The Budget for Star Citizen Now Exceeds a Half-Billion Dollars and Is More than That of Cyberpunk 2077, GTA V, and Red Dead Redemption Combined

Image: Cloud Imperium Games

The budget for Star Citizen is on track to become one of the largest ever reported for a video game as it has now passed a major milestone. Having been in development for over a decade it makes sense that the budget for Star Citizen only continues to grow but what continues to draw criticism for it is that there seems to be no end in sight in regard to a completion date. Now, according to PlayerAuctions, after crossing this latest threshold, the game has exceeded the development costs of Cyberpunk 2077, Grand Theft Auto V, and Red Dead Redemption combined.

Game development breakdowns

TitleDevelopment Cost (Excluding Marketing Costs)
GTA V$137 Million
Red Dead Redemption 2$170 Million
Cyberpunk 2077$174 Million
Star Citizen$590 Million
Table: PlayerAuctions

The “citizen count”, or those who have pledged, currently sits at just over 4.6 million. This is roughly just under double from 2019 when the game had 2.4 million backers who had provided $250 million. CCU Game, the app/site that lets players manage their assets for the game, reports the current pledged total at just over $592.6 million. This is slightly over what is listed on the RSI funding stats page, where it currently sits at just over $589.3 million, due to tracking going back further. The breakdown total from CCU Game also indicates that the average cost for the game per player comes to $126.37. Suddenly spending $70 for a current AAA title looks affordable.

From the Streets to the Stars

As galaxy-sized as this current budget appears to be it reportedly is still far under that of another game in development, GTA VI. Recently it was rumored that Rockstar Games could be spending upwards of $1-2 billion on the next installment.

One of the many things that set Star Citizen apart from the GTA franchise is that both the studio, its resources, and the game have been built from scratch, from the ground up, whereas Rockstar Games is a well-established studio with many things already in place. However, something else both games have in common is that each has been in development for more or less a decade with GTA VI having been allegedly in the works since 2014. Meanwhile, Rockstar Games is undoubtedly investing heavily in marketing, voice actors, and more, for its game after GTA V went on to set just about every monetary record there is for a video game since its 2013 release.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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