Roberts Space Industries’ upcoming ambitious space sim Space Citizen will soon overtake Grand Theft Auto V as the third most expensive game ever developed.
The game’s stretch goals page confirmed earlier that the title has now amassed over $138 million in crowdfunding, and if lead developer Chris Roberts is to believed when he stated that all pre-launch funds are invested directly in the game’s development [see footnote], it will soon place Star Citizen above Rockstar’s GTA 5 and only $2 million behind Destiny, the second most expensive game in terms of development costs (Star Wars: The Old Republic sits some way ahead, at $200 million).
The PC-exclusive Star Citizen has been in development since 2011, with no current ETA on a full release. The title plans to combine multiple game genres; it will include aspects of space trading and combat simulation, exploration and first-person shooter mechanics, all the while being set in a massively multiplayer persistent universe.
Note: It has been a subject of debate as to whether or not the $138 million represents the true value of costs related to the game’s development. According to Chris Roberts in a 2014 interview, all money raised through crowdfunding is directly invested in developing the game, with targets being updated accordingly. This is reinforced in a November 2015 video (4:45).
Additionally, Roberts Space Industries claims that all marketing and event costs for the game are covered by donations from subscribers.