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Hitchhiking with the crowd: Star Citizen space sim reaches $42M in funding

Above: A space carrier in Star Citizen.

Image Credit: Cloud Imperium Games

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium reached a significant milestone in its efforts to raise cash to pay for development, and that prompted it to add an important new item to the game: a towel.

Fans have contributed more than $42 million to the production of Star Citizen. That’s the total Cloud Imperium has raised in crowdfunding on its own site as well as through the Kickstarter platform to play for the space-trading and dogfighting simulator. The space sim’s in production now, and it will debut at some point in 2015. To celebrate reaching $42 million, Star Citizen director Chris Roberts revealed that his team is adding a towel to the game in a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That beloved sci-fi comedy hypothesized that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is 42.

“Forty-two million dollars in crowd funding: I can’t think of a better symbolic victory than reaching that number in crowd funding,” Roberts wrote in a blog post. “The ‘meaning of life, the universe and everything’ is now the amount pledged to let us build a new universe.”

In addition to the towel, which anyone who backed up to this point will get in their hangar, the developer is also expanding other areas of Star Citizen. This includes adding more features to its in-game encyclopedia called The Observist. Those who’ve already backed will also get an exclusive version of the fictional operating system that helps players keep their affairs in order. Finally, the studio is also designing and adding a new fighter called the Aegis Dynamics Gladius-class light fighter.

Cloud Imperium’s crowdfunding achievement comes directly after it showed off Star Citizen in action at the Penny Arcade Expo East in Boston over the weekend. Players even got a chance to go play with its Arena Commander mode, which enables players to dogfight with other ships in space.

“I’d like to thank so many of you for coming out to PAX East to see the Arena Commander reveal,” wrote Roberts. “We’ll be sharing some additional footage later in the week to let everyone see what we weren’t able to show at the event. Technical glitches aside, it was extremely gratifying to see everyone’s reactions. Everyone who got their hands on the game loved it, and more importantly, they immediately understood where we’re going for Star Citizen.”

Star Citizen is easily one of the most-successful crowdfunding games ever. In addition to dogfighting, Cloud Imperium is working on creating a persistent world where trading with other humans and citizenship to a galactic government will affect everyone’s experience.

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More information:

Kickstarter is an online platform for funding creative projects. Once a project is approved by the Kickstarter team, the creator of the project must set their own goal for how much they would like to raise and a deadline to raise the m... read more »

Chris Roberts (born May 27, 1968) is a video game designer, programmer, film producer and film director. He is best known for creating the popular Wing Commander series while employed at Origin Systems. Currently, he is working on t... read more »

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