Developers often say during their Kickstarter campaigns that they’re footing a large part of a game’s development bill themselves. In Elite: Dangerous’ case that turns out to mean more than £6 million.
More than that, since the campaign completed that budget has risen “by quite a lot,” according to studio founder David Braben.
“The original budget, because we put a lot of our money towards it, was £8m,” Braben told Eurogamer. He can’t be specific about the current budget because Frontier are “a public company so we can’t put out figures without first putting them to the City.” He did say, though, that “it’s grown by quite a lot” and that they’re “very, very happy.”
One source of new revenue is closed alpha and beta that fans could buy into. These carried a hefty price tag that’s lowering at each stage closer to final release. The current price tag is a comparatively small £50, it was four times that to get in at the alpha level.
With over 75,000 people in the Elite: Dangerous beta and many of those coming after the Kickstarter campaign completing, that’s a significant pot of cash.
Apparently Frontier “already have enough [money] to see it through” but this extra funding “just de-risks it in a really good way.”
Elite: Dangerous’ release date remains the end of 2014 and, if it’s anything like as good as it is now, then we’re in for a treat.