Star Citizen, the controversial sci-fi multiplayer game that has raised over $500 million in crowdfunding, is once again making headlines for offering new “microtransactions” at sky-high prices.
Developer Cloud Imperium Games has just introduced its most expensive bundle yet – the “Legatus Pack” priced at $48,000 USD. This ultra premium bundle is targeted at the game’s biggest spenders and includes nearly every spacecraft currently available or in development.
Outrage Over New “Macrotransaction” Price Tag
The Legatus Pack has been met with significant criticism and debate across gaming and tech media. Many outlets are calling the nearly $50k price tag outrageous, with some dubbing it a greedy “cash grab” exploiting Star Citizen’s most dedicated fans.
Key points around the controversy:
- The $48k pack includes 295 ships totaling over $35k in perceived value – making the “discount” aspect dubious to critics
- It’s only available to those who have already spent $1k+ on the unfinished game
- The cost is equivalent to crowded fundraising goals like medical expenses and funerals
- Some point out the pack’s value is ephemeral since the game remains unfinished after 10+ years
Destructoid argues that packages like this undermine legitimacy as the game tries to progress in development: “Egregious monetization raises questions for both backers and curious onlookers about what Star Citizen is really prioritizing and whether there will ever be an endpoint.“
Breakdown of What’s Included in the Legatus Pack
For context on what buyers are getting for $48k, the Legatus Pack includes:
- 295 spaceships, vehicles, and addons
- 120 unique ships across Star Citizen and its companion game Squadron 42
- Unique items like decorative flares, skins, armor, and more
- Lifetime client-side insurance on all vessels
The full fleet encompasses ships of nearly every type and class playable in Star Citizen, from single-seat fighters to massive capital ships with 40+ crew capacity and powerful weaponry.
The RSI forums broke down the pack’s contents in more detail:
*Based on standalone prices
For devoted fans with deep pockets, the Legatus Pack provides an armada letting them essentially experience all Star Citizen currently offers. It may appeal both to wealthy backers looking to “complete” their collection, as well as gaming enthusiasts open to making a financial investment they see gaining future value.
Development State Poses Questions Around Value
The game remains in an unfinished alpha state however, raising questions around the value of such expansive purchases right now. Could shifts in the evolving game economy and systems greatly change ship utility and worth in the future?
Star Citizen plans to incorporate mechanics like fuel costs, cargo capacity/profits, crew salaries, insurance fees, component/weapons wear and tear, and more. These could impact operating costs and strategic decision making around which ships to utilize. Some backers theorize expensive capital ships may prove more hindrance than help for smaller organizations.
Ultimately, it’s impossible to gauge if a near $50k pack will prove “worth it” until the full game economy, missions, events, and mechanics are implemented. We likely won’t have definitive answers for years given the game’s slow, iterative development.
What Next for Star Citizen Monetization?
The Legatus Pack will undoubtedly drive further record fundraising for Cloud Imperium Games, rising suspicions around how monetization strategies are influencing development priorities. Many gamers and journalists will closely analyze what content gets prioritized following this capital injection.
Some analysts also feel instances like this set the stage for even more expensive offerings down the road. Is $50k the ceiling or just another upward benchmark? Given the studio’s stable base of big spending “whales,” additional limited-time bundles at higher tiers seem possible. Although further inflating prices much beyond current levels risks triggering greater backlash and skepticism.
In any case, Star Citizen continues marching to the beat of its own drum – defying convention around release timelines, communication strategies, and funding models. The Legatus Pack once again sparks conversation around these deviations from gaming industry norms. Cloud Imperium’s priorities between vision pursuit and responsible stewardship remain difficult to decipher for outsiders. Yet another source of intrigue around gaming’s most enigmatic project.
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