It will be surprising to some to hear that Star Citizen has a very active community of players reselling ships, known as the Grey Market. Ships originally purchased directly from Cloud Imperium Games, are being marked up and sold by third party. Only a small portion of the ships sold are actually playable in Arena Commander. Many are not even available viewing in a ship hangar. Yet there’s enough surplus demand that players are buying and trading these digital assets.
What’s Fueling the Grey Market?
There are two major factors contributing to the viability of the GM. CIG introduces new specialized ships through what is called a concept sale. This is where the ship being sold is still in the design phase. Some of the ship designs are further along than others when they’re introduced but none have been physically implemented in the game. They have however, reached a point where the physical design, role and technical implementation details are known – for the most part. At this juncture, a LIMITED duration sale is made available in the Pledge store.
These aren’t your run of the mill everyday ships in the SC universe. There are highly specialized ships suited for very specific roles and as such, player objectives. If this is a ship you want in your possession at the very start of the game, they only way to acquire it is by purchasing it during the concept sale. If you miss it, don’t want to pay cash for it or can’t afford the cash price, you will be able to earn/purchase the ship when the game launches using in game currency. However, we don’t know what the in-game prices will be or how long it will take to earn the amount necessary. So for a die hard enthusiast, purchasing their dream ship during a concept sale is appealing.
What happens if you missed the concept sale?? They don’t run long – typically 1 to 2 weeks. If you weren’t following the SC website, too busy, out of town, etc., that’s it. You’ve now missed your one and ONLY chance to purchase the ship for cash, directly from CIG. This is one of the major factors contributing to the GM.