The Curious Case of a Game in its Alpha & Its $48K Cosmetic Bundle
$48,000 for a bunch of space ships?
Let's be candid: how often do you oscillate between a game's cosmetic menu and its payment portal? I often find myself closing the tab, contemplating my choices, and staring at the screen before making a purchase. Despite this, my credit card gets its fair share of use. I confess to having spent a significant amount on video games and skins.
But spending a handsome $48,000 USD on an exclusive collection of cosmetics from a game that is still yet to fully release? I would reevaluate my choices.
Yes, a video game is charging $48,000 for a cosmetic bundle, believe it or not. Titled Star Citizen, this game has been in development since 2011-12. This cosmetic bundle — the Legatus 2953 — is reportedly slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2024.
Initially, the price tag of the Legatus 2953 left me astounded. Curiosity led me to the official website, where I found myself endlessly scrolling through its expansive content.
Legatus 2953 Costs More Than a Ford Mustang
Before reeling from the cost of the Legatus 2953 in Star Citizen, it's worth noting a few facts about the game. Star Citizen is an in-development multiplayer space trading and combat simulation game.
According to the developer Cloud Imperium Games, Star Citizen is currently in the ‘Alpha’ stage of development and is being created in partnership with "a passionate, knowledgeable, and always-welcoming community."
Although not fully released, the game allows players to purchase in-game items and ships for exploration and combat.
For ardent Star Citizen fans, the Legatus 2953 bundle, boasting over 175 vessels, might be tempting. The developer said, "Ahead of all others, this definitive armada is an equal match to the noble title of Legatus Navium. Comprised of over 175 vessels from every manufacturer of note, this perfect collection, including all ships released and concepted through 2953, empowers every fleet commander to forge a lasting legacy, leading humanity towards a brighter future."
However, purchasing the Legatus 2953 isn't straightforward. Prospective buyers must be members of the exclusive Chairman's Club, which requires a minimum of $1,000 spent on in-game items.
This might seem unusual for those new to Star Citizen, but it's fairly normal for its player base. The Legatus bundles are the game's priciest, with the first, Legatus 2950, launched in 2018 for $27,000.
Social media reactions prompted a Star Citizen developer to tweet about the bundle's impact on the company's image, acknowledging its uniqueness. He tweeted, "Yeah this isn't great for our company's image lol. I hope most people realize it's for every highly detailed released and concepted ship in the game, including crowdfunding."
Likewise, a Redditor defended the Legatus 2953's price and said, "There's nothing wrong with it. Players literally asked for it. But it's so unusual for game shops to contain anything near that expensive... it makes easy slow-news-day clickbait headlines, and people who are already predisposed to think badly about SC use it to justify themselves."
In instances like this, all we can say is, "To each their own." If someone is willing to spend their money on starships, who are we to criticize them? After all, fans of the franchise have helped the developers crowdfund over $650 Million USD with more than five million accounts contributing to it.