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Star Citizen raised more money than every other video game on Kickstarter combined in 2017

By a factor of two, and for the second year in a row

Squadron 42, Star Citizen’s single-player game, includes the acting talents of Gillian Anderson.
Roberts Space Industries
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.

For the second year in a row, the team working on Star Citizen say they’ve raised more money than every other video game on Kickstarter combined. The numbers, which are self-reported and do not include returns, aren’t even close.

Chris Roberts’ collection of spacefaring games raised $34.91 million in 2017, down slightly from $36.11 million in 2016. Meanwhile, successful Kickstarters for video games overall remained relatively flat in 2017, with $17.25 million raised, down from around $17.6 million the year before.

That means the Star Citizen project has raised more than double the amount of every other game project on Kickstarter — more than 700 in all — for two years in a row.

This data is based on information provided to Polygon by both Kickstarter and the teams at Roberts Space Industries (RSI) and Cloud Imperium Games (CIG).

However, the data set is complicated by several significant factors. First, CIG/RSI refused to report how much money they’ve returned to backers. Several significant returns are currently being contested, including one in excess of $25,000. It’s therefore impossible to know how large a proportion of its funding CIG/RSI have been forced to refund.

Additionally, Kickstarter said that of all the money pledged to video game projects in 2016, 85 to 88 percent of it went to successful campaigns. We've gone with the higher numbers for our calculations.

We’ve reached out to CIG/RSI for comment.

The Star Citizen project, which includes a single-player game called Squadron 42 and a multiplayer game referred to as the “persistent universe,” is incomplete and currently has no release date.