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Star Citizen backers get Arena Commander on May 29

First widespread playable build of ship combat game

All of Star Citizen's backers will get access to the first playable release of the game starting on May 29, developer Cloud Imperium announced Monday.

Players will receive access to the Arena Commander module's "Free Flight" and "Vanduul Swarm" modes. Certain multiplayer testers will also gain access to the module's online modes. More multiplayer testers will be invited as server conditions allow.

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Arena Commander is positioned as a game-within-a-game; in the full release of Star Citizen, it will let players simulate training missions and multiplayer dogfights without risking their vessels.

The full game will allow players to carve out a piece of the universe by trading, raiding, exploring, and signing up for military service. It has topped $42 million from fans so far, making it one of the most successfully crowd funded games ever.

Studio founder and Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts set up a Kickstarter for the game in mid-2012 with an initial target of $500,000. The total raised by the funding drive's conclusion was $2,134,374. Cloud Imperium has since continued to raise funds on the Star Citizen website by selling additional spaceships and other virtual goods priced from $25 to over $200 per item.

A lengthy video published in April shows off Arena Commander's dogfighting and extravehicular activities.

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