By a long, long way
The Star Citizen phenomenon continues. The game, originally funded on Kickstarter back in 2012 to the tune of over $2m, continues to bring in money as it enters its sixth year of development. The two games - a single player experience and an online persistent universe - have been dogged by litigation and controversy, but developer Cloud Imperium Games continues on, securing more money from would-be players every year.
Polygon has received specific figures showing that the amount of funding raised for Star Citizen is vastly greater than every 2017 Kickstarter game campaign combined. That in itself isn’t necessarily too surprising, considering the games scene on Kickstarter has been falling off for years now. Unless you’re a board game. What is surprising is the sheer scale by which Star Citizen eclipses everything else. It is a Siege Dreadnaught to Kickstarter’s fleet of X-Wings. A Borg Cube to Kickstarter’s USS Defiant. Etcetera.
The $34.91m raised for Star Citizen in 2017 may be down on 2016 ($36.11m), but it’s twice the size of the $17.25m funded across all Kickstarter games during the year. These figures account for all pledged money across Kickstarter, not just successful campaigns, so it includes money that was returned to pledges for unsuccessful games. Polygon reports that Cloud Imperium Games refused to state how much money it has had to return to backers over the year, though it’s difficult to imagine this would make a huge dent in its income. Certainly not enough to bring to down to parity with Kickstarter.
So, Star Citizen is a behemoth that keeps getting fatter and Kickstarter remains a risky bet for game developers. It will be interesting to see whether either of these things change or, indeed, whether Star Citizen’s games will ever finally launch.