How Star Citizen sells a starship

Star Citizen is a crowd-funded pc space sim currently in development. They’ve just released the first detailed images from one of the game’s ships, the 300i, and that means giving the fans a full sales catalogue as well as a wonderfully made video ad.

Origin 300i glamour shot 300x170 How Star Citizen sells a starship

Star Citizen is a crowd-funded space simulator game by Chris Roberts, the man behind the Wing Commander series. Earlier this year, it broke a world record for crowd-funding a game and today, it’s fans (me included) have pledged a total of almost $10,4 million for the game, due to be released in 2014. So what makes a pc-exclusive game in a largely dead genre so successful, even before it’s released? Part of it can be attributed to the loyal fan base, and of course to Chris Roberts, whose name draws attention for space sim buffs. Perhaps much of the crowd-funding success can also be attributed to how the game studio, Cloud Imperium Games, is approaching the development process.

CIG are involving the players in a unique way: With a weekly video cast with forum feedback and development updates, and an iterative release process that will allow gamers to get their first taste of the game as early as August, there’s much more to take part in during development than with most studios, and the fans are invited to contribute with ideas and feedback in the development process as well. As a result of this, newly developed content gets released often, and when Star Citizen releases new things, it does so with style.

Today saw the first detailed renderings of one of the game’s buyable starships, the luxurious Origin 300i – but rather than slapping a few screenshots onto the website, Chris Roberts’ team added a flare of role playing to the reveal: They released a 22 page sales catalogue for the ship, much like you’d find for a new sedan in your local car dealership. Accompanying the catalogue is a video advertisement, fit for any 30th century CBS commercial break. Check it out below:

 

A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in his lecture books, he's a big-time gamer, aspiring comic artist and always finds time for mountain biking and his airsoft team.