It’s been a long time since a good, proper space combat game has been released. No one knows that better than Chris Roberts, who could reasonably be called the master of the genre. Previously he was known for his role in developing the Wing Commander series, along with Starlancer and Freelancer – all great games that are part of what’s long been considered to be a dead genre. After all, who wants to why around in a space ship, engaging in acts of piracy and conquest? Surely if there was demand, Electronic Arts or some other company would be putting out a game of that kind, right? Apparently the lack of attempts on that front didn’t dissuade Chris Roberts, and he gambled that interest was out there – but simply untapped. Well, he’s tapped that interest alright – and at this point, over ten million dollars worth of funds have come gushing out of the pockets and bank accounts of hopeful gamers and into Roberts Space Industries’ ambitious project, Star Citizen.
Ten million dollars of funds raised, and only a portion of those on Kickstarter? That’s one hell of a success by any measure, and the game’s official site is heavy on the enticing promises. A persistent, officially hosted online world AND the ability to host multiplayer on your own terms with mods? Full orchestral music? Tablet companion apps for checking up on your universe’s progress? It’s been too long since I played a game like this, and Chris Roberts is pretty well the single best choice in the world to entrust with a game like this. We’ll be watching this one closely when it releases – but for now, chalk this up to one more success for the crowdsourcing phenomenon, and a strike against naysayers who said this genre just didn’t have enough demand among gamers.