how much costs a Triple-A to be developed during years.
The civilization of everything for free is not and as never been a reality. Free means somebody else have to pay for it or some others have to work for free… or slavery for a portion of population.

Crowdfunded project = pledges…. that or Publishers.

Estranged
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Estranged

Joe – yes, everyone that doesn’t agree with SC diehards are ignorant of finance. We are also knuckledraggers not willing to push the genre forward. Basically, we are de-evolution.

Considering I attended a top 20 business school, perhaps my opinion matters. I can see my old marketing professor LOLing and economics guru grinning. Why?

They have created an artificial need. Brand loyalty. Free advertising by backers. More later.

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Joe Blobers

Ouch… Estrange if not having free vehicule with a ship package make you so desperate, may be you should talk again with your professor? You may have missed important class about how to handle frustration? :)

Also CIG did not created anything that already exist in common human aspiration: Ambition and effort to reach hard to achieve goal that nobody else is looking to attend because it does match the business profit per share plan of the year.

Something I am sure you understand with your business school background (congrats by the way)

Estranged
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Estranged

Joe – Chris said every $1 gathered via crowding is worth $3 in a typical corporate development setting. So, in using his logic, we are approaching a 500 million project. They continue to use the “little guy” marketing technique, while in fact, SC is a giant (revenue wise). This is brilliant, but it is also a fabrication. It is misleading.

In most modern MMO games, a ground mount comes easily. It is sorta expected. Also, any items that give a stat advantage are typically earned in game (if not PTW) . SC is PTW. It is that simple. There is no need to justify it by saying items can be earned in game. If it needs to be PTW to fund the game, fine. Just be honest.

Let’s be frank. Donors wouldn’t be giving massive amounts of currency without new shinies and great promises. Chris could sell space to a Martian.

The PTW mount issue doesn’t bother me, I’m just making an observation.

Chris is making a business error. He is pushing the funding envelope to the point that only his fans can justify the means. The fund raising is brazen. It smells of desperation. He told us there was more than enough money to complete the planned game over a year ago. This is in direct conflict with the notion of crowdfunding existing to allow people to create without the chains of corporate management. SC is a massive project, without oversight. It is a dangerous situation when a creative type has no one to tell them “no”…

Smells like a big corporation to me – without legal responsibilities to their “investors” by giving quarterly reports.

It really is brilliant, but the whole concept of “they need continued support to make the game” is ridiculous, well, at least according to Chris.

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Joe Blobers

Quoting Estranged:”Chris said every $1 gathered via crowding is worth $3 in a typical corporate development setting. So, in using his logic, we are approaching a 500 million project. ”

You know what? I agree. But I am afraid it is not going to last long enough to rejoyce you that much… :)

155×3 = 465M$… but let say we count the next 6 months in the balance, fine we got ours 500 M$

You have to take into account that 500M$ for EA, depending on project, is equal to 1 third of game development and two third on middlemen/admin organization plus marketing. And this is a very optimistic picture because they are looking at big profit and if needed, extra profit will be taken most of time… from game development budget.

You know CIG do have subscribers to pay for “marketing”, sort of. Studios are mostly fully made of developers and engineers. The middlemen/admin org is without too much doubt, pretty embryonal or if you prefer, minimal.

Now take a calculator, peek an average cost per worker that match your best estimate, add studios costs, minus tax deduction for game studio just for UK (so far 8M$ minimum based on past number) and make a projection with real CIG employee count and pledges since end of 2012, year by year. I help you. Here they are:

Employees count:
Nov. 2012 end of Kickstarter: Chris Roberts and around 10 people   
2013:  48  
2014: 161   
2015: 258  
2016: 363   
2017: 428 (April)  

– Pledges chart:
Nov. 2012 end of Kickstarter:  goal was 2M$.  They got 6M$…
2012: 7M$
2013: 35M$
2014: 68M$
2015: 104M$
2016: 140M$
2017: 153M$  (June)

Now take the current 155M$ minus your computation. I help you again. I find together with a Finance guy a remaining cash of a bit more than a year, at current size team.

So let’s leave alone Troll guy who would cry right away “this is the end”.
Pledges are keeping flowing in and we are not at 2 years release of SQ42 + SC 3.0 and following patch. They are going to bring a lot more new backers…. those 155M$ are not by no mean a end or some kind of ludicrous or sneaky plan to rob poor unaware bachers but just pure healthy management practice to:
– Keep a safe bucket with a 12 months financial plan,
– Manage both team growth and planned released of SQ42 chapter(s) + SC patch to reach beta.

To perform such tasks, CR is not alone. He does have seniors guys with serious business background, his brother Erin included.

Again this project seems to me clearly under control.
The harder have been done in terms of engine upgrade, various pipelines and team building.

As I said, the next 12 months are going to be very positively interesting.

We will get for sure more “drama” for our beloved true haters/trolls. They do not scare me as you can imagine as I am a cold blood determined guy based on logic and own experience.

To me the single question is not if they are going to make it, but is mining, salvaging, trading and so on will be at the level of fun, equivalent to what we got in terms of graphics “fidelity”

At least I am confident about one thing: They will do their best!

Estranged
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Estranged

Joe – thanks for your thoughtful post. Proves we all can be civil,

Yes – I think this boils down to fun and perceived repeatedly of content. How can this game meet expectations?

Also, yes, the launch of 3.0 and SQ42 will be a major boom, if well received. I bought my packages specifically for SQ42, the rest is just a bonus for me.

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DoomSayer

Bree why would you say “Is there a point to them in a game world where you can land on planetary surfaces in your spaceship? Maybe. “? CIG have already said there will be multiple ways they can prevent people from just flying to every location on a planet/moon. There will be ground defenses that you will need to take out from ground before you can fly there. There can be environment reasons (magnetic storms etc) that can also prevent you from landing at some locations. This was shown last year during the Gamescom demo as well as discussed in a recent interview by BoredGamer with Erin Roberts.

So, yes, there is a point to a vehicle like this in Star Citizen.

Estranged
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Estranged

Nick, yeah, the issue is not having this as a default item for ships capable of carrying one around, versus function.

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Kickstarter Donor
Dividion

Does a military transport jet come with the hummers and tanks it’ll carry?
Does an aircraft carrier come with the jets?
Did the truck that hauled Kitt from Knight Rider around come with the car also?
There are plenty of reasons why it’s not included with every ship that can carry it that range from cost, to competing manufacturers, to giving the players choice, to this vehicle not even being conceived for a very long while after the other ships were.
Also, there are plenty of ships that automatically come with ground vehicles. The Constellation Aquila and Carrack both come with an Ursa rover. The Constellation Phoenix comes with a Lynx rover.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

You think the Ursa and Lynx will be as good?

Also, this is a video game – not a TV show, movie or real life.

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Chris Moss

Wild West Online has pre-Alpha game packs at half price – OMG SIRGEY TITOV IS OUT TO STEAL ALL YOUR DAMN MONEY!!!!!!!!!

Star Citizen sells a freaking mount for a game that have crap loads of money, for an outrageous price- OMG THAT IS SO KOOL, HERE TAKE MY CREDIT CARD, I TRUST YOU GUYS, NOTHING SHADY HERE!!!!!

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Joe Blobers

Crowdfunded project = pledges…. that or Publishers. Clearly many players do want to break this spiral of crap game released every single year.
Do you receive a salary for your work? The +428 developers do.
EA and UB make billion$ per year (around 4.5B$ for EA)… is it more chocking or less?

And by the way, nobody forced you to buy anything beside starter package at 45$.

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Chris Moss

I don’t disagree with anything you said. But one game is being attacked for selling pre alpha packs, cause they THINK some guy is involved, when the Devs stated they only bought the rights to his engine.

Other game is selling items for crazy amounts of money, for a game still is alpha? for years, and people think that’s perfectly ok.

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Loyal Patron
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Space Captain Zor

Other game is selling items for crazy amounts of money, for a game still is alpha? for years, and people think that’s perfectly ok.

Crazy is relative, but you also must rarely venture into the comments section of an SC article. People are very vocal about how they think it’s not ok that CIG continues to pander to people for more money with these pledge rewards long after all the stretch goals were funded.

There are completely legit reasons for doing so, but people still don’t like it. Puts a bad taste in the pudding.

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DoomSayer

Exactly what is “shady” about selling ships to pay for the development of a game? They need revenue to keep developing the game (which they clearly state when you buy a ship that it strictly goes to fund the games development and everything can be earned in the game) so if a publisher doesn’t want to fund it what would you do? How would YOU raise money that isn’t deemed “shady”.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Nick, you guys need to stop saying everything can be earned in game. Chris has already said the high level backers would be upset if minimal backers could earn these items quickly. He even mentioned a ratio which was INCREASED. Cash donations negates massive work in SC, this is just a fact.

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Ken from Chicago

Exactly. The key word is “quickly”. As in any mmo, higher level items are not earned in-game as quickly as starter or low level items.

However the items / ships / vehicles still can be earned in-game.

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Space Captain Zor

Not earning them quickly isn’t the same thing as simply not earning them. Not sure what your point was aside from making obvious declarations about this entire gaming genre.

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primal

You won’t be able to earn stuff quickly just like in any MMO because they put in time sinks to keep you going for longer. For example a game like world of warcraft, to get the absolute best gear you need to do the hardest difficulty raids. You can only do one the 10 and 20 man raids once per week. Then you’ve got to go through all that to gear up then go do the heroic ones or whatever so would take months upon months as you’ve then goto hope you win the gear you want over someone else and if your in a casual raiding guild then the best you’ll get is likely the normal 20 man gear. You can also save tokens to buy gear and that also takes months upon months to do.you can easily spend a over a year doing it

So someone whose got lots and lots and time will get through stuff quicker than someone who hasn’t and that’s where the balancing in price will come in. But it’s not going to be easy to obtain and then you have to think about the costs associated with the vessel you want and think it’s out worth it and can I earn enough to keep it going. If you can’t then you’ll have to stick with a smaller ship. Bigger isn’t always better

You won’t be able to buy every ship in the game though you’ll have to capture them like bengal carrier and most of the vanduul ships

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Primal, you do realize all content is open to the player in WoW for a box price and sub. Everyone is on a level playing field. In Star Citizen, money matters. Everyone just needs to admit it. Be honest.

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Ken from Chicago

But even in WORLD OF WARCRAFT, for box price and a sub, it still takes *time* to earn higher level gear. Originally it took months of playing a few hours daily to level up to Level 40 before you could get your first mount — and that wasn’t even max level.

To get the highest level gear, you had to get to max level and even then, you had to go on dungeon raids, which required teaming up, and sometimes even then you had to prepare for a raid by questing to get the keys to unlock the dungeons.

Yes, everyone in WOW is on an even playing field — provided they put in the time, the questing, the raids and the ability to find the right people to team up with. Then yes, all the content is open to you — for a box price and an *ongoing* subscription.

STAR CITIZEN is B2P, buy to play. As GUILD WARS advertised it, buy once, play forever. You pay the box price and all the content is open to you — without a subscription. So don’t like the prices of starships, weapons, armor, suits, vehicles, etc. then don’t pay for them. Wait until game launch to earn them in-game.

Earning in-game currency to eventually purchase a higher end ship gives you a clear intermediate goal in the game. Meanwhile you get to practice your skills when you only have a starter ship at risk.

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Joe Blobers

Estrange same for SC… except that it is crowdfunded and beside pledges there is no way to even start any project.

Money matter like everywhere. Difference is that Blizzard sell box AND subscription (and many more games than WOW). Last year number they have around a bit more than 5 millions subscriptions for WOW.
> 120$ per year x 5 M = 600 M$… for a total revenue of 6.61 Billions $ in 2016.

Should I continue or did your economic background trigger a few ring tone about the total disproportionality between Publishers model and Crowdfunded projects, even very well supported like SC?

In all bussiness activities, money matters. Everyone just needs to admit it. Be honest.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Like I said above – $1 = $3 to Chris (his words) and he stated there is enough to make the game with a nice reserve.

So, this money is for future development 3 years down the line? Seriously?

This pandering for funds has passed “passion project” and turned into full corporate greed with the usual legal constraints.

I would be fine with it if the rationalizations and justifications would cease.

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Joe Blobers

Estranged. Answer provide in previous comment. I won”t copy/paste as it is not necessary. Too long and we do not want to fulfill this section with copy/paste right? :)

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Joe – fair enough. I can see your point of view concerning having a 12 month revenue buffer.

I’ll download 3.0, set up my HOTAS and give it a fair shake.

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DoomSayer

What Chris said is the super expensive stuff would take a long time to earn in game. So what. Isn’t that true in every game where higher level items take longer to earn? MOST items won’t take a super long grind (based on fact that most ships are small to mid size) to earn and YES you can earn every ship in the game via in game currency. What exactly are you complaining about? That the biggest ships in the game will take longer to earn?

Let’s face it not you or anyone else on here know exactly how what things will cost in game or how long of a grind it will take to earn those items. I personally don’t care that someone who put in $10,000 to help develop this game would have some sort of advantage over me. At least the game is getting made which is the most important thing.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Nick – the difference, in those other games – you buy a box/sub and just complete content – in reference to a WoW.

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Joe Blobers

Estranged care about a link about a so called declaration from CR about “backers would be upset”?

And how cash donation (pledges) negates massive work in SC? Can you elaborate?

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Joe – here is your link. Also, any situation in which I can buy a $700 ship versus grinding to earn the ship is paying money to avoid work.

Edit: MOP doesn’t allow YouTube posts yet.

Google for this and watch “Star Citizen – Insider Questions for Chris Roberts GamesCom 2016 (EN)”

Estranged
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Estranged

Joe – video interview was on MOP over a year ago, will have to dig.

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Dean Greenhoe

All I know is… they have enough of my money already. :) There will be no more until the game releases.

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Joe Seabreeze

It kind of makes me want to play around with Photoshop again. You can make a decent living drawing a couple ships per week!

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Reselect Name

I hope this game makes it. Everything looks so awesome.

I assume as long as people keep funding development will keep moving.

If only they would have hired Mark Jacobs to handle PVP.