GameSkinny

We Love Games!

200 Imaginary Spaceships Sold For a Real $250,000 in Star Citizen 24-hour Livestream Event

Fans of Star Citizen throw money at limited edition spaceships.

by

In a jaw-dropping nine minutes, fanatical fans of ambitious space-sim Star Citizen showed their uncompromising passion for the still unreleased PC game by throwing their money at the opportunity to own a limited edition Idris Corvette capital ship.

During a 24-hour livestream event, Cloud Imperium Games sold 150 of the vessels in the 9-minute time period—and then a further 50 in response to the apparent demand.

And why not? After all it's free money.

A publication on the slick new Roberts Space Industries website immediately prior to the event explained:

“As part of the livestream, we are making an additional 150 Idris corvettes available for sale starting now. This second set of corvettes is not the fully-equipped military assault model available during the earlier event, but a stripped down peacekeeper version aimed at having less of an impact on the initial game balance.”

The Idris corvette is described as “a small capital ship capable of storing smaller fighters and being run by a team of players working together.”

Caveat Emptor

Taking full advantage of the crowd-funding process, Cloud Imperium Games had previously sold 100 similar vessels for a slightly lower price despite it being a more powerful item.

Judging by the RSI forum response, this is something that came as a surprise to one purchaser:

“So I picked up an Idris-P super impulsively, and then got the chance to read through the fine prints once I secured one. I noticed the UEE Idris has a Class 8 Hardpoint... but the -P does not.” - Operator

One player either saw the folly of his purchase or the opportunity for a profit:

“My financial situation has changed slightly plus looks like a lot of players missed out so anyone still looking for an Idris-P Corvette I might be selling the one I got depending on what offers I get...” - TRON

Although these items seem unreasonably expensive, one community member justifies his purchase like so:

“I bought one because I wanted to support RSI, which is all your doing in the end. There are now 300 people with LTI corvettes. 200 of which are dumbed down "civilian' versions of them which costed 25% more, which is fine by me.” - ChaosShadow00x

Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts justified the cost in an interview with Joystiq.com, explaining that development costs of each individual ship design can range from $35,000 to $150,000 if you factor in the labour required to model the object realistically with convincing hulls comprising hundreds of thousands of polygons, moving parts and detailed ship interiors.

International Nerd Rage

Thankfully, these significant real money investments are at least protected. Each purchase comes with LifeTime Insurance (LTI) which will ensure that the vessel will always be replaced if destroyed or stolen.

On the Star Citizen forums, the community response to the live sale was mixed. The surprise at the speed the ships were purchased was almost unanimous, with some voices of dissent at the timing. The limited edition ships were all sold late in the day US time, meaning that it was the early hours of the morning in Europe.

Concerns were raised that these capital ships, which will clearly be a powerful asset to competitive clans in-game, will largely remain in the hands of US-based players, potentially ostracising international communities.

“I am also a little disappointed with that "last minute" sale in the middle of the night for european players.” - The Judge

“At work now.. in norway. On mobile phone now. Hoping for a stab at an idriss before stream ends.. they really cant exclude us EUROs like this.. i'm hoping..:-)” - BaudolinoX

“It's what US based companies do all the time though. Regardless of wether or not their community is mostly European. Annoying as hell, but nothing new.” - Skurkanas

This regional disparity is something I've experienced from the other end in my tenure as an EVE Online player – with the Icelandic sci-fi MMO's infrastructure based in Europe, live events, which are invariably run during office hours, often draw ire from inconvenienced US citizens.

However, at time of writing, the Star Citizen livestream is still ongoing--after all, it is a 24-hour livestream event--so the decision to favour US residents is less explicable. Perhaps there will be further sales.

Reaching for the Stars

With a release date slated for late 2014, Star Citizen is still a long way from completion. however the production values and sheer swagger shown in every aspect of the development process so far suggests that they could be on course to deliver something special.

They have clearly already built a dedicated following, having crowd-sourced funding of over $11m. Whatever kind of crazy this particular sci-fi community is cultivating, no one can question their commitment.

Or their affluence.

Originally Published Jun. 29th 2013

Featured Columnist

Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat... more »

Related


View All Top Videos
Comments
  • 1
    Admiral Ackbar_2091 2 days ago
    It's a scam!
  • 13
    Konrad McDee 7 months ago
    Featured Contributor
    Check out my explanatory article. http://www.gameskinny.com/r66se/the-future-of-pc-gaming-star-citizen
  • 1
    CynicalBrit 1 year ago
    With all the paranoia and rules i learned in EVE Online:

    This seems like scam! :D


    Don't get me wrong, i really want that game to be made and good, but looking from another perspective i wont be surprised if Roberts one day wakes up, goes mad and says "Screw you!".
  • 1
    Nailax Paine 1 year ago
    It's pretty laughable when an EVE Online fanboy writes what is clearly a hit piece for a major competitor of one of his favorite games. Do yourself a favor and stay with EVE Online. Let someone else handle Star Citizen.
  • 60
    Mat Westhorpe 1 year ago
    Featured Columnist
    I'd gladly see someone else write insightful Star Citizen material, but that's the challenge - there's no tangible game yet so we're left to piece things together.

    Also, you're entirely wrong in your assumptions, I'm excited by Star Citizen. That doesn't mean I can't point out some craziness that goes on around it, just as I have in the past with EVE Online.

    Your need to defend Star Citizen and attack me suggests you're the one with an agenda, but thanks for posting.
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • 1
    Anam aka Scitor 1 year ago
    I did see some of the comments in the live stream. Some were saying, EVE Online is dead and etc.

    I don't see that. One in the hand is worth two in the bush. We have EVE, we know EVE. We don't know if SC will live up to it's potential. Yeah the ads and the demonstration today of the ship models was great, yet, how is the universe? How is the immersion and how will the economy work, how much does the player influence the "sandbox"?

    I'm cautiously excited about this. I will applaud the great art and design, but I want to see how this huge project all fits together. I know there's a large server where everyone does MMO-like gameplay, and there's the ability to have your own version of the game running, so, I'm just not sure how big the play area and how much influence players will have on the game.

    All that said, if they pull all of this off correctly, I think CCP might want to compete. To compete, and yes said it here before:

    http://www.voicesfromthevoid.net/2011/12/07/vandv-podcast-episode-31-5-what-do-zombies-say/

    CCP needs to complete Incarna and allow walking in station, and yes, now, maybe ships too.

    May both games be all the better for competition's sake, borrowing great ideas from each other so that in the end, we all win :D
  • 1
    Anam aka Scitor 1 year ago
    I did see some of the comments in the live stream. Some were saying, EVE Online is dead and etc.

    I don't see that. One in the hand is worth two in the bush. We have EVE, we know EVE. We don't know if SC will live up to it's potential. Yeah the ads and the demonstration today of the ship models was great, yet, how is the universe? How is the immersion and how will the economy work, how much does the player influence the "sandbox"?

    I'm cautiously excited about this. I will applaud the great art and design, but I want to see how this huge project all fits together. I know there's a large server where everyone does MMO-like gameplay, and there's the ability to have your own version of the game running, so, I'm just not sure how big the play area and how much influence players will have on the game.

    All that said, if they pull all of this off correctly, I think CCP might want to compete. To compete, and yes said it here before:

    http://www.voicesfromthevoid.net/2011/12/07/vandv-podcast-episode-31-5-what-do-zombies-say/

    CCP needs to complete Incarna and allow walking in station, and yes, now, maybe ships too.

    May both games be all the better for competition's sake, borrowing great ideas from each other so that in the end, we all win :D
  • 60
    Mat Westhorpe 1 year ago
    Featured Columnist
    I agree. I hope Star Citizen (and Elite: Dangerous) does get CCP looking over their collective shoulders. It will be good for the development of EVE Online and the sci-fi MMO genre in general.

    Certainly for the sake of all these committed donators, I hope that Star Citizen can deliver a solid game experience that equals the polish of the marketing and presentation so far.

    From an EVE perspective, the market scammers will love the Star Citizen community if it's this easy to get them to part with their cash. ;)
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • 1
    Bob_3421 1 year ago
    "However, I think there's a vast difference between paying a reasonable market rate for immediate accesss to a tried and tested product or experience - like your $125 for paintball, a movie and beer - and paying ten times that for an indistinct concept in an unfinished product that will be unavailable for months."

    If everyone felt this way, there would be no innovation. The big name video game companies want to just make the safe games that are guaranteed to sell over a million units. This is why we have a new Call of Duty and Madden released every year with little innovation over the previous installment.
  • 60
    Mat Westhorpe 1 year ago
    Featured Columnist
    Well, the economy certainly benefits from organisations being willing to take large sums of money from people willing to pay it. But if, as you suggest, there can be no innovation without that behaviour, then it is a sad world we live in.
  • 1
    Neibros 1 year ago
    Just a caveat here:

    CIG will give refunds for people who change their mind. I know multiple people who, after buying the initial corvettes, decided they needed that money more for their own lives, and CIG was happy to refund it.

    CIG didn't trick anyone into buying the civilian version, it was clearly documented, some people just got overexcited and didn't read everything before buying. I have no doubts CIG will do as they have done and provide refunds for those who let their excitement get the best of them.
  • 1
    Dogmeat_7552 1 year ago
    i bought the basic ship and game package for 35 dollars and dont personally have a problem with them selling high level ships to fund game development. The way i see it they fund game development and i reap the rewards. The corvette will be purchasable with in game currency so it gives me something big to work towards.

    i had a friend buy one of the more expensive packages and while some people may laugh at his waste of money i dont understand why. if i go paintballing, grab a few beers and then catch a movie i can blow 125 dollars and be left with memories of 12 hours well spent. he spent that same 125 and could get 100's of hours of good times.
  • 60
    Mat Westhorpe 1 year ago
    Featured Columnist
    I get what you're saying and I certainly don't dispute the right of individuals to spend their money how they see fit.

    However, I think there's a vast difference between paying a reasonable market rate for immediate accesss to a tried and tested product or experience - like your $125 for paintball, a movie and beer - and paying ten times that for an indistinct concept in an unfinished product that will be unavailable for months.

    That's just madness.
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • 1
    Aryn2382 1 year ago
    Is it madness? Let's go somewhere else where imaginary ships are tendered and lost for much more overall and across a long term: EVE Online. Something you happen to favor. Your bias in this article comes off as ever so slightly hypocritical, but that just may be me. I'm not one of the people who jumped at the ship sale, that's simply not me. I've made my backing and investing into this game at the Kickstarter stage, and so far I'm happy with the commitment.

    Additionally, yeah. The risk is there, the risk in not having an 'immediate' product. But as it is, that's no worse than investing in an MMO which may inevitably close down. And hey, is there a difference? An allegedly 'vast' difference between long-term versus immediate? Maybe there is in terms of timing. But your comment there reflects one of the bigger problems that's impacting society: the need for immediate return on investment and immediate profit.
  • 60
    Mat Westhorpe 1 year ago
    Featured Columnist
    I've got no dog in this fight - I think people over-invest in EVE Online too, so there's no hypocrisy on my part.

    I'm excited by Star Citizen, I just find people's willingness to over-commit to the idea of a product or be lured by vague content ideas astounding. Of course, they are entitled to do so, just as I'm entitled to question the process and their judgement.

    Respectfully, judging by your comment Aryn, the great trick being pulled here is convincing folk that they are "investing". People who pledge are not investors, they are customers. Unless shares in Cloud Imperium Games was part of the Idris deal, the buyers are customers who have paid an awful lot for some content in an unreleased and untested game.

    I don't think it's unreasonable for customers to expect value for money.
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • 1
    Apocalypse_9247 1 year ago
    Madness? The ship needs 10 people and two fighters to be operational. In EVE-Terms this would correspond to about about 8 plex per player, no big deal for communities.

    It is the same madness, just not as excessive as people who plex their titan.
  • 1
    Anam aka Scitor 1 year ago
    Wow. Yeah this game and project is a first for it's popularity and explosion of supporters. I feel some may be "waiting and seeing" to test things before committing to the game.