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Inside Star Citizen's grey market

Inside Star Citizen's grey market:

"Kane" won’t tell me how much he’s made as a Star Citizen middleman. Like so many Spaniards affected by the economic crisis, he was recently made redundant, but the bills keep on coming. "These transactions are helping me in these difficult times," he says.

These days, the second-hand sale of virtual goods is a tired story. But what makes Star Citizen’s grey market special is that in many cases the spaceships that are bought and sold can’t be used in the game yet. They’re just £1000 ideas, the promise of that most base fantasy: exploring the galaxy in your very own - and very exclusive - spaceship. Kane is just one of many making money out of a grey market fuelled by that promise - and it exists underneath the covers of Star Citizen’s gargantuan success.

Star Citizen is one of the more fascinating video games in development right now. It’s a hugely ambitious space simulation driven by a massively multiplayer online persistent world with a first-person shooter portion and a single-player story bolted on. It’s also a poster child for graphics-card-melting PC gaming, looks the business and is made by one of our favourite sons: Mr Wing Commander himself, Chris Roberts.

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