Make My MMO: Star Citizen hits $200M in crowdfunds, Reddit drama ensues

    
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This week week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen officially broke the $200 million barrier for total funding collected from the proverbial crowd. That’s a lotta ships. Unfortunately, the celebrations over on Reddit took a turn for the dramatic as posts attracted brigaders and were shut down. I’m sure you’re all shocked to hear a platform where popularity-via-one-upsmanship determines relevance still has a brigading problem.

Another fun Star Citizen bit: MOP reader DK pointed me and my spreadsheet-loving self to Star Citizen’s new telemetry page, which basically collects frames-per-second data from everybody actually playing in the alpha and then displays it all in an appealing chart, tracked by game resolution, graphics settings, other CPU usage, graphics tweak programs, drivers, gameplay situation, and so forth (vsync is also on by default, note). It’s pretty interesting to see where your rig would fall on the chart – and note how much the game benefits from having the right combination of CPU and GPU, though there are clearly sweet spots for different combos.

(Thanks to DK, Oleg, Quavers, and Cotic for the SC tips!)

Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous talked up the upcoming Thargoid incursions, Chronicles of Elyria is moving on to server-selection and lock-ins following its map voting period, Project Gorgon now has a demo, and Pantheon snapped up Brasse after Trion foolishly let her go. Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

Star Citizen

Recent MMO crowdfunding news

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Campaigns and crowdfunded MMOs we’re watching

3001SQ (Société des Mondes Virtuels) – Kickstarter unsuccessful, dev halted in 2018.
AdventureQuest 3D (Artix Entertainment) – Raised 368k; beta began Oct 2016.
Albion Online (Sandbox) – Launched July 2017, hit Steam May 2018.
Antraxx (Team Antraxx) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ascent: The Space Game (Fluffy Kitten Studios) – Successful KS. Fully launched 2016.
Ashes of Creation (Intrepid Studios) – Successful KS. Alpha zero.
Broke Protocol (Cylinder) – Unsuccessful KS. In free early access.
Camelot Unchained
(City State) – Kickstarter successful; open donations/packages.
Caribbean Conquest (Invenio) – First KS canceled, second ended unsuccessfully.
Codename Reality (Orode) – Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Contested Space (Zon)
Crowfall (ArtCraft) – Kickstarter win, open packages, Indiegogo crowdfunding ongoing.
Chronicles of Elyria (Soulbound) – Kickstarter successful, open packages.
Citadel of Sorcery (MMO Magic, Inc.) – Open donations.
City of Titans (Missing Worlds Media) – Successful KS; launching fall 2018.
Descent Underground (Descendent Studios) – Successful KS.
Divergence Online (Stained Glass Llama) – Three campaigns; now in KS early access.
Dogma: Eternal Night
(Prelude Games Factory): Kickstarter overdonor preorder packs.
Dragon of Legends (Thrive Games) – Successful Kickstarter.
Dual Universe (Novaquark) – Kickstarter funded, donor platform. Pre-alpha.
Eco (Strange Loop Games) – Funded, now in alpha.
Edengrad (Huckleberry Games) – Kickstarter funded; in early access.
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments) – Funded and launched.
Empyrion Online (Eleon) – Kickstarter canceled; launched on Steam early access.
Endless Trials (Fire Hurts) – Kickstarter canceled.
Epic Space (EpicSpace.net)
EverFeud (PSB) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ever, Jane (3 Turn Productions) – Now in open beta.
Fractured (Dynamight) – Kickstarter successful.
Global Adventures (SubaGames) – Kickstarter funded.
Gloria Victis (Black Eye Games) – Open donations, no end date; in early access.
Greed Monger (Greed Monger) – Abandoned, now allegedly in refund process.
Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Guardians of Ember (Runewaker) – Funded and launched.
Guns of Icarus (Muse) – Funded and launched.
Hero’s Song (Pixelmage) – KS canceled; Indiegogo. Canceled w/ refunds.
Infinity: Battlescape (I-Novae Studios)
HEX (HEX Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Legends of Aria (Citadel Studios) – Kickstarted as Shards Online. Alpha ended.
Life is Feudal (Bitbox): Indiegogo ended. Currently in beta.
LUX (Chimera) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maestros of the Anthymn (String Theory) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maguss (Maguss) – Indiegogo successful; open beta.
Mekria (Infinity Online Studios) – Kickstarter canceled.
Midair (Archetype Studios) – Kickstarter successful.
Nebula Online (Mizar Games) Kickstarter canceled; launched in November.
Neo’s Land (NeoJac Entertainment) – Open donations, no end date.
Novus AEterno (Taitale Studios)
OrbusVR (Ad Alternum) – KS funded March 2017. In early access.
Overpower (Hydrant Games) – Kickstarter unfunded; heading to early access.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen (Visionary Realms) – Open donations. Pre-alpha.
Pantropy (Brain Stone GmbH): First Kickstarter canceled, second funded.
Pathfinder Online (GoblinWorks) – Doom, mostly.
Planet Nomads (Craneballs) – Kickstarted, early access launched sans multiplayer.
Pixel Starships (SavySoda)
Project Gorgon (Elder Game) – Kickstarted in three tries + Indiegogo. Early access.
Project Oasis World (POW) – Kickstarter unsuccessful.
Pumpkin Online (Monique) – Downgrading from MMORPG.
Temtem (Crema) – Kickstarter fully funded.
The Exiled (Fairytale Distillery) – fka Das Tal; 2015 KS unsuccessful. Early access.
The Flower of KnighthoodKickstarter canceled.
The Realm: Reawakened (Stephen Nichols) – Ongoing GoFundMe.
The Repopulation (Idea Fabrik) – Kickstarted twice by A&B. Back in alpha.
ROKH (Darewise) – Kickstarter canceled; now in early access.
RUiN (Tarhead Studio) – Kickstarter successful.
The Stomping Land (Alex Fundora) – Abandoned.
Sacrament (Ferocity Unbound) – Kickstarter failed; Patreon ongoing.
Shadow’s Kiss (Clockwork Throne) – Ongoing Patreon, Kickstarter funded.
Shroud of the Avatar (Portalarium) – Successful KS. Soft launch July 2016. Launch March 2018.
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium) – Ongoing donations/packages.
TUG (Nerd Kingdom) – In middle of year-long revamp after funding surge.
Vigor Roads (NeuronHaze) – Kickstarter unsuccessful; early access planned for 2017.
War of Rights (Campfire Games) – Successful Kickstarter; in alpha.

Shroud of the Avatar

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shayne smith

I firmly believe this will never launch 100% Scam

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Bruno Brito

My grandchildren will love Star Citizen.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Nice to see people believe SC will be alive and kicking in 40 years.

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Lateris

Is Elite Dangerous going to add avatar FPS game play that they talked about back in the kick starter days?

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PhoenixDfire

It’s still in the plan (Apparently) but they won’t talk about any future developments until after the final Chapter of Beyond is released.

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Armsbend

lol Shroud still doing telethons. I’d be embarrassed for them but it is funny. For 100K I bet they’d delete the code.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

This only thing I don’t like at the moment is the queue getting on to the trains…
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Fervor Bliss

When will they launch a game that people can actually have an opinion on?

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Roger Melly

Looking forward to the Star Citizen free fly week , I am a firm sceptic of the CIG’s abilities to deliver on what they have promised but I look forward to seeing how it has advanced and whether my computer can run it a little better this time around ( Nvidea 1080 and 16gb ram ) .

Been looking at steam for the Project Gorgon demo but when I click it I only get the option to buy the game itself .

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Markus Eliassen

I can’t get the demo download button for Project Gorgon to show up in the client as I already own the game, but it’s a bit down on the page on the website.

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Paragon Lost

I had to Google “brigading problem”, to understand what that was. Not a good thing obviously. Also, the amount of money that this game has raised still boggles my mind. Sheesh.

On the telemetry chart, fascinating stuff. My system does well but not as well as I had hoped for. It’s a Intel i7 8700K @3.70GHz cpu with a Nvidia 1080 TI and it’s only rating low to mid 50s fps wise before I tweak cpu and gpu settings. :/

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Pingly

They’ve raised $200M.

I wonder how much of that they have spent.

Any idea what their burn rate is?

If they have $150M in the bank it’s one thing. If they have $5M in the bank it’s another.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

For 2017 the studio in the UK cost $25 million for 318 employees, there’s a smallish studio in Germany which is 80 staff iirc and they would pay a similar rate ($6.5 million) and then there is the remainer in the US which is around 100 staff but they cost almost twice as much per head according to CR, so another $15.7 million.

A grand total of $47 million per year or thereabout.

It’s roughly $100,000 per employee per year and there is ~1800 man years spent on the game so far by CIG employees, you then have contractors, the Hollywood cast and all that sort of stuff to include.

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Armsbend

Rents and marketing are not included in that figure I assume.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im pretty sure those 200 mil isnt the only money they make. This afaik doesnt included subscribers money, money from selling t-shirts and other mechandise, maybe other sources of income.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “which is around 100 staff but they cost almost twice as much per head according to CR,”

Care about sharing a link? because 100 paid 200K$ each… We really want to see it :)

Also devs salaries start from 44K to 120K for senior leading team. An average of 100K is substantially too high.
Last time I counted ratio of Senior Specialist/leader versus team count it is around 1 for 40 people (depending on team of course). To be deducted also are tax+Gov help to support gaming industry which account for around 6M$ in UK.

TO be added private investors. In short CIG is more than healthy… but of course have to deliver at some point SQ42 then SC to keep cash coming in.

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thirtymil

In my experience, the cost per head for full time employees in a large corporation is somewhere about twice the average salary. That includes things like building rent, power, hardware contracts etc.

I’ve also worked with teams where over 90% of the staff were in the senior ranks for their role. If you’re building something like SC then arguably you’re going to want the people at the experienced end of the scale.

I would also suggest a 1:40 ratio is wildly out on any basis as you really don’t want to go over 1:7 (or 1:10 at a stretch) for any form of expertise and/or line management without putting undue pressure on one level in your management/knowledge chain.

Not saying all this is true for Cloud Imperium’s setup of course, but I can easily see how those figures pan out.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

No problem Joe, here’s the quote and the source

“We try to be quite smart about development costs, so we do a lot in the UK and two-thirds of our developers are in Europe. It’s far more cost effective. Over here you can have two developers for the price of one in the US. In the places where there’s game development in the US, the price of living is really high. We’re up in Manchester and it’s a lot cheaper to live there than in LA. The average salaries in the industry are less for that reason.”

Quote can be found on page 21 https://issuu.com/newbayeurope/docs/mcv928_27th_october

We’re not talking about salaries though, we’re talking about the whole studio’s operating cost divided by number of employees. The salaries are a small part of the costs, just have a look at Foundry 42’s financials, you’ll see that operating costs were £19.5 million but wages only make up £12 million of that.

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Joe Blobers

Thanks for the link.

Now two devs versus one but from a lower average salary. 65/70K not 100K? And 25% cost back from government. That is a substantial saving to not say huge.

Anyway, they do have enough from past years with mush smaller team to compensate.. Not for ten years of course.
I never been worried about CIG Finance but more about how CR is going to translate is vision of multiple type of gameplay (mining, salvaging, repairing, transport…) into a “big” living universe. And 2019 is definitely a very interesting year with new gameplay/features/performance coming in 2019.

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

I don’t think that is the case. The cost of prime estate rental is going to be higher in the US, the cost for employee health insurance and all the additional perks they need to offer to be competitive, those are going to add quite a substantial amount to the company’s operating costs. Whether it is as much as $200k is anyone’s guess.

I’m not worried about their finances either but it is something to be aware of, the idea that they have loads in the bank or can keep rolling at this rate for years to come is something people should be cautious about.

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Armsbend

what the heck are brigadiers?

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Pingly

Brigadier is a military rank. :D

A “brigader” is when a call to arms is made for a group to go respond to something on the internet.

Imagine a worldwide nerd-alarm for posting.

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Robert Mann

And that’s proof that some people have way to much free time and need a hobby that doesn’t involve being a jack-wagon. (Not you knowing this, but it existing.)

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Bryan Correll

.

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Armsbend

Thanks – the article was very vague for something you couldn’t really access due to it being shut down.

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Paragon Lost

Seems like you have to inhabit the Reddit space to really have known. Bad writing on the part of the writer for not at least mentioning what the term means when they used it in the article. I had to Google it to figure it out.

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Armsbend

I had to ask here :) Not really a common term imo.