Cloud Imperium Games, the company behind crowd-funding success story Star Citizen, has warned that users located within the European Union will find prices rising next month as the company begins to collect value added tax (VAT) on sales.
The creation of Chris Roberts, best known for leading the development of the Wing Commander space opera series, Star Citizen launched its crowd-funding campaign back in 2012
. Since then, the project has broken every record to raise almost $70 million at the time of writing from more than 730,000 individual backers.
A chunk of those backers, however, will find future investment in the game a pricier move thanks to a shift in the way its parent company operates. At present, the game is managed by US-based Cloud Imperium Games, co-founded by Roberts specifically for the project. From the 1st of February, a European arm dubbed Roberts Space Industries International will take over control of the game's publishing - and being based in the UK will have to adhere to European VAT collection laws.
'Starting on February 1st, we will be required to charge VAT on all purchases (including digital goods) made through the Roberts Space Industries International website,
' the company explained in its announcement
this week. 'This means that in the coming days, the effective rate for European backers will go up depending on the VAT rate of their home country. We know that European backers are familiar with VAT, and likely have already encountered these charges on goods purchased elsewhere online. We wish there were an alternative to charging the tax, but also believe that it is in our best interest to expand Star Citizen’s footprint to a part of the world that has proven to be truly passionate about space games!
The company has advised users currently sitting on the fence regarding purchases of new ships or investment in the game in general to do so prior to the new company going live in February in order to save themselves the VAT charges. It has also promised to send a selection of limited-edition ships whose purchaseable periods had expired live again on the 26th of February as a bonus ahead of the shift.