Non-Existent Spaceships Are Being Sold for Thousands

By Leon Hurley on at

We're all sick of hearing about how much cash Star Citizen's space sim has made ($56 million if you weren't keeping up), but that's not the only crazy money changing hands - people are paying thousands of pounds for ships they can't fly.

Eurogamer has a densely detailed report on the situation but it all comes down to something called the Grey Market, which has grown out of the exclusive nature of both the ships and certain deals in-game. Some things are only sold for a brief window, creating demand for rarities, while other variations come with much sought after insurance deals to replace destroyed vehicles.

It's created a demand that's been satisfied outside of the game's world by players trading and selling. Things like the Idris-M, which is a frigate class ship you can't buy any more, have sold for $4000 and one trader claims to have made $2000 in a few months brokering deals between various parties.

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These are the cheap seats, commonly available ships that anyone can buy. 

Where things get extra crazy is that some of these things can't even be used yet. As a crowdfunded project, Star Citizen is very much a work in progress. The main areas currently available are the Hanger, where you can show off your stuff, and the PVE Arena Commander module, where you can fly and battle enemies. However, the Arena only hosts certain ships.

So consider the upcoming Aegis Reclaimer. A 'concept only' edition came with lifetime insurance, cost $350 and was only available for a week. Its limited run and valuable insurance means that price could easily increase on the Grey Market. That 'concept only' bit means just that though: the package buys you the idea of the ship, you can't do anything with it yet because it doesn't exist, and when it does appear in the game you'll only be able to look at it in the hanger for the time being.

The ultimate goal for Star Citizen is obviously to create a huge persistent universe to fly these things in, but the talk is that the game won't be "feature complete" until 2016. Until then there are a lot of expensive ideas being bought and sold on Reddit. Read the whole thing, it's fascinating.

[Eurogamer - Inside Star Citizen's Grey Market]