Update: Cloud Imperium Games have issued a statement saying that this is standard practice and they didn’t give rights away to Star Citizen, only the single-player portion known as Squadron 42. However, if this is standard practice then why is the banking institution issuing them permissions to develop the game? Do they have no other assets than to give rights as collateral? According to an analyst, Cloud Imperium Games are utilizing a bank loan to obtain capital from a British tax rebate early due to Brexit uncertainties. When they get the rebate they’ll pay back the loan. However, the fact that they require capital immediately is concerning because the pound is actually recovering at the moment. Their intentions are either misguided or demonstrate a dire financial situation where they can’t even wait the appropriate time for a tax rebate to come in. Their explanation has left us with more questions than answers.
As we all know, AAA experiences are getting more and more expensive to make every year. Star Citizen is a great example of this. The game initially made over $150 million through its crowdfunding campaign and has since been offering early access to numerous gamers for a hefty price. The developers keep on promising ambitious features but they haven’t materialized over the years. Games like No Man’s Sky have come and gone and Elite: Dangerous has a loyal fanbase. In this competitive market—which is limited to PC in this case—does Star Citizen really have a chance to pull a profit from its estimate $200 million budget? While that question is up for debate, some new and disturbing news has emerged. It seems as though Star Citizen has run out of money again.
A bank now owns Star Citizen because they can't afford to pay off their debts. RIP Star Citizen. pic.twitter.com/8JEXP0bIZy
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 25, 2017
The developers have applied for a massive loan from a bank and have put the game’s rights and all associated content as collateral. If you look at many examples through history, this has always ended badly for the company. In many cases they’ve lost everything. The fact that Star Citizen needs even more funding is absolutely ridiculous and backers should question as to what’s going on at the studio. Even Mass Effect: Andromeda was made for less. If the developers are unable to finish the game or default on this loan, the game will cease to exist. The bank may eventually choose to sell off the franchise to interested buyers but that might take years. All of the bakers and customers who paid around $200 million will have lost their investment. This is deeply troubling and we deserve answers because right now Star Citizen is sounding more and more like a Ponzi scheme than a game.