A Backer Story

While perusing my phone the other day, I happened to wander by my inbox. As I peeked inside, one bold black message stood out amongst the rest. It was from the head office, Roberts Space Industries. The subject was clear enough: Arena Commander Multiplayer Pre-Alpha Test Invite. Well, well, well. That maneuver I pulled during the battle of Hoth must have made it’s way back to the big wigs over at HQ. A secret mission awaited me. One that included exclusive pre-alpha access. Honors and benefits, galore!


Ninety seconds later, I was in the only room in the house where a man of middle-age with a large family could sit in privacy and vanquish pre-alpha drones. The downstairs office. I hovered my mouse cursor over the #StarCitizen icon. This was the moment of truth. There was no going back, now. There was a brief hesitation, I admit, but the brass over at RSI needed me. I double-clicked.

I was prompted for authorization. I carefully copied over my top secret passphrase, and access to the portal was granted. I was in. My first secret mission. Patch 1 downloading. The flashy lights on my router were in rare form tonight. I could tell that my secret mission must be really important! Patch 1 installing. Oh, boy this is going to be good. Patch 2. Patch 3. The bits were really flying through the network now! Next I was in the hangar, approaching my ship. It was coming easier now. Robert and his Space Industries needed me. I stepped into the cockpit of my Origin 300i and flipped open the hydraulic cup holders. The Arena Commander menu showed on the HUD, and I steeled my nerves.



Wait a second. The only select-able option on the menu was “exit”. There must have been some kind of mistake.

After a quick Alt-Tab, I went back to my original recruitment letter. Directly beneath the paragraph welcoming me to the Arena Commander Multiplayer test, there was a tiny little hyperlink, and a message that read:

Important. Please note that a game package is required to play Arena Commander. A game package includes a copy of the game as well as a ship. Game packages can be purchased from the pledge store on the RSI website

A Game Package, purchased from the pledge store? A crummy commercial? Son of a….

I quietly clicked out of my pre-alpha build, pushed back my office chair, and slowly walked out of the office. Wiser.



5 thoughts on “A Backer Story

  1. zyngor August 11, 2014 / 3:32 pm

    That’s ok…if you did play, you’d probably just shoot your wrist out.


  2. Sig August 11, 2014 / 4:27 pm

    I’ve not really been paying attention because I am waiting for the game to go gold before I really dive into it, but they are making you buy a pledge and then a $5 addon to get Alpha access? That is… weird. I guess it’s only 5 bones but still? Here… let me INVITE you to give me $5 and I’ll let you into my club!


    • Braxwolf August 11, 2014 / 7:11 pm

      Exactly. I wouldn’t have had a problem if the e-mail said “come buy yourself alpha access”. At least it would have seemed more genuine.


  3. seanxxp August 12, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    This is exactly the sort of thing I dislike about the way they are doing funding. I feel the same about Shroud of the Avatar too, which I backed. There’s something about channeling all of your players into these tiers that I just find uncomfortable.

    Great piece though, made me chuckle.


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