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Star Citizen's first backer build released

Star Citizen's dogfighting-focused Arena Commander module is now available for all of the game's backers.

Originally scheduled for release on May 29, the update is most backers' first chance to try Star Citizen's space flight and combat in action. Developer Roberts Space Industries released a trailer composed of in-game action to mark the occasion.

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 dogfights without risking their vessels. A multiplayer version is in limited testing.

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Roberts Space Industries reports that more than 250 people are working on Star Citizen, of which Arena Commander is only a small portion. It also reminded future players that the game is version 0.8, meaning "there are still plenty of known issues we're working and there are likely many you will discover that we haven't seen yet."

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.

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