There's two things going on here.
First, there's the fund-raising aspect; Star Citizen has been crowd-sourced from the very beginning, of course. But in the weeks since the official crowd-sourcing was closed, there have been periodic requests for additional funding, usually attached to promises of additional features if the additional funding is secured. The good news is that this has allowed the Star Citizen developers to nearly double their funding even since the official crowd-sourcing was closed down some months ago. But on the not so good end, the constant requests for additional funding are becoming a little bit off-putting.
Hell, I'm a self-confessed Chris Roberts fan-boy and this stuff is starting to put me off. ;-)
It also raises the uncomfortable specter of privilege within what will be the Star Citizen universe. Something that has always aggravated me about EVE Online is the sense among the "played since beta" set that the game somehow belongs to them and the rest of us are fundamentally unworthy to play it somehow. Entitlement disease always frustrates me and some EVE players have it pretty bad. And these sorts of "buy a special ship!" fund-raisers threaten to bring that disease into Star Citizen as well. I found this quote -- from one of the purchasers -- particularly off-putting:
I bought one because I wanted to support RSI, which is all your doing in the end. There are now 300 people with LTI corvettes. 200 of which are dumbed down "civilian" versions of them which costed 25% more, which is fine by me.So there are 100 smart people, and 200 dumb people. Thanks for that. That really makes me want to jump into a game with you.
The second thing that bugs me a bit is this:
Thankfully, these significant real money investments are at least protected. Each purchase comes with LifeTime Insurance (LTI) which will ensure that the vessel will always be replaced if destroyed or stolen.OK. Not every game is EVE Online, where something once destroyed stays destroyed. And honestly, I wasn't expecting Star Citizen to follow this pattern. But this LTI thing takes things just a little too far, in my opinion. I suddenly had this vision of having one of these ships and naming it Prometheus's Liver, which in the legend regrew every morning after a vulture tore it out the night before. Does that mean that one of these 300 people can somehow contrive to have their precious ship "stolen" every single day or every single week (for a hefty fee, of course), only to have it returned to their hands?
In short, does that mean the rest of us might get the occasional sniff of the smart person ship?
Yeah, I've gotta say that's a little off-putting to me as well. This game isn't even out yet and there are already haves and have-nots, already those who are investing the game with a pay-to-win culture. In a word: ugh.