The funding drive for the space exploration, trading and combat game began in 2012 on Kickstarter.
Since then, the game has continued to raise cash from people who have signed up to play and test early versions.
Since its Kickstarter campaign ended, Star Citizen has continued to raise money through pre-orders and via sales of spaceships that players can fly and fight in the game’s virtual universe. In October, it announced that more than one million people had signed up to back and play the game.
This week saw the release of the second test or alpha version of Star Citizen. This starts to tie the separately developed elements of the game into a more coherent whole.
Before now, players have had access to a hangar module where they store their ships and a dog-fighting arena. It will also eventually have a first-person element that lets them take on other players inside ships and space stations. All these elements will exist inside a persistent universe which players can explore and trade in.
Also under development is a single-player mode called Squadron 42 that lets people carry out a mission as a rookie space Navy pilot. Actors including Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill and Gillian Anderson have all signed up to provide voices for the non-player roles featured in this campaign.
Development of the game is being overseen by veteran developer Chris Roberts who was responsible for the Wing Commander series of games.
No firm launch date for Star Citizen has been announced. So far, developer Roberts Space Industries has only said that the game will be launched at some point in 2016.
Star Citizen has competition in the form of two other space flying and fighting games – Elite: Dangerous and Eve: Valkyrie.
Elite: Dangerous also got going by raising cash on Kickstarter and was released in March 2014. A big expansion for the game, called Horizons that lets players land ships on some planets, is due to be released this month.
Eve: Valkyrie is set to be available in early 2016 when the Oculus Rift headset becomes generally available. A copy of the game is being given to anyone that pre-orders the headset.