Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history, and now developer Cloud Imperium Games has rolled out another way for the super-ambitious PC space game to make more money before launch. The developer today started allowing players to start the process of buying parcels of virtual land. For $50, you can get a single 4km x 4km parcel of land that you can use as you see fit in the game. You also get what Cloud Imperium is calling a “Geotack marking beacon,” which lets you know the exact coordinates of your land. This beacon also informs you in real time of weather and has motion-detection to inform you if someone is using your property without permission (more on that later).
For $100, you can get an 8km x 8km parcel of land with the same Geotack beacon. On its website, Cloud Imperium said when Star Citizen launches you’ll be able to buy parcels of land with in-game credits or through normal gameplay progression. The studio is offering the land for real money now to support the ongoing development of Star Citizen.
In a detailed FAQ explaining the new land-buying system, Cloud Imperium said players who purchase land won’t have an advantage over those who do not. But what about players claiming the “best” plots of land? Cloud Imperium pointed out that there are “billions of square kilometres” available in the game, so there is no telling for sure what will be the “best” place to hunker down. Some players might want to buy land based on the natural resources it has, while others might want to be close to trade routes. Others might simply want a place with a nice view.
“This–combined with the fact that there’s an enormous amount of real estate available–means that prospecting and the purchase of land are two pieces of a supply-and-demand equation governing how rapidly land of a distinct perceived value will come on the market,” Cloud Imperium said.
When you’re scouting for a parcel of land, you will have to consider factors like the ones mentioned above, along with the grade of the terrain, as this can affect your ability to establish an outpost. Players can destroy others’ beacons, but this is a criminal offence in the game, so it’s a risk. Beacons can be replaced, but it’s unclear if this is a free service. Additionally, you can mine another players’ land for resources, but again, this is a crime and the in-game authorities could come after you. Players concerned about security can implement defence drone, hire mercenaries, or even pay for a defence contract.
Another very important note is that, for now, all your $50 or $100 gets you is a “claim license” for the land. No one can claim land before the feature actually goes live, and there is no word yet as to when that may happen. For now, your money is going towards the ongoing development of Star Citizen
For lots and lots more on Star Citizen’s new land-buying system, check out this in-depth FAQ. Star Citizen has brought in an astonishing $168 million in crowdfunding, and that figure only stands to climb higher and higher still.