March 31st 2014
We’ve hit another record-setting crowd funding level: $41 million!
I’m incredibly happy to hit this goal as it green-lights a very important research project aimed at improving Star Citizen’s long term future. With this funding, we’ll be looking into procedural generation to help build the universe out in a greater detail and scope in ways we didn’t think possible when we started developing the game! We will have some exciting announcements to make down the line involving some of the talent we’ve been talking to about helping us with procedural system and planet building.
I was genuinely surprised to hear the news that Oculus had been acquired by Facebook. There has been a lot written this past week about the acquisition and some notable people have come out for and against. I know a lot of backers and gamers feel like they’ve been betrayed by Oculus “selling out”.
I’m not one of them.
From the moment I first saw the Rift, I knew it was something special. I can tell you firsthand that the team behind the headset has a true passion for making VR tomorrow’s standard.
In order for the Rift to succeed, it really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds. Hardware is expensive: it’s one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market. Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch the Xbox One this fall! My hope is that Facebook’s funding will let Oculus compete with much bigger companies and deliver an attractively priced consumer headset at the scale needed for mass market adoption without the loss of the incredible passion that convinced me to back the project. I haven’t heard or seen anything to the contrary so until I do we are fully committed to supporting the Rift.
For an interesting insiders’ view on the benefits of the acquisition, I would recommend everyone read Oculus’ new Chief Scientist Michael Abrash’s blog post on the subject.
Now to answer the myriad forum threads that popped up worrying about the possibility of Cloud Imperium being acquired by another, bigger company – don’t worry! We have no plans nor interest in following this path! We don’t need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make OUR dream a reality. To mass-produce hardware like the Rift, you need an outlay of hundreds of millions of dollars. Luckily our ships are digital so we have hardly any cost of goods, just the cost of developing the universe of Star Citizen and running servers that Star Citizen’s universe will be simulated on. Thanks to the generosity of the Star Citizen community we have these two things covered
And last but not least I’m having way to much fun building the universe of my dreams for everyone to adventure in! I’ve been down the big company acquisition route twice before and there’s a reason I am making Star Citizen totally independently!
Last time, we asked you to vote for the next stretch goal’s player reward… and the resounding winner was UEE Marine combat armor! You can read more about the armor, which will be unlocked at $43 million, now:
Omni Role Combat Armor (ORC) mk9 Manufacturer: CDS (Clark Defense Systems) The ‘standard’ Marine armor for almost twenty years, ORC armor is prohibitively more expensive than standard-issue infantry body armor used by Army Ground Forces, but the Marines boast far fewer numbers and tend to make compelling arguments to get what they ask for. Clark Defense Systems’ ORC armor is created of composite mesh of fibers reinforced with ablative plates, offering a modest protection against both energy and kinetic weapons. While it doesn’t offer the same protection of the Marines’ proprietary Nail-armor or their SpecOps variants, ORCmk9 armor is a baseline solution for any number of situations the average Marine will encounter on any given day. Besides, in the words of Lt. Col Armin Trask, “you wanna know the best armor? Not getting shot.”
We’ve eliminated the least popular reward (bonus UEC) and started a second poll; be sure to vote for what you’d like as the $44 million goal below!