StarCraft Universe, the fan-made MMO based on Blizzard's sci-fi RTS, is raising funds through Kickstarter, with Blizzard's blessing.
Developed entirely by fans and currently in closed beta, StarCraft Universe is an "alternate reality" MMO mod for StarCraft II that will be played through Battle.net. Work has been underway since at least 2010, but now it's time for the next big step: Kickstarter.
The StarCraft Universe Kickstarter campaign has a funding goal of $80,000, which will pay for an open beta of the mod, currently planned for late 2013 or early 2014. Several stretch goals, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, offer the addition of the Zerg character class, a "MOBA-inspired" PvP zone, updated character models and animations and more. The whole thing will be free-to-play - you don't even need to purchase StarCraft II, as it only requires the free StarCraft II Starter Edition to run - so backers will be given in-game items including consumables and pets, special "relic aspects," vehicles, the soundtrack and more, and of course "the satisfaction of helping StarCraft Universe become a reality."
And to answer the most obvious question, Blizzard remains supportive of the project and apparently won't drop the hammer on the fundraising effort. "While Blizzard is not directly affiliated with this project's production, we do communicate with them to submit bug reports and make technical requests," Upheaval Arts, the studio making the game, wrote on the Kickstarter page. "They have given their blessing/permission for us to launch this Kickstarter, and they are supporting our efforts by featuring SCU as an Arcade Highlight."
There's a lot of grass-roots enthusiasm for this project and now StarCraft fans have a chance to put their money where their mouths are by throwing a few bucks at it. The StarCraft Universe Kickstarter runs until September 10 and is currently just shy of $6900; if you want to help make it happen, you know what to do.