November 15th 2013
As you know, November 26, 2013 marks the end of Lifetime Insurance (“LTI”) availability for Original and Veteran backers. We made lower-cost LTI packages available as a reward for the group of backers who made Star Citizen possible in the initial campaign, which culminated with the close of a grace period on November 26, 2012.
To celebrate our first year in operation, over the next week leading up to the 26th we will be offering each of the “limited edition” ships and packages once again for a limited time, so that anyone who would like to pick one up can do so. To give everyone a shot to catch the ship they’re interested in, we are going to announce the schedule in advance today. Ships and packages will be available for 24 hours (midnight to midnight PST.)
As a special thank you to everyone that has got us this far, including our growing contingent of New backers, Limited ships will include LTI for everyone! However they will only be available at the original prices for early backers (Original and Veteran) to keep in the spirit of our original promise to make sure that the earliest backers would have a benefit over later backers.
UPDATE: Due to popular demand, the Super Hornet will be offered over the weekend alongside the Anvil Gladiator and Aegis Retaliator.
On November 26th, we will start the second year off with a bang! Chris Roberts and the Star Citizen team will host a four-hour livestream starting at 11 AM PST which will feature the latest news and information, plus a chance to get your questions answered! We will also unveil the first details on the next assortment of ships, as we did at the first livestream! Like the original group, these ships will be offered for sale on special occasions… including some which will be purchasable for the first time on the 26th! There will also be a limited number of LTI Idris-P corvettes available for sale to all users, offered in four allotments throughout the day to allow Citizens around the world a chance at purchasing these rare ships.
Please be reminded that all these sales are to fund the development of the game and make the universe bigger and richer. We don’t care about making profits for public shareholders. We just care about making the Best Damn Space Sim Ever and you generous support has already allowed us to go way beyond what we thought would be possible upon initial release!
In advance of the sale, we would like to take a moment and address several topics which have come up in the community:
Once again, we would like to be absolutely clear that LTI is a convenience but not a game-altering addition. All ships come with insurance and the coverage between LTI and Standard Hull Insurance (SHI) is exactly the same. The only difference is that you have to renew SHI with in game credits once the policy has reached its end (which varies right now between 3 months and a year on the current packages available for sale). With LTI there is no end date on the policy. The cost and frequency of renewing a SHI policy will be on a similar magnitude to renewing car insurance and assuming you complete some missions or trade runs in Star Citizen you should have plenty of in game funds available to cover this cost. In fact, newer players who purchased packages directly instead of going through a grey market service to get LTI are better off, as they have been receiving the various stretch goal rewards given to backers.
We have also had a lot of requests for information on the Constellation and Freelancer. Variants for these ships will not be available for the 26th, but we will offer hull upgrades in the store when they are. If you purchase a Constellation or Freelancer with LTI today you can upgrade it to one of the special variants later while keeping LTI. We aren’t ready to announce what the variants will be, but can confirm that the design team is focusing on three more Freelancer variants and two additional Constellations.
Although we have offered the limited ships for sale half a dozen times at this point, the subject continues to be raised on the forums. We are aware that the original Kickstarter page states that these ships would not be sold again. Had we the ability to edit this page, we would add the following information: We made a mistake! The concept was that for the ships with a specified inventory (Scythe and Idris-M), we were only ever going to sell that quantity – hence the never sell it again wording, but the other ships that were not quantity limited were meant to be limited in that we would have them for sale for limited durations, so they would be a scarce commodity. Unfortunately our wording did not communicate this and the impression on our original post was that everything offered for limited sale would not be sold again. We subsequently corrected this to clarify that we were really talking about the ships that were offered with finite quantities but the issue has continued to be raised. This is our official stance on this so please bookmark this post for future forum debate! :)
Beyond this our fan base has grown exponentially, and we are inundated with users who want to start the game as a tanker captain or a racer or a pirate. While we owe a great debt to our original backers, we would like everyone to experience the Star Citizen universe the way they would prefer. As a result we will continue to offer some “limited” ships during special occasions. Note that any ship with a finite quantity once the last is sold there will be no more.
Both of these sales took place “in universe,” the result of the UEE capturing a Vanduul carrier and then selling off an allotment of surplus Idris corvettes. These were unique events which allowed us to offer ships which would not ordinarily be available for sale. You will be able to upgrade your Idris-P to military specifications using kits available in the finished game.
We’re not happy with how the “grey market” for Star Citizen ships has evolved. A limited number of users have hoarded rare ships and sold them for a premium to backers who discovered the game later on. Every day, the CS department receives more reports of users scammed while trying to purchase limited ships in this fashion. The idea behind LTI is to reward early supporters, not to give anyone a way to mistreat other Citizens. We’ve made this call to reinforce that the end-of-the-year sale is intended to reward everyone, not give particular users a chance to stockpile valuable ships for future resale. A New backer will have to pay more for a limited ship with LTI than an Original Backer or Veteran backer. This way the Original Backers and Veteran backers still get a reward for believing early but New backers will have an opportunity to pick up some special ships with LTI and not be forced into the grey market.
We promised that our early backers would get the benefit of LTI over later backers. On the other hand there are almost twice as many new backers as early backers and some of them are upset that they didn’t have the opportunity to obtain LTI by backing early. Offering LTI on the limited ships at a higher priced for New backers seems the best compromise. We feel that if we extended this to the standard ships it would be too much, but our early backers would be ok with the New backers having the opportunity to obtain LTI (at a slightly higher price) on the more expensive and rarer ships as it gives them a nice benefit and helps make the game better by raising more funds.