For those who orbit Star Citizen news and are aghast at why its business model — a winner of this site’s Worst Business Model award for four years running — keeps on raking in money, you might be interested in hearing the thoughts of one of the game’s whales who was interviewed by the folks at BoredGamer.
The whale in question is a man by the name of JP, who has spent around $100K on the game, first backing the project in 2017 to the tune of $5,100. JP was running a tech company at the time and is a software engineer by trade, so he considers $100K “not a significant amount of money if you consider Vegas”; he’s not a fan of gambling but has had family members burn $25K on one hand of blackjack.
According to JP, the fact that the game is still developing is one of the attractions, as he likes being able to hunt down bugs, on top of just generally liking internet spaceships — both of which are primary reasons why he’s spent so much money. He also admits that he likes collecting every ship in the game in spite of the fact that he tells himself he’ll stop spending money. He also doesn’t consider the game pay-to-win since CIG continually balances ships over the course of development.
This spending on pixel ships isn’t done without some concern for Star Citizen as a game. JP states in the interview that he’s worried that certain gameplay loops will make the game not fun — Death of a Spaceman is called out as one specific concern — and he also considers the game’s dynamic events a little superfluous, calling them a way to generate FOMO syndrome although he’s not against their revenue generating potential since he himself is a capitalist. He also calls the game’s development pace “frustrating” and would like CIG to work more on backend technology.
“I wish there was a funding model that made sense where I could pledge for game functionality other than just ships. It would be great if I could be like ‘Hey, I really love trade. How do I spend $700 so that it’s going to trade beyond just buying a ship?’ The current funding model scares me because I feel like they have to keep on pumping out more and more ships. […] As they keep adding more ships, that’s more code for them to maintain, that’s more objects for them to maintain, more entries, more everything.”
It’s an extremely insightful and honest interview, which you can watch in full below.