Star Citizen has become a beast of crowdfunding. While it doesn't have the half-billion dollar budget of a Call of Duty game, it has managed to wrangle $100M from gamers, most of it coming post-Kickstarter launch. The milestone comes as the Alpha 2.0 build is launched in early access.
To give an idea of how amazing this is, the last crowdfunding goal was $65M, meaning $35M has come in completely un-incentivized. That right, over 1/3 of the donations have come without any promises of new features, and this after the constant accusations bythat Star Citizen was somehow one huge scam and vaporware (ignoring the pedigree Chris Roberts already had in the genre.)
The Alpha 2.0 launch introduces a small persistent universe mechanic set in the environs of Crusader, a gas giant in the Stanton System. It will allow players to fly around a relatively small (at least compared to EVE Online) area of space in one-seater and small multicrew ships.
Alpha 2.0 also adds first person combat, "complete with combat armor and an array of hidden weapons to be discovered." The combat missions will revolve around having to defend the Comm Arrays around the gas giant system from pirates. They are trying to create "communication black zones" that will allow them to hide their illegal activity. Players who defeat the pirates and fix the Arrays' uplinks will be rewarded by getting missions found at the Imperial Cartograph Centre, which also involve landing on bodies in space for exploration.
Addtional patch notes can be found on the official blog.