Cloud Imperium Games, developer of the long-in-development space simulation game Star Citizen, is once again courting controversy by offering a massive bundle of in-game spaceships for the eye-watering price of $48,000.
Outrage Over Latest Move to Sell In-Game Assets
The newly announced Legatus 2950 Pack contains nearly every flyable ship available in Star Citizen, totalling 295 ships across 30 different models. In addition to the ships, the bundle includes 20,000 in-game credits and a lifetime insurance policy for the entire package.
For backers who have already spent thousands funding Star Citizen’s development, the Legatus bundle is being positioned as the ultimate collectors item. But for many fans, offering what amounts to $48,000 worth of digital spaceships is simply a bridge too far.
Criticism has poured in from various gaming news outlets and Star Citizen community forums:
“Star Citizen truly outdoes itself with a $48,000 bundle for its most loyal whales,” wrote PC Gamer.
“This MMO charges $48,000 for a ship pack – three times the US annual minimum salary,” lamented GamesRadar.
“Seriously hoping no one buys this,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “Maybe they’d think things through more if big spenders voted with their wallets more.”
Cloud Imperium Defends “Optional” Purchase
In their announcement of the ship bundle, Cloud Imperium Games was quick to emphasize the optional nature of the Legatus Pack:
“As with all our additional content, these rewards can be purchased optionally and entirely separately from the digital download copy of the Star Citizen game,” wrote the developers. “The Legatus Pack does not provide any additional in-game advantage over players who choose to play with only a starter ship.”
They positioned the $48,000 bundle as a way for wealthy patrons to support continued development. But many backers counter that such expensive purchases incentivize and enable feature creep, as Star Citizen’s scope has grown exponentially since its original Kickstarter campaign.
Controversial Ship Bundles Offered by Star Citizen Developer
|Number of Ships
|UEE Exploration 2950 Pack
Development Woes Continue for Star Citizen
The release of the Legatus Pack comes at a time when criticism of Star Citizen’s development is particularly heated within its community. Despite raising over $500 million to date, the game is still missing key features and remains riddled with bugs after 10 years in development.
A 2022 progress report from the developers indicates core technology like server meshing and full persistence is still 12-18 months away. And the single-player story mode Squadron 42, originally slated for 2014, has no release date in sight.
For many backers, Star Citizen’s constant sales of expensive virtual items while failing to deliver on promises have stretched patience to the breaking point. Offering $48,000 bundles of digital spaceships has only further stoked outrage and skepticism that the game will ever release.
What Happens Next?
It remains to be seen whether Cloud Imperium sells any copies of the Legatus Pack at its astronomical price tag. Some warn that even one sale would incentivize worse behavior. The developers continue working towards the 4.0 update and server meshing integration.
But confidence is dwindling among loyalists who once saw Star Citizen as the future of PC gaming. If new sales tactics and vaporware ships continue taking precedence over tangible progress, the project may lose more of its most ardent supporters. For now, the tumult surrounding Star Citizen’s business model grows unabated as core technology remains elusive.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.