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Star Citizen made a big change in how it's sold

Single-player and MMO now available separately

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Star Citizen is splitting its component parts into multiple products and beginning to sell them separately. The "package split" breaks off the single-player campaign, known as Squadron 42, from the MMO-like persistent universe. Either product will now be $45 by itself, while one can be added on to the other for a $15 fee. This effectively increases the base price of the total Star Citizen experience from the $45 to $60.

Star Citizen is the spiritual successor to the Wing Commander franchise and widely recognized as the largest crowdfunding endeavor of any kind. The Roberts Space Industries website states that the campaign has so far earned more than $108 million from nearly 1.28 million backers. Its persistent universe module, while still in development, was updated late last year to include the Crusader star system as well as many gameplay improvements. The Squadron 42 single-player module is expected to launch later this year.

A press release issued over the weekend strongly suggests that more modules could be broken off and sold separately at a later time.

"When we started Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign," says the press release, "the plan was that earlier backers would get a lower price on the Star Citizen starter package than those that backed later. The plan was to first gradually increase the price and then split up various modules for a la carte options. This gave backers who joined the project early on and helped get it off the ground an advantage.

"The ‘package split’ is the first introduction of the anticipated a la carte option. You can pick which part of the game you’re interested in, for now the single player campaign or the persistent universe, and then can choose whether or not to purchase the other module as an add-on."

Update: The original version of this article omitted the source for the number of backers on the Star Citizen project. We've made it clear that number is self-reported by RSI.

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