Surprising precisely nobody, Star Citizen keeps raising more money. It’s now up to $41 million, which means that it’s hit another stretch goal: the crazy procedural universe.
“With this funding, we’ll be looking into procedural generation to help build the universe out in a greater detail and scope in ways we didn’t think possible when we started developing the game! We will have some exciting announcements to make down the line involving some of the talent we’ve been talking to about helping us with procedural system and planet building,” says head-honcho Chris Roberts.
A procedural generation R&D team will be set up, Roberts explains, developing the technology for future iterations of Star Citizen. “Advanced procedural generation will be necessary for creating entire planets worth of exploration and development content. A special strike team of procedural generation-oriented developers will be assembled to make this technology a reality.”
Roberts also weighed in on the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR, something I feel like we’ve been discussing for an eternity even though it’s only been a week since the announcement of the planned deal.
“I was genuinely surprised to hear the news that Oculus had been acquired by Facebook. There has been a lot written this past week about the acquisition and some notable people have come out for and against. I know a lot of backers and gamers feel like they’ve been betrayed by Oculus ‘selling out’”, Roberts says.
“I’m not one of them.”
“In order for the Rift to succeed, it really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds,” he continues. “Hardware is expensive: it’s one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market.
“Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch the Xbox One this fall! My hope is that Facebook’s funding will let Oculus compete with much bigger companies and deliver an attractively priced consumer headset at the scale needed for mass market adoption without the loss of the incredible passion that convinced me to back the project. I haven’t heard or seen anything to the contrary so until I do we are fully committed to supporting the Rift.”
Roberts assures backers that this is not a route Star Citizen needs to go down. Cloud Imperium won’t be acquired, it’s doing fine with the absurd amount of money backers are throwing its way. “We don’t need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make OUR dream a reality. To mass-produce hardware like the Rift, you need an outlay of hundreds of millions of dollars. Luckily our ships are digital so we have hardly any cost of goods, just the cost of developing the universe of Star Citizen and running servers that Star Citizen’s universe will be simulated on. Thanks to the generosity of the Star Citizen community we have these two things covered.”