2.4m Backers See Star Citizen Raise USD$250m (£193m); Cloud Dev Outfit Area28 Secures USD$2.15m (£1.6m) Seed Fund

TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: 2.4m backers see Star Citizen crowdfund USD$250m (£193m); Cloud dev outfit Area28 secures USD$2.15m (£1.6m); Yogscast game stream raises £1m for charity in under two days.

2.4m backers see Star Citizen raise USD250m (£193m)

The space sim and trading game Star Citizen has seen its backers pledge over USD$250m (£193m).

The game – now eight years deep into its development – is yet to be released, but over 2.4 million players have put money to the game over that time. As noted by PC gamer, through November 2019 the game saw USD$9m (£6.9m) pledged, marking one of its most successful crowdfunding periods. The publication also highlights the fact that the total pledged now comes close to the budget of some of the most ambitious triple-A games. Grand Theft Auto V is believed to have cost  a complete budget of £170m (USD$256m at the time), including marketing and other non-dev activities, as reported by the Scotman. At the time Grand Theft Auto V was believed to be the most expensive video game ever made.

Star Citizen also secured USD$46m (£35.5m) of private investment in 2018, on top of the crowdfunding money.

Cloud dev outfit Area28 raises USD$2.15m (£1.6m)

Hong Kong game technology company Area28 has raised USD$2.15m (£1.6m) in a round of seed funding, with a view to bolstering it’s cloud-based game development platform.

The engine agnostic offering promises to be ‘the only cloud-based platform to develop, compile and test directly in real-time’. The platform lets users work together on a single project in the same engine from anywhere in the word. As well as borrowing some of the approach of game version management solutions, it also provides tools that let users focus hiring, and pool outsource talent.

As quoted by GamesIndustry.biz, Area28 CEO Tony Zander asserted: “we allow teams to deliver their products with increased access to a distributed global workforce through a continuous integration development platform. We believe that making games should be as ‘frictionless’ and as fun as playing games.”

The funding was led by the Hong Kong arm of the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund and Vectr Ventures, while APES Ventures, Bright Success Capital and Ironfire Ventures supported the round.

Yogscast game stream raises £1m for charity in under two days

Kicking off the festive season with a demonstration of the power of game companies to raise funds for the greater good rather than just the likes of technology, hiring and content, Yogscast has raised £1m in the opening two days of its Jingle Jam initiative.

Held in collaboration with the charity-focused digital storefront Humble Bundle, the fundraiser by the wildly popular UK game streaming and video platform takes the form of a month of live streamed gaming themed fundraisers on Twitch.

The news was revealed enthusiastically by the following Yogscast tweet.

This year the drive supports charities including Call of Duty Endowment, Special Effect, Stand Up To Cancer, War Child, Grand Appeal, the Mental Health Foundation and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when we turn our focus to raising an incredible sum of money for some amazing charities,” Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley said, as reported by PCGamesInsider.

“The games industry lends its support and provides amazing games, DLC and stuff for the bundle – and gamers dig deep and donate. We want 2019 to be bigger than ever – and to do this we need you to help spread the word. The more people that hear about Jingle Jam – the more we can raise.”