Star Citizen – The End-Game

Star Citizen – The End-Game

The final stage of an extended process or course of events”

The TL;DR recap on how I got involved in this farce and why I’m going to keep going until the very bitter end.


The four year, $90m+ Star Citizen video game project, is no longer a going concern. The project is FUBAR and there is no going back.

Now that multiple sources are saying that RSI/CIG only have around $8m of operating cash left, when you consider that with over 260 people working at four (CA, TX, Germany, UK), they must be burning around $3m per month, you quickly understand why they have been doing layoffs (Chris Roberts calls it down sizing) recently.

Since June when, with the aid of researchers, I started my independent investigation into this project and its creators (Chris Roberts, Sandra Roberts, Ortwin Freyermuth), the picture of where things would be six months out, was a bit murky to me. In fact, when I wrote the first blog, Interstellar Citizens that sparked this discourse, I had no idea that I was remotely close to being right about the end result. And it’s all neatly tied up in the Star Citizen – The Long Con blog.

I was originally looking at it purely from a design, development and delivery perspective. Having designed, developed and built massive games myself over a 30yr period, I knew that I had enough experience to weigh in. Especially after looking at what they had delivered up to June, and sifting through their dev logs.

I said that they didn’t have the tech to build the “vision 2.0” game pitched. They don’t. They are still trying to build it.

I said that they couldn’t build the “vision 2.0” game as pitched. They can’t. They are still trying to build it.

I said that it would cost over $150m, and another three years, to build the game they pitched, assuming they build the tech. Four years and over $90m later, they are still raising money.


In July, after I got wind of the Star Citizen project in trouble, unable to deliver, backer money being wasted, I started to investigate it. I got in touch with Chris to try and get some more details from him. He ignored both of my inquiries on LinkedIn (1) and Facebook (1). I even wrote a lengthy Facebook post (1) and included shared “friends” in it, hoping that someone would reach out to him. Nothing happened. The Interstellar Citizens blog was live and was propagated and quoted by media.

It was downhill from there.

Then, in what can only be described as sheer madness, they lost their minds and made it personal. They canceled my backer account, and refunded me. Without my requesting it. Then to make matters worse, they sent out a press statement to various outlets (1) about my being refunded, and my account canceled. They tried to make it look like I had somehow violated their ToS for the game and the website, and was using Star Citizen as a platform to promote my Line Of Defense game. Then they doubled down when Ben Lesnick in customer service, made a snarky public forum post (1) about it.

Problem is 1) I have never posted on their forums 2) I had never downloaded the game due it not being complete nor playable. They actually confirmed this in their legal response letter as mentioned in the Star Citizen – The Long Con blog. I currently have access to three accounts through friends and contacts. I used those to test the latest modules, write about them etc.

All these actions were taken in obvious retaliation for the blog and the fact that it got widespread release in the media. As you can now see, they simply made it worse by making themselves subject to the The Streisand Effect. That aside from the fact that they decided that taking on the one person who simply can’t be intimidated or scared, was the best path forward. They bet on my being completely vilified for writing an opinion based and technical blog; while forgetting that I have been a fixture of this industry for almost 30 years and that sort of tenure has its merits.

Once that started, I knew they had something to hide. So I kept digging and writing (six blogs to date). All the while Chris and Sandra kept making defamatory statements about me both in writing and in person. And there are people willing to be deposed under oath about the aforementioned statements.


Since 2012, they have been building the hype machine. This is gaming, we thrive on hype, hyperbole and drama. Lots of drama. So it wasn’t enough that they had a robust PR machine, that had the overblown promises to go with it. And so the media helped build up the hype, spread it, and in the end helped them perpetrate what, in my opinion, is turning out to be the greatest disaster in the history of gaming.

My analogy to this is that research shows that when innocent people go to jail, they are more likely to come out as criminals. Chris Roberts left the industry, went to Hollywood, and returned….something else. For the record, I still don’t believe that he set out to con or mislead anyone. But there are influences (personal, circumstantial, financial etc) which drive good people to do bad things. And if you knew how broke (he was), down and out as he was prior to the 2012 Kickstarter, you can quickly understand how circumstances can influence people.

Despite what he says about me, I don’t personally believe that Chris Roberts is a bad person. A largely incompetent and egotistical person, yes. A criminal? No.

But from what I know and have access to, not to mention the many sources who have come forward, by the time the dust settles on this, by all accounts, all three of them are going to be in some serious legal trouble. There is absolutely no version of this where they get away with this without shipping the game as promised.


A lot has been written about the hype machine, the media’s culpability in all of this, as well as ignorance of the signs that this project was in trouble and destined to fail. But I’m not going to dwell on that because I will leave that up to the gaming industry and gamers to point the finger and assign blame.

Chris Roberts killed this project when he changed from the original “vision 1.0” to the current “vision 2.0” they embarked on. He did this. There is nobody else to blame. I invite you to take a look at the original “vision 1.0” pitch from back in 2012 and which was later migrated to Kickstarter where they ended up making over $2m.

And he’s done this all before as I’ve written in my blogs.

Chris Roberts, a self-professed “visionary” has never – ever – been able to complete a project on his own. Like ever. This fact is lost on those who aren’t really familiar with his industry track record. He is one of those artistes who works best when directed. Put him at the top of any project, and the potential for the project to fail, increases. This is not hyperbole, it’s a material fact. And it’s all right there in the industry history.

Just because Chris happened to “work” on arguably one of the biggest space combat games in history, doesn’t automatically qualify him to repeat that success on his own and in an industry that has moved on fifteen years later. If the trail of failed Hollywood movies he went on to make, and the failure of his Ascendant Pictures aren’t an indication of a pattern, then you’re a fool to think that the word “success” should be in any statement that also has “Chris Roberts” in it.

At the start of this project, he went out and hired some of the best people in the industry. Then didn’t let them do their jobs, guide him, direct him, teach him. This was his gig, he wanted to be boss – all the time. And now it’s all coming out little by little.


Aside from making all the mistakes that put the project and backer money in jeopardy, the issue of nepotism simply cannot be ignored. Especially where it involves incompetent and inexperienced family members in control of over $90m in public money. And with zero accountability.

Aside from being just a horrible person, as has been reported, Sandra Roberts is ill suited to handle HR. Let alone manage the offices of professionals who are far more educated and/or experienced then she is. The fact that she is the wife of Chris Roberts, something they have tried very hard to hide, but which they have now admitted to, due to my bringing it to light, should be serious cause for concern. My theory is that they have tried to hide this union because they know that for such a high profile project, the creators would come under intense scrutiny and she simply won’t pass muster.

She didn’t “market” this game to raise $90m as she’s tried to take credit for. The media, the PR and the gamers who believed in Chris’s vision, made that happen. Confusing PR with marketing is the sort of mistake that people who don’t understand how that works, make. They are not the same thing.

Before this project, she had no marketing history, marketing work records, marketing digital footprint, or any of that. Prior to this, and working for Chris at Ascendant Pictures (where they met) as his intern, she was just another aspiring actress in Hollywood – reportedly with an expired Visa. Then married Chris, got divorced, marries him again, has two kids. Star Citizen comes along. Here she is, one of the key players in a $90m project.

She has gone on the record as saying that she has no clue what the VP of marketing does; but yet claims to have two marketing degrees. By all accounts, and based on our extensive research, those claims are false.

And while Chris is head of the project, she is head of the office while calling the shots in customer service, HR, community events etc. And is reported to be pulling a hefty salary as a result. All because she’s married to the boss, not because she’s qualified for the job. Imagine hiring an intern – with zero experience – then giving them a high profile job with matching salary, benefits and perks.

And because she and Chris are both reported to have toxic personalities, then it should come as no surprise that those who are still working (we all have bills to pay) for them or who have left, are now coming forward with their stories. It is important to note that the one or two people who have come forward in support of this company after The Escapist article, are not high level employees or contractors.

No, I’m not going to say anything about Erin’s role in this project as I have no cause to. As I’ve said before, he has his track record, has largely kept himself focused on the insurmountable task at hand, and that’s all there is to it. Though someone needs to remind them to file the required financials for the UK studios and businesses because we need access to them. If those aren’t filed no later than Oct 30th, we’re sending a letter over there and reporting it to the UK authorities because any actions taken by the authorities against this entity, affects backers investment in the entity. UPDATE: I have been notified that they filed an extension to Dec 31st, 2015

Ortwin is just an incompetent fool out of his depth. I don’t even need to dwell on him because the trail of failed ventures speak for themselves. Plus, I feel sorry for the guy to be honest. He should’ve known – right off the bat – what he was getting himself into; pairing up with these two and getting thrust into the limelight of what is on track to be their biggest failure yet. Yes, he already had a prior business relationship with Chris, but he should’ve known that teaming up with those two unhinged characters was a recipe for disaster. It’s happening right now. Aside from that, it has been reported to me that Ortwin’s law firm (which he owns), gets paid a monthly fee to do a set amount of legal work for all the companies associated with this project. And that he himself gets a money for apparently other related work for these companies. If that’s true, yes you guessed it: double dipping.

So, these are the four characters, three family members and one long-time friend and biz partner, who are controlling over $90m in public crowd-funded money. With zero accountability. That should concern everyone.


This section of the blog contained a lot of material that legal felt were best removed as they were suited in a legal complaint. So it’s a bit skinny from the original version“.

Last week, The Escapist magazine wrote a scathing investigative report (follow-up podcast) into this project. Something that no other media outlet had done before regarding this project. As they have said, I was not their source. In fact, only an incompetent media person would use me as a source. Given how close I am to all of this, the fact that I could not be regarded as an unbiased source even if I swore on a stack of Bibles to be unbiased etc.

For the purposes of full disclosure: What I did do, as I’ve been doing since July, was made contact with some mainstream (names withheld as per legal) media sources, trying to get them to investigate this project. This was as per my July 10th blog, Interstellar Discourse in which, right at the top, I had called for the investigation of this project and all its creators. This was because I had already been made aware of most of what is now coming to light as portrayed in The Escapist article.

As part of that effort, I gave them some of my credible sources, along with an overview of what I had uncovered and why I simply wasn’t the one to investigate this any further, due in part by information that I had access to and which was better off being in the hands of those same people (the media) who helped hype this project to what it is today.

I was wrong in making this decision and thinking that anything would come from it. They all chose to bury the story.

I had previously warned about this in my previous blogs. In fairness to some of the credible media in the pool, there is only so much that you can do without the right sources. And most of these sources simply do not trust the media. And for good reason. Chris Roberts, his top team members and primary PR person, David Swofford, have lots of industry contacts; and so leaks of identities of these sources presents a clear and present danger to their livelihood. Which is why when I made this Tweet, I again reminded them of this.

Plus, since this started in July, the narrative has now shifted to “Derek Smart v Chris Roberts”, instead of “Where is Star Citizen? And where did $90m go?” And once it becomes a matter of picking sides, as unflattering as that sounds, it is highly unlikely that I’m going to be favored to be sided with in this fight. That’s just how life works.

My question is that, with all the numerous articles out there, interviews, visits, face time etc. Why is it that nobody wants to ask the tough questions about this project? Primary question being, where did ALL this money go? We have pretty much nothing to show for it – four years later.

In response to the article, Chris Roberts, in continuing the downward trend to disaster, wrote a scathing diatribe that, on the face of it, looks like you’d have to be high to unleash that sort of tirade into the public domain. From the CEO of a $90m+ company no less. And clearly it wasn’t vetted by legal (LOL!! that would be Ortwin). It’s a Gold mine of actionable legal liability. And all it did was lend credence to some of the things being said behind closed doors about him, and which were now coming to light via these sources talking to the media.

The gist of it was that “Derek Smart is bad, this was all his fault, and he was the puppet master”. Oh, and GamerGate. He mentions me a total of 20 times. The author of the article got a single mention. And I didn’t even write the damn thing.

Sound familiar? Yes, that’s the blame game. The same thing that has plagued Chris throughout his video game and movie career. It’s always someone else’s fault.

Anyone reading it can easily see that it was a manifesto of sorts to the Star Citizen White Knight (all apparently going through the motions of sunk cost fallacy) community, in a message that was indicative of “..this is how we are, if you are not this, then you don’t belong here“. We who aren’t part of a cult, just LOLed and went “…OMG!! He’s totally rekt! This is a beautiful thing!

While my original section here was a detailed section by section take down of his entire diatribe, these are the main points that I can now only address unfortunately, as statements of fact and for the public record. There is only so much you can reveal to the public, without revealing your legal strategy. In fact, this may very well be my last Star Citizen blog until some legal action goes forward. So here it goes:

  1. I have never written a Glassdoor review about this or any other company.
  2. I have never been the quoted source for anything written in The Escapist article, nor the other upcoming reports I have been made aware of recently.
  3. I have never had any prior contact with the author of The Escapist article, let alone during the GamerGate uprising.
  4. I am not involved in GamerGate and never have been. In fact, look no further than the SPJAirplay event I was invited to as a neutral party.
  5. I have never made any defamatory statements (truth is an absolute defense btw) against any of the creators of this project.
  6. I have never “doxed” the Roberts Family. Despite people misinterpreting what that even means, posting links to online images, is not doxing. This is not doxing.
  7. I have never written him a letter accusing them of stealing my ideas or anything of the sort. Decades ago, smack talk may have been said that is no different from how things are now when comparisons are made between two products in the same genre.
  8. I have never advocated nor campaigned for this product to fail. My first blog, as well as my communications with Chris, are evidence of my intentions.  Couple those with my legal demand letter, and my intentions are clearly communicated and leave no room for interpretation as to the intent of same.

The doxing rhetoric was a bad attempt at generating outrage. Like everything else, that attempt failed. The material that’s out there, was put out there by them. And what has been linked to, are not public records (State, Federal etc) of any import. We have those. But they have never – ever – appeared in any of my blogs. I know better.

And nobody dragged their children into this. He, right off the bat in 2012, had his entire family in the original pitch video where, like a televangelist, he was begging for money to build his dream. Then, when in the face of claims of nepotism people started trying to prove that Sandi Gardiner was in fact his wife, and amid Star Citizen White Knights claiming that I was making stuff up, people went digging. This is the Internet; when people go digging they find stuff. So they came across an image of Sandi – with her daughter – on pages which linked her to “Roberts”, thus confirming the connection. I didn’t need to do that, we’ve had access to the public records since Summer this year! Without that verification, it would never have appeared in my blogs that they were in fact married. I didn’t use links to public records or pictures to prove this.


Chris Roberts does not have a notable social media footprint of any import. Don’t take my word for it, go look. I should know. I was on his Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn lists. And of course I have access to the RSI forums.

So in trying to connect Liz and I to GamerGate, it was – again – a poor attempt at generating outrage by using a gaming uprising that he has never – ever – before weighed in on, in any capacity. He has no clue what has been going on. All they (Ben, I’m looking at you) did was data mine our social media feeds to find “stuff“.

Then they took it all out of context, mixed it all up in an attempt to cast us in a poor light in order to discredit us and cast a shadow over the article and the integrity of the author.

This was just another attempt to see if he could blame GamerGate for this article and my actions, thus getting his media friends to jump on that bandwagon and deflect attention away from this mess. Once again, blaming the group for something that they didn’t have anything to do with.


When it was clear that he had screwed up, and not having gained the media support that he was looking for, he took it one step further by writing up and releasing a five page legal threat to Defy Media, the owners of The Escapist. That legal travesty of epic proportions, is now at the top of his original diatribe.

This immediately set the Internet ablaze and all armchair attorneys were quick to chime in. White Knights were rejoicing about the take-down of an industry publication that had dared to speak out against their cult. You know, pretty much the same thing they do to anyone, backers or not, who voiced any sort of dissent.

Ortwin, as he had done with me, gave an artificial self-imposed deadline of 24hrs.

I swear, no joke, I laughed so hard I felt something shift in my spleen. I immediately sent out a flurry of Tweets indicating that i) they were bluffing  ii) the cc of the attorneys in the letter was just a veiled toothless threat iii) The Escapist won’t blink

Seriously, it was one long weekend, and the Internet was ablaze with anticipation, flame wars, speculation etc. It was like waiting for election results. Or pregnancy test.

The Escapist didn’t blink.

In fact, they doubled down and issued a short statement at the top of the article.

“Update: The Escapist, notwithstanding Cloud Imperium Games’ notice and posting, stands by its coverage of Star Citizen and intends to continue to investigate the developing story. Since publishing our original stories, we have been contacted by, and are currently interviewing, additional sources corroborating a variety of the reported allegations. Additionally, if Mr. Roberts’ offer for The Escapist to “meet the developers making the game and see how we’re building one of the most ambitious PC games first hand” remains open, we take the opportunity to accept such invitation so as to hopefully provide the public with sufficient information and opportunity to vet such sources’ allegations and claims for themselves. We have also communicated the foregoing directly to Cloud Imperium Games.”

Disclaimer: A bunch of people got in touch with me following Chris’ diatribe and follow-up legal threat, inquiring about Liz’s contact info, as well as offering support, willingness to be deposed if I was moving forward with a lawsuit or if The Escapist was sued etc. And from their statement above, it appears that those same people reached out to them as well.

As was expected, the media fallout, even while everyone was waiting to see what Defy Media would do, was fast and furious. Information Redux has a detailed write-up of his diatribe and the legal letter, while Forbes and others (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) weighed in on the legal ramifications, media ethics – and Derek Smart.


If you recall, in August I had sent them a legal demand letter. Their response was boilerplate personal attacks. Which is why Chris’s diatribe and Ortwin’s legal letter to The Escapist which contained the same, should have come as no surprise. My attorney – the consummate professionals that they are – didn’t take that bait. Instead sticking to the facts in their follow-up response.

Here is where it goes completely – and utterly – bonkers. Seriously. Read on.

On Sept 30th, my attorney emailed me a Cease & Desist letter from Ortwin. That letter had been sent to one of my addresses (I have more than one residence) via FEDEX and I had not received it at the time. Since it was a separate matter from the Star Citizen fiasco, I sent Ortwin a stern but polite email (which is what Chris alluded to in his diatribe). It was a pretty lengthy email which discussed their baseless claims, pattern of conduct etc.

It started with this:

“Dear Ortwin,

While I have yet to receive your letter sent by FEDEX because it was sent to my beach condo (not my permanent address), Keith forwarded a PDF copy of it yesterday. As this is a separate matter from the Star Citizen issue currently being discussed, and not yet assigned to legal counsel, I wanted to send you this email response ahead of my discussing this with Keith and my Florida attorneys.


You can’t intimidate me. It really is that simple. So just stop that already! I don’t scare easily. Having started this in your profoundly ludicrous letter of this past Aug, you appear to be engaged in the same pattern of conduct.

It simply won’t work.

I am willing to discuss matters with you in an amicable and non-threatening manner in order that everyone get on the same page, and hopefully we can resolve these on-going issues before things get completely out of hand. That was the reason for my having Keith send you a letter in August.

But now, you’re starting something else that’s just not going to have the desired results. In fact, all you’re doing now is leaving you all open to the risk of even more causes of action, both civil and criminal.”

And ended with this:


I simply won’t stop pursuing this crowd-funded Star Citizen issue unless and until I get satisfactory answers from you or Chris.  

Any attempts to try and silence or intimidate me, will fail. And in turn, must make things worse and continue to cast you all in a poor light. Your conduct only continues to show that you have something to hide.

As I have stated publicly, I do not believe that you all intended to commit consumer fraud. However, given your past endeavors both here in the US and abroad, coupled with the manner in which this project has been conducted, you all have yourselves to blame for any appearance of malfeasance or improper conduct.

If it looks like a duck.

In fairness to you, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you simply have no clue what is going on with this project. Similarly, I will extend to you the courtesy of further discussions, without accusations or hyperbole or personal attacks. None of which you and your partners have accorded me.

If and when you are willing to talk, with or without attorneys, and find a way to settle our differences, you know how to reach me.”

When my attorneys had finished laughing, this reply was sent to them yesterday. Yes – it coincides with The Escapist decision. It’s not a conspiracy; we have better things to do with our time.


I am in the process of taking legal action against all of them. This is not a matter of if. This decision was made back in August following their response to my legal demand letter. Which is why, knowing that I’m not bluffing, they’re trying to bring criminal activity into play.

The issue is that there is so much stuff that needs to be sourced, verified, written, corroborated, people to talk to etc, that this is not something you toss into the legal system to see what sticks. Especially given the number of law firms it involves. That’s just recipe for wasted time and resources; especially if parts of the claims just end up just being thrown out of court. Key to this is the ToS which has a looming deadline of Nov 2015 at which time the refunds and disclosure of financials become key to it.

As if that wasn’t complex enough, as alluded to in my attorney’s latest letter, Chris and co decide to give us even more material to throw in there, with his diatribe and letter to The Escapist which also involved me.

All these recent legal actions, aside from the reports of them actively seeking investors, are also likely due to CitizenCon which is being hosted this Sat in the UK. It is a major pledge drive and the timing of The Escapist article couldn’t have come at a worse time. That, coupled with the baseless C&D letter sent to me were designed to keep the drama at bay during this week.

As is already evident, these efforts have failed.

Here is what backers of this game don’t know. CitCon is going to be more smoke and mirrors. Just like GAMESCOM and every event before it. They have nothing tangible to show. If they did, all the stuff they have recently shown, would be in backers hands by now and in decent form. In fact, you heard it here first:

  1. They are going to parade all the A-List actors – all of whom cost a ton of money – for SQ42. This despite the fact that the stand-alone game is reported to be almost fifteen months away from completion.
  2. They are going to show the opening cut-scene sequence for SQ42 with Gary Oldman giving his speech, someone flying and landing, NPCs waving etc.
  3. They are going to show Star Marine. Again. It’s still a mess – and nowhere ready for production release. Reports tell me that if it gets released before year end, it would be a miracle.
  4. They are going to show multi-crew. Again. Problem now is that, as of the last report I got, it doesn’t run smoothly at all. And so they are now running the demo on super computers with 16 cores, loads of memory etc. Again, not production release ready.
  5. There is nothing new being released to backers, other than another AC patch apparently.

I have said this in my blogs. The sources coming forward have said similar: these events are designed to be fluff pieces in order to raise money for a game that, for all intent and purposes, will never see the light of day as pitched.

The $90m+ of crowd-funded money that has gone into this project, is on track to be a total loss when this project inevitably faces a catastrophic collapse from running out of money, key talent departing etc. That aside from the fact that they have no choice but to reduce the scope of the project, cut costs etc in order to stay afloat for as long as possible.

And when it collapses and companies start sifting through the debris in bankruptcy court or auction, my guess is that you can probably pick up that $20K (!) cappuccino machine purchased for the new LA office (the one where all work has stopped due to a dispute with one of the contractors), for less than $5K. No, I’m not kidding. They apparently have a $20K cappuccino machine that backers paid for. Because Chris always wanted one. Go ahead, ask him.

My estimates, based on cash on hand reports, had pegged them lasting around 90 days. So if this doesn’t all fold before the end of Q1/16, I would be pleasantly surprised.

Finally, I have recently been made aware that they are now shopping around for investors to shore up their finances or get a bail out. Problem here is that there is nothing there to bail. And with a $90m+ financial liability, which amounts to people who have legally pre-purchased a product and are awaiting delivery, it’s simply too late. The design of this product, ensures that anyone even trying to pick it up for pennies on the dollar, is looking at spending another $50m+, and two years, to finish it as designed. Even if they throw everything out, and just stick with SQ42 and/or Arena Commander, that’s another two years of work. At best.

Chris Roberts no longer has the money nor the time to finish this game. If he did, they won’t be raising funds by selling concept art for a game that has yet to be developed. If what he said was true, that if funding stopped that he could still finish the game, go ahead and call him on that. STOP funding the project. Test him.

Long ago I stopped looking at this game the way I did when I worked for a publisher who gave me a fixed budget to make a retail game. I now look at our monthly fundraising and use that to set the amount of resources being used to develop this game. We keep a healthy cash reserve so that if funding stopped tomorrow we would still be able to deliver Star Citizen (not quite to the current level of ambition, but well above what was planned in Oct 2012). If you combine our in-house staff and outsourced developers, we now number more than 280 people. Your support has created a significant number of jobs in the gaming industry. (And no matter what you might have heard, only a small number of our team is tasked with designing new ships!)

I don’t build dreams. I build games. I know these things.

Star Citizen is finished. THE END.

ps: They are doing refunds if you are persistent. Only now they are asking for a reason. You are NOT legally bound to give a reason. So don’t.


730 thoughts on “Star Citizen – The End-Game


    How would this level of detail work in SC scope? This is not something you can have by use 4 titanX in SLI, this is a game trying to be a Civilization played in first person that looks like Crysis. But its ambition is more than melt the eye, it must have a physics implant that as detailed as the graphic. Realistic physics as they put it, have your quad mount i7 ready. One thing tho no one pointed out, simulate real astrophysics on fictional spaceship design would produce a lot of unforeseen embarrassment.

    Keep masturbate to your wet dream on JPEG ships, you need to spend more than your next rig, on a piece of picture that is free prono on Deviant Art, so much for crowd funding, so much for community, so much for PC master race, so much for 30 something grown ups.

  2. The white knights continue to amaze me. A new “Plain Truth” comm-link comes out, and they spend the time analyzing video game leader Bishop and jump points, while ignoring the blatant… PLAIN TRUTH.

    “Real people died that day in Vega.” How about real people are losing money and real developers lost their jobs (or quit)?

    “No, the accusations I’m going to make lie squarely at the feet of those in power.” Yeah… who is the CEO of CIG and RSI? Co-founder? VP of marketing?

    From the forum, “Bishop and the UEEN command are absolutely and irredeemably incompetent.” Now just look a little past science fiction, please.

    Oh, I couldn’t help but laugh at the OP’s blatant use of the referral code and system.

    It’s impossible to feel sorry for these guys. Especially the two white knights I was acquainted with and share a connection with “Japan.” A few grand admirals are gonna get mauled, and will probably excuse it with “I knew the risks.”

    1. It’s called roleplay. It’s something people do when a game universe has a lot of backstory and lore. Where is the backstory and lore in Line of Defense?
    2. I dont get it, what was all that about? Are they pretending they are fictional characters? And what’s up with this “Japan” thing, you mean “weeboo”?
    1. Its a good article. But not entirety unbiased. Some of the wording i gives it away. But none the less a goos article for anyone who doesnt know is going on with white knights vs black knights thing.
    2. It was an interesting read but just like everything else out there, including your posts, almost all of it is unsure conjecture. What really hit the nail the head is his last paragraph. I would like to know how much money CIG has left myself and would love to go in to their offices and see what is actually working in the engine so far with my own eyes but I don’t see it happening. I have a lot of experience with how a company handles it’s books and no company I can think of is going to release that information if they don’t have to. It’ll be interesting if your “legal action” brings it out but I don’t see it happening anytime soon and by the time you’d get around to getting it through legal action I think the fate of the company will already be known. If anything, until legal action is resolved, months or years down the line, much less will be released to the public than is currently out there from CIG. If anything, being under legal action, may actually help them address some of their problems with having to deal with the public directly.
      1. If anything, the legal pressure you are putting them could put them in a mode of working around the clock to put SOMETHING tangible out to the public before a major investigation would even start.
    3. From the article: “unfairly trying to tear down a game being made in good faith, and which is taking longer than planned and finding new ways to make money with the sole intention of being even better.”

      To be better, it has to be good first. It is not.
      In fact, it’s not even a game yet. And therein lies the core of the problem – money is being collected to make something *that’s not there yet* better. You can’t ask people for money to improve a product you don’t even have yet for long.

      At some point they realize that, what you’re actually asking for, is actually more money to keep the project above the water.

  3. So quick question: If one were to have “helped” secure ships for other people for this game and in the end decides to ask for a refund. What happens to those ships that were gifted from the original purchaser to other individuals? Do the new owners lose the ships or is that deducted from the requested refund amount?
      1. True.

        When asking for a refund, you will probably be told the following (among other things):

        “We cannot refund gifted pledges to and from your account”
        “We cannot refund delivered physical items”
        “We cannot refund any and all subscription payments”

  4. Such a pity about this game,Like Chris Roberts I too have dreamed of such a game in scope and complexity, but been in the IT industry for 30 years now, I know it is almost impossible to deliver such a game with today’s hardware ( average user wont be able to afford the PC that will be required to run this game efficiently with the scope they want to achieve- the gaming servers alone will be near to super computers to handle all the processes).

    I look at examples like “Star Wars The Old Republic” how that was a flop at release and that cost almost £300 million to develop and is currently the biggest flop in the gaming industry to date. Another is Age of Conan, another financial flop and failure at launch.. these are AAA games with huge funding and they fell flat wit hall sorts of coding bugs and really fell short of expectations.

    I am having a hard time trying to envision what Chris Roberts wants to achieve with ONLY $90 million…. For his vision to come close to what I believe he wants to achieve..he will need atleast another $100 million and atleast till 2017 earliest to develop the full game and universe.

    I for one hope (and dream) that he can pull it off with some luck…it would really be an amazing game, but alas I think what we will end up with is going to fall short of a lot of peoples expectations.

    1. Ian: The problem is that the original vision 1.0 pitched back in 2012 was totally doable. Now with vision 2.0, he has blown through over $90m to make a “game”. All the while completely oblivious to the fact that the game he is building is like three triple-A titles all rolled into one; and thus need even more time and 3x the budget.

      1. One can hope that “vision 1” (which is SQ42, “the spiritual successor to Wing Commander”) does come out in 2016 as a full game and everyone that haven’t dared to pledge for this project because of [insert whatever concern here, there are so many to chose from!], or maybe not even heard of it(??), dishes out the $30-$40 that game will retail for and thereby increasing the coffers at CIG. But that’d require more SQ42 focus than the attention that the mile high club is getting! And if they’re going for another $100 mil to finish the PU and have healthy economy for server operations and evolution of the game that’d mean some 3 million “units shipped”, beyond the 1 million they already have.

        Because, like Derek, I pledged to the idea of a spiritual successor to Wing Commander. The rest is just frosting on the cake, but we need a damn cake to put the frosting on in the first place!

        1. Kristoffer: The thing is that even if they focused on SQ42 and got it out in 2016, that game still relies on key components currently missing and/or incomplete & buggy in the engine tech.

          Also, even if they miraculously pulled that off, 700K backers already pre-paid for that. This being a PC game, they’re going to be hard pressed to sell more units than that. Consider that the awesome Elite Dangerous took over a year to even hit 800K sales.

          1. I know, it’s why I said “beyond the 1 million the already have”, ’cause they’ve basically already sold a million copies… (and so far that’s the only metric I reckon that their “1 million” celebration was for, amount of game packages sold).

            I backed E:D too and was unfortunately disappointed with the end product and have only played a few hours of it, never got into it. Still, I played the original Elite so much that I guess I owe Braben 🙂

            It seems to me, as an outsider, that focusing on getting SQ42 out would mean putting things aside that aren’t necessarily a part of that – most importantly the netcoding issues that’s dragging them down, which is also causing issues with multicrew ships, stuff that won’t be an issue in single player game when your computer is the client and server (which I’m not sure if they’re still going with btw?). But as you say, just doing a new bigger hotter Wing Commander should be rather straightforward now that they’ve got the “big game map” figured out and motion capture recording. But what do I know…

            1. Kistoffer: uhm no, they haven’t sold a million copies. They have about 700K backers and around 1m accounts. There is a difference between the two. e.g. people who try the game with free coupons and such, get their own account which also adds to the count.

              1. It’s not that easy because we don’t know what metric represents what – as usual with licensing!

                What counts as a “backer” is the unknown here – is it a physical individual with atleast one game package to his account (which it would logically be), or is it just a game package?

                Because since you can have as many game packages as you’d like to one account, “backer” might not equal “game package”. And since “game package” comes with a copy of the game, as opposed to stand alone ships, it’s in essence a “prepaid preorder”.

                That’d mean if half of those 700k backers have more than one package they have 1 million prepaid preorders. And yes, alot of backers do have more than one “game package”.

                But I don’t think they are publically listing the amount of packages sold anywhere?
                (this is all speculation until they start being very specific about what metrics they are using, or someone getting access to some financial records)

                1. Call me stupid but I don’t see how you can use that spreadsheet to get to the one metric I’m curious about which is amount of $45-$50 “game packages” sold, since that’s the one that comes closest to the conventional metric of “units shipped” or “preorders” in this project? It’s the same with Blizzard titles, one account can have several licenses for WoW for example, but they prefer to look at “units shipped” rather than how many individuals there are.
              2. 780k sales but point still stands Derek accounts with fly free add to the users not backers, backers are people who’ve bought packages also the subscribers/monthly donators aren’t added into the total either for fundraising purposes. I don’t believe anybody public has knowledge of how much that is?(not to my knowledge anyway)Details of the AMD and Saitek deals as well as monetization of videos etc also aren’t known
                As to SQ42 it wont be finished in 2016 but it was always planned to be released in stages as long as they don’t release 2 missions and say that’s stage 1 I wont be too angry as it’ll prove the techs far enough done to finish the game, plus the game (SQ42)is actually for the vast majority in Erin’s studio and I have great and justified faith in Erin I don’t think we should predict future sales on any game because this is a genre that’s been neglected forever and nobody expected it to hit the heights it has funds wise tbh it’ll depend on how good the VP of marketing is at the job at that point.
      2. Indeed, I see that as well. He wants 3 AAA games all in one and majority of those games alone should set a developer back $100-$200 million each. Anything less then that will give you a subpar game pretty much like an Easter egg…all looking good on the outside with no substance inside.

        The Concept of the game sounds great but with such a small budget the end product with all he has envisaged will be a empty shell of its full potential….unless as you have said they get “bailed” out or sell off to a AAA company that can inject the rest of the money needed to fully complete this title.

        Perfect example of this is what Eve online has tried to do with Eve Online – Dust 512 -EVE: Valkyrie – that is what Robert’s wants PLUS the ability for characters to walk seamlessly between the different aspects of the games. The budgets alone for developing the Eve titles cost more then his $90 million budget.

        I would love to see this endeavor come to fruit….but at what quality and what substance will we get it with such a low budget.

      3. And of course, as Derek has said many times before, we have man at the helm with a track record of not delivering such projects even when he was being managed by a publisher.
      4. Let’s assume SQ42 will be released sometime in 2016. Is it possible, that SQ42 will be such a success, that from the revenue coming from that game will support the development of Star Citizen? I think this is the scenario they have in mind, but then SQ42 has to be a game with 90% reviews across all medias right? How good SQ42 has to be, to make enough profit to fund Star Citizen?
        1. Padre: Yeah, seeing the engine problems with Star Citizen, that’s what I think they’re shooting for. I don’t believe that it will work. See my other response.

          1. Derek if they did or do push SQ42 would they be able to do it without the 3rd person animations approach(the realistic aims/viewing) or would this require massive reworks?
            1. HatBlappington: It depends on if they are going to keep the game in either first person, third person or both. Either way, judging by how broken Star Marine is, coupled with what we’re seeing in the PTU of late, I’d said they have a long way to go.

      5. You have to consider the number of people who backed this game at this point *might* be close to the ceiling on marketshare for this type of game. SQ 42 is already paid for by a large number of backers, so they need a bunch more to really leverage continued PU development costs. Not sure the “space sim” has come back to AAA quality in terms of audience, but that’s yet to be seen.

        I suspect they will have other sources of revenue currently, the number you see on their funding page only represents backers crowd funding pledges at the moment. Who knows what other business deals they have made/sold or are about to sell.

        Still lots of post production work to do on 10 hours of gameplay footage for it to be ready, I would say at least 9-12 months just for that, never mind the programming elements that will need to be done to make the story line feel dynamic.

    2. TBF I agree with some of what you’re saying but SWTOR does that 300million include the marketing budget? The reason I bring this up is as a common thing from my point of view I see it bandied around that 50 percent of game dev cost is marketing.
      This game can’t be done for 90 mill hence they haven’t closed funding and its ongoing I know what game I backed and what challenges(sort of) that they are facing I put 400 dollars into it but instead of throwing more money into it my funding is dry until the baby PU releases if that delivers some of what I hope for I have a friend in South Africa who gets screwed by costs due to the conversion /cost of living so I’ll buy him a starter package does this make me mad/stupid or a white knight? The PC issues/requirements are gonna be high but visual fidelity in all pitches has been put in the high end as in it high end requirements hardware wise

      Also to clarify a few things
      1) The videos are paid for by subscribers its a separate fund and doesn’t come off of the total funding
      2) I am in my 40s I don’t need a penis car (I don’t even drink) I game to this end I spent roughly 2000 usd upgrading my PC to play games if I need to buy a second GPU or whatever component to experience this or any game I play at its best I will do wether it be 4k monitors or………….
      3) Derek is 100 percent right in my opinion all the early backers from kickstarter should be offered a 100 percent no bullshit no time constrained refund when the November time comes round
      4) Derek nowhere does it say nov 1st so pls stop linking the 5 day timer clock cos I’d argue refund time is when the kickstarter ended RSI could legitimately argue it’s anytime up to the end of November (this sort of things makes you look less credible IMHO)

      1. HatBlappington: I pay a set of very expensive and knowledgeable attorneys to figure stuff out. I am inclined to listen to them than someone on the Internet. Nov 2015 is the month in which they have to give “no questions asked refunds” and provide the financials.

        1. November is the month you say it yourself right there so where is the point in this first stuff? its like the GIFs of bugs serves no real purpose and looks imo childish
          Your points have real grounds pls stick to it attacks like that just look cheap and childlike to me its the sort of stuff I expect from my kids
    3. What you didnt have in those MMOS was a large % of the player base having game assets they could dump on the game economy for real $ once they decided the game wasn’t for them.

      Soon after launch there was very little RMT business to be had in SWTOR and may other MMOs.

      Now with an expectation of ongoing refunds, the Grey Market and gifting, you might expect there to be a whole host of additional issues in the SC PU because there could easily be a massive dumping of in game assets (ships) at various times.

      Even if the game makes it to launch, these dumps of assets will undermine game play.

      Over time, those that stick with SC will tend to accumulate SC assets as the development timescales and dumping events string out.

      So even If the game makes it to launch backers are gambling on a lot of low probability events coinciding for them to not see a huge or total write off of the funds they have given to CR et Al.

      Right now there is very little potential pay off for most gamers.

      CIG has had an opportunity to prove demand and develop some of the vision.

      As consumers we might as well let them risk their own money and those of investors to try and bring the game to fruition now.

      If the game launches and is successful, a player will be able to pick up almost any ship for a not too different price than they can “get” a jpeg now.

    1. So I did look at your twitter, and I’m actually disappointed. Where is the fire-filled precision of old school Derek Smart?
      You’ve fallen to spam posting funny bugs, and complaining about the spelling and enforcement of rules in a forum.

      Not to mention you didn’t even count the number of comments on that post correctly.

      These are sad days when even you are not being your usual careful self.

      Why do I get the feeling that you are pushing yourself to hard on this? I know you swore to never back down and all, but you can do better then this.

      All you are making me do is want to download the game and try and find other bugs. You’re not helping your case of claiming vaporware. If anything, you are helping CIG find bugs,because you know that they will see it!

      So goodluck on the war, although you may want to go do another take on “The Art of War”.

      Seems like you are getting rusty.

    2. This is not a big deal at all! CIG still has their VP of Marketing. Tracy’s departure simply frees up a lot of budget dollars that can now be re-allocated. The VP of Marketing will be expanding her role to Lead Designer, after all, I’m pretty sure she has a graduate degree from Berkeley in Design. Oh and don’t worry about anything–here buy this new concept ship instead–it will do really cool things–promise!
        1. What would be almost priceless would be the thoughts (or fly on the wall video) of the Actors that acted with her on SQ42.
          1. I hate to say this, but not a shred of evidence I’ve seen from her has indicated she can even act. I can see her being hired as a model because she has nice features and is “exotic” looking, but she is WAY too stiff to be an actor. Empire report is a perfect example of her acting in-ability…or even those ATV skits they did.

            When I heard she was in SQ 42 I face palmed…then Ben goes and says she should have had her name in the credits with the likes of the other AAA screen actors they paid to be apart of this nonsense.

            Anyway to end this rant, I don’t think the other actors were hard on her, she probably liked her even because was trying really hard and is the Directors wife.

            Actors of that calibre are rarely indecent towards those with less skill than them…they are the best and they worked with what they had.

            All that said, curious to see how it all plays through in the game…i’m sure her dialogue will be heavily edited/ADR with specific direction to get it to work. With enough time and cheats you can make even the worst actors come to life.

    3. People change jobs … if this was a big deal, then more then one major company/game would have toppled by now.
      Nice try at creating a panic again though.. but no cigar.
      1. Richard: You’re just being silly. In the history of the gaming industry, when key people leave/terminated at this stage of a project, it is always a sign of trouble. I’ve been around long enough to know and see that happen time and time again.

  5. My god… Dan Tracy is gone? He was one of the few devs I really watched back before the feature creep goals. Well before the $23 million mark.

    No shit Chris is throwing out everyone that is needed to finish the game. Derek knows, I suspected and waited for confirmation, but shouldn’t people wake up by now?

    Chris keeps asking for more money because he is a pathetic manager. He wastes money like there is no tomorrow. Then there is other “stuff.”

    At this point, I have almost zero sympathy or pity for those that did not attempt to get their refund. Derek has been warning people, and even if he didn’t, there were plenty of warning signs. In my case, it was the departure of 2 producers and constant sales. I also never forgot the failure that was Freelancer.

    I don’t expect white knights, cultists, or zealots to realize how much of a loss Dan Tracy is. It may take dismissing Ben Lesnick (unlikely) to even make them begin to budge.

    Now I expect CIG to release the Crucible repair ship within the next 2-3 weeks, bring back quantity-limited sales of Phoenix Constellations, maybe separate P-72 Archimedes sales, just in time for the Nov anniversary sale. A wild card would be a “luxury sale” with the 890 jump making a return.

    Comment readers should get their refunds now if they haven’t.

      1. I would like to bet he isnt as good as people might think and/or hes not a good fit for a German team based in Germany. His resume doesn’t suggest he is an especially smart guy.

        It will be interesting to see how this pans out though and I may be doing him a disservice which someone that know more about his skill set than me will be able to highlight.

          1. Layoff poor Porky. He is right! The all-talented Ms. Gardiner will be assuming the role that Dan vacated. She speaks German after all! What other qualifications do you need? As Porky pointed out, he isn’t as good as most people think. Heck, folks would think that ol’ Dano wrote the book on the CryEngine 3. Oh wait—he did write that book… But who cares! If SG had been doing the job we would be playing Star Citizen right now. Instead we had Dan doing things like making ships and actually getting them playable in engine. But yeah–companies have turn over all the time.

            Seriously, what successful project doesn’t lose all their vital, experienced staff and replace them with new folks when “supposedly” 2/3’s of the way complete?

          2. Fair enough. I am definitely an idiot !

            If I am wrong on the skills this chap has I bow to your knowledge on these matters.

            However, it reminds me of some of the other concerns i think I am right in saying you have raised relating to the way the different studios work together and the overall programme management.

            There is definitely a cultural element involved when American and European teams get together and start work (corporate culture wise and nationality differences in approach and style)

            I do therefore wonder how well the teams and individual nationalities are working together just on these grounds alone.

      2. Yes, I found out via your tweet. Sadly, the reddit responses prove both of us correct.

        Frankly, I cannot believe how beyond idiotic they are. I’ve been around for a long time, and they just let it go “just like that.” I wonder if Mark Skelton leaving with his golden shirt of doom will change any minds.

        The zealots have reached a new path of enlightenment. Leaving CIG is the path of promotion.

          1. I’m in it for the long haul because I’m a 700k (23 Jan 15) something backer. I don’t have the luxury of being a kickstarter refund case. A refund isn’t and option for most of us under the new TOS. For now I’m just not putting any more money into and praying for something that’s released that shows me you don’t know what your talking about. I don’t really need the $500 bucks back (or I wouldn’t have put the money into it in the first place) but there’s a big part of me that hopes Roberts can somehow still pull this project off despite all your doom and gloom.
            1. Honestly, I understand this mindset, I gave ~$300 to Shenmue 3 and don’t mind if the game sucks or never gets finished.

              But in what universe is it OK to use a 2nd chance platform like crowdfunding to expand into things CR clearly has no idea if he can build.

              A company who spends their own money, expecting a possible billion dollar return, can afford to waste untold millions in development time experimenting with “dream” features, throwing money at problems, and delaying till the end of time, but even they are more restrained than CR. How do you justify taking that kind of risk with the hard earned money of innocent nerds, who everybody knows can get overly obsessive about things they like, and go too far.

              If after $94mil your $500 is still needed, this project is doomed. Get a refund (saying you’ll contact your bank to reverse the payment seems to motivate them) and if they deliver anything better than a massively bug filled AC 2.0, you can put your money back in. Until CIG prove they can actually deliver, your money is just enabling the exploitation of more people going donation overboard.

              94 million!!! Apparently chump-change to Chris Roberts’ true vision. Nobody has a problem with that? You’re all sick. If Yu Suzuki did this I’d spit in his face.

  6. So I’ve been following all this with great interest. A little bit of background. I’ve been playing space sims since Elite on the Spectrum 48k so quite a while. When I first heard about SC I was very excited….I had been waiting for Elite 4 for half of my life and CR seemed to promise exactly what I was looking for. I was also suspicious of David Braben’s Kickstarter when it started as at the time it seemed to be launched on the coat tails of SC’s KS campaign. I had read many interviews over the years about Bell/Braben’s fallout and the fact that Elite 4 had become like Duke Nukem, made me less than eager to back their campaign. I missed the whole WC thing but played Privateer 2 and quite liked that. I backed the original SC concept/vision and talked 2 friends into backing.
    As the project drifted,shifted and their vision changed one of my friends wanted out and inquired innocently enough about selling his account or getting a refund. He was instantly flamed,insulted and banned on the CIG forums by some of their more toxic forum members. Anyway, he requested a refund and got it….and as far as he is concerned the whole concept and community is poison. Meanwhile…I didn’t like the direction CIG was taking. SC started to be shaping up like the X-Factor tv show….all spin and PR and no content. Hangar module came and went and Arena Commander was fun for maybe a few hours but the HUD, controls…basically everything were so far off the mark that I just stopped logging in and patching 20GB or so. During this time I found myself more drawn to Elite:Dangerous and their very structured development cycle. I eventually backed at what I considered a high price for Premium Beta and it was totally the game I was looking for and continues to develop and grow in a professional way.
    When Derek raised his issues over SC I had to agree that it also confirmed some of the issues I had with the game (or lack of). The campaign had become more like a pyramid scheme of selling virtual goods rather than developing a game. If L. Ron Hubbard was alive I am sure he would be very impressed with the model CIG have used. I watched the CitizenCon presentation and could not believe the overacting at the start of the presentation…I also felt I didn’t really see anything different from what I had seen before. I’m aware Derek has a polarized reputation on the web but to be honest I am kind of thankful he has flagged some of these issues that are a major concern for backers. I WAS going to ask for a refund but as I pledged so little (right at the beginning of the campaign) I want to see where it is going to go. I think CIG will be forced to release something with acceptable content soon….be it a stripped down SQ42/Star Marine or this Baby PU/Crusader module people are talking about. It’s interesting when I look back at David Braben’s ED pitch I was like “He is NEVER gonna make that game. Sure we have been waiting so long for it already.” Yet here it is and even though it’s not without it’s faults and is somewhat stripped down I believe they practice a very efficient development cycle. Even though some of their Alpha/Beta buy-in prices were extremely high you don’t see them sticking the arm in and literally fleecing their backers for virtual spaceships that are a “one time only offer”. I really would like Chris Roberts to take a step back from everything and examine what he is doing. I loved his initial pitch but now I, along with many other people I’m sure, feel disappointed and let down by him. If it is at all possible for them I think they should dial it back to the original vision and deliver what people backed in the beginning. I didn’t pay £25 to watch tv shows/competitions and basically fluff devoid of content to stoke their virtual sales. I paid for a space sim and I am pretty sure I could go back to play I-WAR 2 or something like that and I know it’s going to be 10 times the game the SC will end up being…if it ever gets completed. As a final thought CR should do a special of his “10 for the Chairman” show, where he tries to answer some of the “difficult” questions surrounding where they hell this game is going. That is one CIG video I would be interested in watching.
  7. Do you think some day they going to reach billion fund? And become bigger than Microsoft and Apple combined? Is more people backing this or existing fanboy spend more?
  8. I know how to burn their JPEG ships: If one day CIG go down, those designs will be sold to other studios, and eventually show up in other games, that’s how the thing can be burned.
  9. Rules at Kickstarter :

    The Estimated Delivery Date is the creator’s estimate. The date listed on each reward is the creator’s estimate of when they will provide the reward — not a guarantee to fulfill by that date. The schedule may change as the creator works on the project. We ask creators to think carefully, set a date they feel confident they can work toward, and communicate with backers about any changes.

    Kickstarter doesn’t offer refunds […]

    You can change or cancel your pledge at any time before the project’s funding deadline (with one exception)[…] Once the project has been funded, you can only cancel or change your pledge by making special arrangements directly with the creator.

    Neither the ETA nor the refunding is mandatory to CIG.
    A Game that size takes time. As the project evolved, the ETA couldn`t be met. Thats just logical. Look at development time of other titles. Take GTA V, take Duke Nukem Forever, take Starcraft 2, try Battlecruiser 3000 AD. Every of this title had far more time than CIG. Actually, did you ever saw anyone make such an efford to calm everyone? Did you ever see EA talking to it customer every week about their progress?

    Just relax folk, and enjoy the ride

    1. I’m sure this game will come out sometime (like you say, AAA games takes a few years to develop) and it may be good when it does come out. I’m over $1000 and I don’t see much reason to panic either.

      HOWEVER!!! CIG are the masters of “carrot on a stick”. Saying just enough for everyone to think stuff will be out next week and do everything they can to keep the income stream alive which is starting to hurt their credability. I’m one of those who originally pledged Colonel package and later upgraded to Super Hornet because it was supposed to be the über dog fighter – since then they’ve come up with two bigger, more expensive über fighters… pretty soon we’ll be able to pledge for a Bagal for $5000! And the entire “no more LTI” “ok LTI on concepts” “ok LTI on variants” and so on. If they could just stop with that entire stuff they’d have alot more credibility as far as I’m concerned.

      But the one good thing about this entire “Derek Smart vs CIG” is that they’ve seemed to be more focused on getting something out to us, like them scraping the small module releasing and aiming for a big release of 2.0 “soon” which one could see as a way for them to show everyone that “look, we’re making the game DS said we couldn’t make”.

  10. I noticed you have escalated things on your twitter. Can’t say I blame you, considering how far others work to cyberharass you on a daily basis. If the reddit thing was fair, the sub that attacks you would have also been shutdown. The fact it still remains, and is still home to plenty of attacks against you… is totally one-sided. I suspect a conflict-of-interest from the reddit admin side. Though I’ve also heard the reddit admins are hardly known for being fair or righteous, such as celebrity photo leaks.

    I don’t know much, if anything proper about defamation, cyber harassing, how people actually gain the identifying info to dox another (beyond the obvious self revealing), but I really hope you manage to put them in their place. The lengths Star Citizen supporters have gone is way beyond acceptable. Cultists or zealots are still too nice to describe them.

    I’ll be honest, and state that I also fear being doxed in some shape or form. I was around to see the Mechwarrior Online fiasco and how a toxic community manager doxed a player outright. I’m sure CIG can do the same, if not go further. It wouldn’t be smart, but they haven’t done anything smart lately.

  11. Another week, another development update for week of Oct 18. “Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 & Star Marine”.

    So many interesting details in those bullet points. But wait… lets look at something from the week of July 5…

    I see lots of bullet points for the week of July 5. CIG is making progress. We should be happy. A game is being made, and this list of blockers is proof that the team is doing the best they can to fix and release a product for us.

    3 months have gone by. Have people forgotten that Star Marine is not out yet? Illfonic’s work was nearing completion? Since when did bullet points become a sign of making progress? The only progress is the 1.3 AC patch, and it doesn’t even introduce new ships let alone Pirate Swarm coop. The Drake Herald ($80) was supposed to be nearly complete, and since it’s a single pilot ship, should be pretty easy to implement.

    Once again, CIG is simply maintaining a pretty image of progress. Who knows how much money is being spent to maintain this image.

    Bonus points: What the hell happened to the Xian Khartu ($150)? That ship was originally sold at the end of LTI sale in Nov 2013. Next thing you know, Chris didn’t think the ship was “alien” enough, and scrapped it in order to remake it more alien. I remember seeing it as kind of flyable.

    New concept sale on June 20th 2014 –

    Yeah, Chris and Ben. Please keep making more new JPEGs. Your cultists will lick up everything you give them, actual progress be damned. I just see money thrown away on a daily basis. I hope a few more people wake up, and soon.

    Such a shame that people I once respected, who fought to give LTI to everyone, are the same white knights that keep saying 5-6 years are needed and we should just be patient.

  12. I was hoping this game wouldn’t turn out along the lines of MWO online, it took them two years past the original release date to get 25% of the original content promised in their kick starter.
  13. On this week’s “Around The Verse” ( ) at about the 1:45 mark they have a few laughs about “The CitCon Speech”. Do you (or, really, your sources) have any more information about that? That bit in ATV seemed like another bizarre addition/reference to it – there’s not even any clarification involved.

    I know, I should probably just forget about it as there’s probably no “there!” there anymore (if there was to begin with)…

    1. MKDAWUSS: Nothing much left to be said really. Everyone expected that she was going to quit. It’s all about “look at me” drama. She’s an “actress” remember?

  14. I’ve asked for a refund, however they have not replied for more than 3 weeks now! not even denied my request. as this is not just $275 (you can * 15) I consider this as they do have some financial issues.
  15. So after feeling around a bit, I think that I can glean what CIG’s current battle plan is:

    They are going to pour everything they’ve got left into finishing SG42. Everything else is getting put on hold until this is done. Total silence about their finances is going to be maintained so as to retain the loyalty of the whales, because they’re going need that income to finish the job. The important thing to remember here is that this just might work. If they can, indeed, continue to sell enough pictures of spaceships to get the bare-bones SG42 out the door then they’re saved (or so they think). Meaning that this strategy may just work… sort of.

    As a single-player game, SG42 is not beholden to any of the complexities of MMO design and, maybe even more importantly, it does not have to deliver ANY of the pay-to-win spaceships. They don’t need a PU, they don’t need big 64bit maps, and in fact they don’t need much more than what they’ve already got with Arena Commander. All they need from to make “Wing Commander VI” is some live actors & mocap work… and hey, look what CIG has been showing off lately.

    So this is where the win/lose paradox comes into play. Finishing SG42, which is something that honestly won’t require developing any new technologies, would be a massive propaganda victory for CIG. They will take it, put it up on a pedestal and say “Look, you see? Derek Smart was wrong! The game WILL be finished!” and all the White Knights, fanbois and (most importantly) whales will take it as divine providence. They will go crazy on the internet and, even more disturbing, they will find this as justification to throw even more money at CIG than ever before. Which is important, because CIG is going to need it.

    “Is that so bad?” the fans will say, “after all this does mean the game will someday be finished, right?” What will be completely overlooked/forgotten/deliberately pushed out of the consciousness of the fanbois is that CIG will have spent $90mil to make a game that should not have cost more than $10mil to $15mil at most, ergo SG42, aka Wing Commander VI. Never mind where the rest of the money went, dear fanboi, because it is time to open you wallets once again to help CIG finish the project. Another $500mil should do the trick, I think. Or not. Come back and ask us again in a few more years after we’ve blown through all of that, too.

    And you know what? They’ll get it. That’s the sad part. They will most definitely try to leverage SG42 into a wave of donations that will make everything that they’ve gotten so far look like chump change… and it will work. Because Roberts understand these people better than we do. They don’t care if SC ends up costing a billion dollars. They will pay it, and happily, so long as they believe it will be finished some day. That’s why, I believe, CIG is now focusing on one module at time instead of trying to do it all at once. They know that so long as they can get SOMETHING out there every couple of years then they can keep the money flowing in.

    Never mind that that most of that money is going to waste. Never mind that, in the end, CIG will end up spending five or six times what SC should actually cost to make. That won’t even register in their brains. Because at this point their “post purchase rationalization” has reached the point where all that matters now is being RIGHT. Getting ripped off means nothing. All they want, more than anything else, is to be able to someday say “Nya nya, we were right, Derek Smart was wrong, we rule, you’re all poopy-heads” and they don’t care if they’re giving that speech from the top of the cardboard box that they’re living in after they sold their house for more spaceship pictures. Never mind that they will be bragging about what is basically the F35 of video games.

    So the question is: Can anything be done to stop this? Because, as twisted as this plan is, it will work. They’ll get their billion dollars, spend 10% of it on making a game and 90% on champagne filled hot tubs, and then call it a victory because, yeah, eventually it did get finished.

    Ideally, the best outcome for everyone would be a lawsuit shutting them down early and then another studio – a more reputable studio that knows how to handle money responsibly – takes over and finishes the game properly, on time, and under budget. But I don’t see that happening. Right now the best we can hope for is that litigation drags it down in flames, earning the eternal hatred of the whales, even while saving their homes from foreclosure. The worst is what I’ve just described – the slow milking of the whales over many more years for many, many more millions via a strategy of carefully controlled partial-completions, timed perfectly to raise excessive income far above & beyond what would actually be needed to do the job right.

    Derek, you have said before that Chris has learned nothing about finance over the years. What I fear now is that Chris finally has learned something about finance… something really, really evil.

    1. Von: That’s a fantastic synopsis and is precisely what I’m thinking as well. Though I don’t believe that SQ42 will be completed in 2016. At least not without chopping it.

      I don’t believe that either Star Citizen or SQ42 will see the light of day in the form it was pitched, let alone if ever. But maybe that’s just me.

    2. You hit the nail on the head VON , Now if only people could wake up and see through the haze of pipe dreams CIG has been selling them . Latest concept sale The Endeavour was a classic example of CIG misleading and false advertising strategy aimed at milking its cult . That ship idea was cooked up in a pipe dream over a few weeks its pure Hollywood, no game designer are engineer on this planet would promise all that in a MMO ship . No way on earth a ship like that is going to be able to play a part in a large MMO as they described it .That tech is at least 10 years away if not longer
  16. We seem to be in the “lets go quiet phase” or “bury in under the carpet” at the moment.

    After all the threats and the post about the escapist article(s) and Derek, we have had the next con in Manchester and as far as CIG seem to be concerned it is business as usual. More ships, more fluff and no obvious action on the legal threats to Derek and The Escapist etc….

    There is a false consensus effect (a form/similar condition to psychological projection) evident in the way many fans react to any suggestion that CR et Al are either mistaken in what they can deliver, have delivered or are remotely capable of doing anything wrong.

    In any project the project plan, deliverables, milestones, resources and finances matter.

    It is slight of hand to shift attention from one to the other and naïve of fans not to see what is going on.

    Why would it be so hard for CIG to post something approaching a fan friendly Project Plan on the website. then we could see the progression and changes to the plan as they happen (in some form) ?

    Finance disclosure is one thing, but if you are going to post progress videos etc etc a simplified project plan would be far less resource intensive and yield a lot more actual info rather than marketing spin.

      1. But then when a lawsuit officially starts, the masses will know even less since there will presumably be a gag order on the case, and everyone “in the know” can’t share what they know to the outside public.
  17. It is now official; I have placed in a request for a refund for nearly the $2000 I put into this scam with the banking institution standing by to just simply pull the money from Cloud Imperium Games if they don’t comply with the refund request.

    It’s a shame really; I was really looking forward to this game but CitizenCon 2015 was unimpressive and seemed to scream “run as far away from this game as you possibly can.”

    1. No no, Thorne, you must be getting something mixed up. As a lot of magazines point out after the CitizenCon: CR assured people with the shown material yet again that they are on track and everything will be delivered as pitched. There is nothing strange going on, regular business.

      In fact, if any, you should double your pledge, simply because of all the uproar, as the general Subreddit tone suggests.

    2. Well, the refund has been completed with no fuss whatsoever. They did it rather diligently and quickly that I have no complaints actually. I wonder if anyone is going to step up and actually go through the motions of filing a lawsuit. I’m of the opinion “I have my money back; it’s no longer my concern” but I know there are people who probably poured more money into this game than I did and probably can’t really afford it who are being swindled.
    3. This was exactly the way I felt. That + the referral scheme and you can see red flags everywhere.
      I had request for refund the monday following CitCon week-end.
      I’ve just received the anwser today, so I guess it’s about a 2 weeks time before you get your.
      I guess I won’t have the refund since I’m not kickstarter backer, but they responded me in a very polite way, asking also for the reasons.
      I hope you’ll get your refund.

      Don’t worry, We can reboot the SC adventure , only this time if it goes through Crowdfunding, it would be nice to peer it with Crowd-developping as well. Public and transparent about funds would be a good begining.
      Meanwhile, have you tried Elite Dangerous? They are doing exactly what CIG should have done : releasing the game slowly but surely, imputing new interesting contents on every updates.
      I’m really enjoying the game.

  18. Derek, I’m a backer and just found out about this mess. Is there any solid proof that supports your claim?
    1. Wow, the White Knights reciting from their rebuttals script by the 2nd comment. I ask this, now, in complete honesty and without exaggeration: Do these guys seriously do anything except sit around all day, patrolling the entire internet, for signs of dissent?

      Because I’m thinking they need to stop being Roberts’ unpaid minions and instead go make the big bucks working for the NSA or something. That’s a marketable skill to the alphabet agencies. They should get paid for that kind of obsessive behavior, y’know?

    2. It’s an excellent article that Both Chris Roberts and yourself Derek would not hurt if you both read and digested the contents. I think the views expressed are balanced, not spiteful and i completely agree on his point that watching the great game developers of our time fight and get lawyers involved is not nice. It poisions the atmosphere, and benefits no one. Perehaps its time to make the points you are both invested in, but drop the lawyers, and the personal attacks. Lets see what happens your predictions are clear, Roberts are also firmming up. Lets wait and see?
      1. Tenandra: I agree. However, you ARE aware that I tried SEVERAL times to get together with CR and hash out a discussion, right? So it’s all on him, not me. His ego gets the better of common sense.

        1. Yes i am aware and I agree, about his ego, and as was stated in the article that decision not to talk to you was not a clever move, and could / may have placed a lot of other peoples money at risk. I guess from one point you have to think if this fails as you feel it might then Chris is going to hit rock bottom it will define him in history wing commander will not be his legacy, and for that reason i see no point in pushing this any further than you have things have now been set in motion its surely now a wait and see what happens event.
          Ultimately, we all would like to see the game made, i am fortunate in that i see money on kick starter projects as dead money so when i became a backer i figured well it might work..

          leaving on a positive note thanks for the article, i am off to buy a space game as Ascent looks like a game i might enjoy, how did i miss it?

          1. Tenandra: Lots of good indie space comes coming out. Ascent (Early Access), Rebel Galaxy (Early Access), Infinite Battlescape (Kickstarter), Everspace etc

    3. That was a really good article, it relieved some of my fears and reinforced others.

      I may not have experience with building video games (I once wrote pong is basic, is that enough? =P) but it’s been pretty clear that Star Citizen is either not talking about the problems they face, or they just spin it into a positive. James Hicks’ article is basically what I’ve come to expect from an honest and open developer, and I’ve been waiting for months to hear something like it from CIG. Instead amid radically growing concerns, we’ve gotten little more than marketing fluff, Chris’s 8hour rant to the escapist, and Sandi crying. Hell, they often try to sound like a non-profit, so what’s with all these trade secrets and competitors somehow keeping them from being honest?

      I am still willing to reconsider the viability of this project, but so far CIG and the fanboy defense squad have done a truly horrible job dealing with concerns.

  19. In case you all were wondering why my Twitter account was on lockdown these past 24hrs. I set it to protected. Below is what I just posted on Twitter.

    To my 5K+ followers….

    Star Citizen fanatics, in addition to trying to burn my social media accounts in order to silence me, have orchestrated a protracted attack designed to harass and defame myself, my friends and my many social media followers.

    Even if they succeed in burning my social media accounts, it will be of NO consequence.

    They already succeeded in getting my TwitchTV channel kicked off-line two weeks ago during CitCon in order to kill my pre-planned commentary on the Star Citizen “Citizens Conned” event in Manchester. They did this by spamming the TwitchTV support queue with bogus reports, resulting in a 24hr auto-ban of the account, thus killing the planned commentary.

    This week alone, they’ve had my Reddit account shadow-banned using dodgy and bullshit “doxing” reports which they doctored and sent to sympathetic Reddit admins. When you have a community of over 700K+ of which a sizable number are fanatics, you can expect to find them and/or their friends everywhere. It’s like Scientology all over again.

    And now they’re trying to burn my Twitter account using the same methods.

    With unwavering certainty I stand firmly on my opinion that this Star Citizen project is now an epic scam of global proportion. And it should concern all of us in gaming. That aside from the fact that recent developments have squarely moved it into the realms of MLM shenanigans; making it nothing but a desperate money grab.

    I also know that I am not alone in this opinion. With over 700K+ backers, even 25% being White Knights, means that I am outnumbered.

    But despite that, I will never – EVER – quit this fight. Even amid death threats I have received and which I have shared online, I will see this to the very bitter END. Anyone who was around during The Great Flamewar of the nineties, and which mostly played out on Usenet and a few online communities, knows that I’m NOT the sort of person to be trifled with. I have absolutely NO concept of the term “SURRENDER” let alone “QUIT”. Especially when I know that I am onto something.

    A lot of these fools don’t know me and those who do, fail to realize that I have survived almost 30 yrs in this industry out of sheer passion, tenacity & resilience. People simply don’t scare me. They never did.

    I will win this, simply because I know that I am RIGHT. There is absolutely NO way on this God’s Earth whereby RSI/CIG will EVER get away with this. They have NO choice but to come clean about this project and be held accountable for what I now believe to be the early stages of a sudden and catastrophic collapse of this project.

    The White Knight minions who are behaving in a cult-like manner, are largely inconsequential to the big picture. They’re just annoying.

    This is a $93m+ crowd-funded project with ZERO accountability & headed by shady execs; some of who had ties to Gizmondo, a company that suddenly collapsed, after being found to be a major global money laundering operation. This is the subject of my next detailed blog, currently awaiting legal clearance prior to publication.

    It is due to things like this that I have been taking legal action – with MY own money – in order to get them to provide financials as promised, so that the backers (those who aren’t in a cult) are assured that the project can in fact be completed and that the crowd-funded funds have in fact been spent ON this project and NOTHING else as per clear FTC guidelines.

    Instead they’ve attacked me; and sent out messages designed to send their mindless horde of Star Citizen White Knights to attack me and others online. In so doing, there is NO corner of the Internet where a question of accountability for this project, doesn’t evoke my name. They made me the bogey man in an attempt to continue to deflect attention away from the tough questions now being asked since my first July blog. And they continue to attack ANYONE who even voices ANY sort of dissent against this project.

    And these incessant attacks have been orchestrated by the White Knights heavily vested in this pipe dream and who are so fearful of ONE man, that they are willing to continue casting the Star Citizen community in a poor light in order to achieve their goals (nobody has ANY clue what that is btw).

    I am going to burn ALL their JPEG ships to ashes. There will be NOTHING left by the time I am done. NOTHING.

    All I did was write a series of blogs. Then they declared war.

    Now we’re at war.

    1. I know you’re trying to be funny here, but you’re kind of invalidating all of your earlier claims of “not wanting them to fail.” And this whole “tough guy” routine is what I’d expect from a 15 year old fanboi, not from a 40+ year old adult. Yes, we know you don’t care about the White Knights. You’ve told us that in every entry of this blog. Ironic, no? Yet the more times you verbally Hulk-out the more you are giving weight to the White Knight claim that this is just an ego battle between you & Chris. The more often you spew invective (as opposed to just staying objective) the more you are lowering yourself to their level.

      I guess what I’m saying is that maybe you should switch to decaff. Having a more professional attitude than your detractors has gained you a good chunk of people willing to hear what you have to say so far. Stick with that – it works.

      1. Von: I don’t want them to fail. Destroying their JPEG ships is a tongue-in-cheek comment targeted at those crazy White Knight whales who keep buying PICTURES OF SHIPS for a game that doesn’t exist. 🙂

          1. Good for you. I bought my Freelancer back in Nov 2012, 3 years ago, one of the original ships, and I still can’t fly it in that buggy, boring Arena Commander. A tech demo that takes up more room in your hdd than almost any game.
      2. I have to agree with Von, on this one. Your professional attitude towards the whole fiasco and unwillingness to concede has convinced me that you are a legit dude.
        Now when it has become clear to more people that this ship will sink I do not think it is necessary to lower yourself on the same level as those who you critize in a manner of “I was right all along now I rub it in your face”.
        They will notice sooner or later that you have been right, there is no need for these personal attacks really.
    2. I look forward to this going to some form of arbitration. Because I’m really, REALLY looking forward to someone neutral going through the facts and go “hey, why you gotta go throw this gentleman out of your game, that’s anti consumerist as hell, not to mention when are you gonna fix your stuff so it can be called a proper game?!” to them and go “hey, when you gotta show us some actual proof of something and stop spreading a foggy sense of ‘the project is doomed!’ like a cult leader?” to you. Because this entire drama really needs a neutral person ticking in boxes of what’s facts, what’s real and what is relevant. Because all I’m seeing are the extreme sides of the argument and those are too clouded by personal interests and agendas and that’s annoying as hell.

      Btw, did you see the latest INN vid with Disco? At about 50 minutes in Disco talks about “trolls” in general but you in particular and confirms what I speculated on, you bringing their daughter into this is what pissed them off at CIG, and reading between the lines it’s also the reason why that letter from Chris about the Escapist was so … irrational.

      Another point that bugs me is that you put everyone that defends CIG in the “White Knight” category. And when arguing on Twitter you say “they have done this” and mixing what WK have done themselves with what CIG have done, kind of confusing since it can make people think that everyone that defends CIG IS CIG and CIG should be held responsible for what White Knights do. Maybe it’s on purpose you do that, maybe it’s the Twitter character limit, I dunno, but it bugs me nonetheless. Because I see shades of grey in this entire thing – no dark knight and no white knights, just gamers of different views, agendas and morals.

      But in the end I just want a game to come out of this so I can play…

      1. Kris: It’s rubbish. Nobody “brought their daughter” into anything. Please STOP spreading that bullshit. You do know better.

        If you fail to get the message, that’s on you. My past and present statements remain consistent and untainted with bullshit. I have made it clear that all White Knights are abusive haters who act like they are in a cult. Again, stop spreading bullshit because that’s how disinformation works.

      2. This is strange one.

        Do you think Derek put Skye Roberts on IMDB? (

        Do you think it was Derek that makes the claim: “Did her first audition when she was 2 weeks old.”?

        Give you a hint at who put Skye on IMDB. It is the same person that lists all the TNGS and ATV shows as TV shows on IMDB. Miss Hollywood herself–Sandra Roberts. Just because Sandi was never anything more than a tits and ass in any kind of film, doesn’t mean that her daughter can’t be more. Skye just needs to be force feed the actor’s life. I’m just surprised that Skye wasn’t front and center in Toddlers and Tiaras before that show got run off the air.

        But the bottom line–Chris and Sandra did everything they could to keep their marriage a secret from the backers. Linking the pictures of Sandi and Skye together was the tipping point in ending that lie.

        1. Speaking of “tipping point”, that was the whole reason why that person did it because when I broke the news in my blog back in July, everyone said I was making stuff up. And of course, she was forced to admit it out in the open right there at CitCon.

    3. I wonder if this is a war that will save or kill crowdfunding…

      On the bright side, anyone that doesn’t support the Church of Chris is either a troll, lap dog, pawn, another Derek Smart, or my favorite – deserter.

      I’m just itching to read the next blog. Maybe CIG will respond in kind and create another massive blunder.

    4. Derek, your efforts against CIG appear to have evolved into a full blown witch hunt. Language like…

      “I will never – EVER – quit this fight. Even amid death threats I have received and which I have shared online, I will see this to the very bitter END. Anyone who was around during The Great Flamewar of the nineties, and which mostly played out on Usenet and a few online communities, knows that I’m NOT the sort of person to be trifled with. I have absolutely NO concept of the term “SURRENDER” let alone “QUIT”. Especially when I know that I am onto something.”


      “I am going to burn ALL their JPEG ships to ashes. There will be NOTHING left by the time I am done. NOTHING.”

      …don’t sound like someone who simply wants accountability and transparency. Those words sound like vengeance and someone on a crusade to destroy the company by any means necessary. If I recall correctly the demands you made of CIG were simple.

      1. A full forensics accounting of CIG’s finances
      2. A firm release date
      3. Refunds based on v1.0 of the TOS starting in November

      The two statements above, especially burning all their JPEG ships to ashes has nothing to do with the three stated demands. It sounds like you’re descending into obsessive madness.

      I am aware of “This is a $93m+ crowd-funded project with ZERO accountability & headed by shady execs; some of who had ties to Gizmondo, a company that suddenly collapsed, after being found to be a major global money laundering operation.” However, this statement doesn’t explain away the obsessive crusader-like aura you appear to be projecting in your recent words.

      If you would be so kind, could you please explain? Thank you.

      1. kxmode: That part of my comment is addressing the crazy cultists who have been conducting protracted attacks (here is the latest) against me. Nothing to do with the Star Citizen issue itself. Point being, them attacking me isn’t going to make me stop. Instead, it’s just going to solidify my resolve.

        1. I get it now. Has nothing to do with CIG and everything to do with Star Citizen White Knights cultists. Thanks for clarifying.
        2. Re: twitlonger post and “threat assessment” – What. The. Fucking. Fuck?

          Despite your history of flaming, i can imagine crap like that probably isn’t a lot of fun to deal with. But for the rest of us, the nutjobs are quickly becoming a weekly sitcom. “Threat assessment”… wonder what’s next.

          1. Ante: I have decided to make an example out of the leaders. I am working on a blog that’s in progress and which will include a lot more info. In the meantime, here is a PDF export of the latest WIP version.

            1. Leaving them dig their own graves is probably the only sensible response, you’ve got that one right, LOL.

              Oh, and nearly choked on my coffee when i got to the Taken spoof.

    5. I want to state that I am a Star Citizen backer up front. I am a “whale” as you put it, so obviously my view on this is going to be colored by my own perceptions. That’s just reality, right? Yet, with that said, Derek, you have the RIGHT to express your opinions. Anyone trying to shut you up through attacks upon your social media outlets should themselves be banned. It is through the misty haze of opinion that we arrive at conclusions. I may not agree with your opinion but I did fight and have suffered so that they could and would be voiced (paraplegic veteran, service related). That people should through various unethical means use tools designed to help deter hate speech etc., to stop your voice is wrong. To all the backers of Star Citizen who have contributed in this kind of action STOP. This man has a right to his own voice and opinion, the same as you. Argue logic with logic, argue facts with facts and opinion with opinion, but never take the stupid and LAZY route of simply avoiding the argument, and trying to silence dissenting opinions. I fought and lost the use of my legs for YOU and Derek…. be worthy of that loss. Understand that speech is only free if we allow dissenting opinions. Derek may be right, or he may be wrong, but he has the same right as YOU to express his views. I am ashamed of YOU right now, not Derek whom I disagree with. Stop and be civil, be decent, and above all be right in your actions.

      1. Robert: Thanks for saying that Rob. And accountability is coming. Not only are we filing both criminal and civil action, I’m also working on a blog (here is a WIP pdf export) where everything is going to be documented.

  20. Hey Derrick, since you are so concerned with helping people get out….why don’t you post on the Twitter of the poor actors who are damaging their careers by being a part of SQ42? You should save them too.
    1. How would this damage their careers? Actors like Hamill and Oldman are certainly not going to lose much sleep over a company they did voice over work for being exposed as liars and cheats. Things like that don’t tarnish your reputation in Hollywood. The only way they could be harmed is if Robert’s check doesn’t clear. If that does happen to them it will be because they didn’t pay attention to what happened to Kevin Costner.
      1. Hi Derek,
        Just did. It is pretty sad that they are going this route. I will be honest one of the reasons I still bother with this is that when presented with facts/info you re-evaluate. The SC people never do when presented with anything. That is what is most troubling about this – the 100% blind loyalty.

        To that end – the description from Ben about the expenses etc is such bullshit. How could anyone actually believe that? Office space alone is based off of going rates not on what CIG can pay – or they go somewhere else! Same with everything else desks etc – buy in bulk get a better discount. To simply say otherwise is just well illogical on its face.

        Oh and the other thing is – they know exactly how much SC has – there is a little counter there on the corner for 92 million dollars! I just cant fathom that explanation – it is nothing short of bullshit and false on its face. Yet Ye Faithful say thanks Ben that explains everything.

        Another sad thing is that it appears to them you have corrupted SC and are some kind deviant. Because the name DS they automatically start shutting them down. I have never experienced anything like it before.

        So someone says bad things about the game – get over it – it happens. I am just shocked at this. You would expect the CEO to reach out to people and say look let him say what he wants – He is allowed to do it and now lets prove him wrong! But again here logic fails.

        just sad when people cant act like adults instead of- the universe is at trouble and DS is the cause.

        1. The reasons is simple. They act like they are cultivating a religious cult, not a community. As for Ben, nobody even pays any attention to him anyway. He’s patently clueless.

  21. You go to a bank. You say “Hey, i got 91 million of dollars made before the content is available.” You show them the facts.

    And guess what`s happening next. Everyone is ranting that 91 mio. isn`t nearly enought, but if you get foundet like that, you can tell the banks any sum and you`ll get it.

    Its not like 100% of your current money. Its not even 200%. You gonna get enought money to drown in.

    Just as a nice reminder.

    1. I don’t think it’s written by CIG. It’s just the promo codes doing their work. It was bound to happen. I don’t think even an unofficial article would be written this way.
    2. They even lie in that propaganda:

      “Star Citizen is still in alpha. It has been in development for 2 years, which is short for a quite a large scope game.”

      Two years?. Seriously, I think they lie more than politicians. And are as reliable with our money.

      1. valrond: It’s part of the disinformation that they’re spreading around now in order to trick people into spending money on the game.

  22. I’m certain SC will keep going past Q1/16. Chris has the backers wrapped tightly around his fingers.

    With the endeavor sale up to the end of the sabre/military CitizenCon sale, they made $4 million from 9/29 to 10/19. There will be the Nov anniversary sale for $2-4 million, and a winter holiday or new year sale, which will likely also make $2-4 million.

    Even with Chris’s habit of throwing away work, and redoing things over and over, the backers will keep dropping money for new ships, enough to sustain 150-200 employees. Doesn’t matter if actual progress stalls; just release a new concept/variant sale. They can even start selling Star Marine equipment, weapons, exosuits, and medical gear.

    The illusion of progress is something that Chris will never have trouble maintaining. After all, interviewing developers and their interests or history makes backers feel CIG is transparent enough. They will never wake up and realize their money is spent beyond inefficiently.

    The few that realize something is wrong are already running. Others have stopped pledging. But it doesn’t matter. CIG just needs 6,000 fools to spend $350 to make $2.1 million, and that will cover another month of “progress.”

    There are in fact, at least 6,000 fools.

    1. The funny part is that people are paying thousands of dollars and accepting to wait for longer, supposedly to play a better/finished game.
      In the end, best case scenario, after release (with the end of the ship sales), and definitely a release that still will be incomplete of all the goals, they will keep the thing maybe for two years and that’s it.
      People will have played 5-7 years in development, playing an unfinished/bugged mess, and just two with something more “stable” as a complete featured game, with probably most of the big dreams/additions, sequences for Squadron 42 or different kinds of SP campaigns, playable capital ships and stuff (with meaning, not just for the sake that you can drive the thing around, but also participate of epic battles online, otherwise, wouldn’t make too much sense or have too much value) becoming vaporware.
      Screw the publishers, with unfinished mess released and their existent DLC’s. So, let’s then, pay thousands of dollars for non-existent DLC and eternal unfinished mess.
      1. I’ve played EVE online for near 11 years it would’ve been longer but I took an 18 month break so where do you get this assumption that we will only play it for 2 years? I have WOW friends who’ve played similar amounts of time and WOT/WT friends who’ve played since earliest stages of development/access most of us have played early access and understand what and why it is you know. The earliest playable module was released 2 years ago roughly you honestly think another 5 years for it to be feature complete? or bug free because back to my experiences EVE is still bugged now and tbh I can’t think of any games without bugs so I don’t see the point of what you’re alluding to here?
        I’m pretty sure English isn’t your first language and I’m just not sure if I’m missing some obvious point that may be lost in translation is all
    2. I agree with this, sadly.

      Even if they can’t control the burn rate. (citcon claimed they’re up to 270 employees!) I could still imagine CIG taking on massive debt just to get some form of SQ42 out, hoping there are enough new customers left to pay it back and to keep the ship sales coming in. If there’s no lawsuit or revolt the amount of time and money needed can just keep expanding forever at the expense of the consumer.

      If Chris Roberts hasn’t shown the responsibility to admit his mistakes so far, why should we ever expect him to?

  23. How come posts that agree with your original question, but are critical off your current methodology don’t pass your ‘social media person’? Weird kind of filtering? Or is there something more sinister going on? I have to say that the stuff i’m seeing is worrisome, and every other “normal lurker” i know seems to have the same opinion. The current dialogue doesn’t feel right.. and with your filtering of critical posts the feeling of ‘wrongness’ increased tremendously.

    Not what i expected when this all started.. 🙁

    1. Denan: I don’t know. There are differing opinions in the comments as far as I can tell. All a post needs to be is polite, not contain personal attacks etc.

      1. Ill try again then.. too bad i didnt archive it somewhere but the gist of what i tried to say is still fresh in my mind.

        Here goes:
        When this all started i was glad someone was trying to get accountability and force more openness from CIG. Yes they have weekly reports on just about every subject, but key information is always held behind. Stuff like the 64 bit migration (crysis is an engine for small zones, not for environments that span billions of km’s) and the feature creep caused by the multiplayer environments that were planned as stretchgoals caused me to worry.. a LOT.

        The release of the endeavour specs only strengthened my feeling that features were being added without the proper gameplay or balancing elements. With the current player/zone limit -> who will make use of the endeavour? and in what way?? I can’t think of anything else than it being a huge multiplayer lobby, not something you can fly and play with at the start.
        The gameplay just isn’t there.. and won’t be till they balance all the 1-3 player ship multiplayer. And that will probably take a long time.

        So yes.. i do agree with your worries and more openness from CIG would have been something good, for the game and the community. i was applauding your challenge of CIG and your demands, although some of those demands were a bit over the top.

        Lately though your change of tone and your methods have been worrisome. The valid points you may have had have been lost in keyboard warrior nonsense from both sides. Your siding with the goons on SA (come on.. everybody knows they just poke a beehive with a hot stick to see what happens) and several toxic elements have diluted your arguments.

        If you had stuck with your original points and kept the discourse civil no amount of white knight bullshit would have brought you down. At the moment though your actions and tone of voice resonate a sense of wrongness with me. As i’m a lurker (not active as pro or anti SC) this might not matter much to you, but after several discussions with friends and colleagues who are following the current debacle i’ve come to realise that my current opinions echo that of most of the “normals” i speak to.

        Everyone agrees that you had valid points at the start, and almost everyone stated that somewhere in the past few weeks you lost their support. Now this may not be important to you, but you are one of the few SC critical voices out there. When you stepped over the line (somehow i’m reminded of tropic thunder.. “never go full retard!”) and brought the toxicity of goons/sa and several other individuals into the fray you started detracting from the original argument. Thus increasing the risk of people abandoning the discussion and leaving you with a small incrowd of people who agree with current methods.

        What i’m seeing now is the same as i’m seeing in politics or the media when discussions become polarised. The general consensus with the population will be “two sides picking a fight, nobody is listening. We don’t care!’

        At the moment i’m just worried that the toxicity in the current debate will corner you as someone who can be ignored. And with your demise we will have lost all chances of getting true insights into the project.

        This is also happening in my surroundings on the SC discussions. Due to the tone and methods people have started to loose interest.. and after they loose interest you loose their support. As i’ve stated you’ve lost the support of most of the people i know who follow this.. and you have lost mine as well.

        Perhaps, if the actions and tone of the debate return to civil levels you can regain it.The ascent dev article is a good example of the way this debate should have went.

        I’ll leave you with a saying that we have in holland: “If you dip your feet in manure.. you will start to smell”..

        lately you’ve been dipping a lot. And i hope you will get clean again. It will be for the good of us all :/

        (archived this time.. for the offchance that your social media monitor bounces this. I’m not in the mood to retype it again :))

  24. Scale of development grew with demand as well as support. A single persistent game world for a few thousand players is inherently different than one for millions. I also think the studio scaling argument is usually made in reference to cost approximations which people are constantly spitballling, i.e. the estimated $2-3 million burn rate is a peak number not a constant since inception. Interestingly, since July 5 CIG has raised as much ($8 million) as D’s sources said they previously had on hand, so I guess the estimates on the date of their demise will have to keep slipping since they often fail to account for new backers and continued increases in support. Many people have come and will come to this game from outside the gamer world, people who gave up on gaming in favor of other pursuits but havn’t been exposed to it yet. Seeing that they don’t spend $$ on traditional marketing in lieu of producing incremental detailed material to share with community.
  25. So, about the Q1/16, where you say they are running out of money. Do you really believe the pledges will stop? I mean even if what you are saying about they’re finances is true, they still get financed by the community. You talk about a burn-rate of appr. 3 Mio a month, still they do get 1-3 Mio a month of continuing support, and that without ship commercials or any real effort of marketing.
    So why are you clinging on to Q1/16, wouldn’t it be possible for them to hang on until they have the 150 Mio you talk about is needed to release the game?
      1. Derek, in this case intelligence and pride won’t mix well though, especially if this is all a ruse as they continue to gamify the process of fundraising.

        I think that a combination of Chris’s pride and the need to keep up appaarances means they will push it to the last penny. I doubt this will end nearly. Chris has said he won’t do this if he doesn’t have total control, so the odds of a rescue are slim. It’ll succeed (maybe) or it’ll go pop, and then when it does, we’ll know.

        Ego’s make people do funny things. Remember when curt schilling paid some of 38Studios’ debts via personal check? That’s the sort of red flag we need to look for at the end

  26. Stewie’s at it again on the CIG forums.

    As a backer I would like to think that there is a chance to at least get something for what I put into the game. But after hearing him rant on the Open House Live stream made my brain hurt and reading that Manifesto made my eye bleed and he is more coherent than most of the white knights.

    He just sound like a crazy French Canadian watching $1000 going down the loo.

  27. One of the things I keep reading in various discussions, is that RSI didn’t exist as a studio in 2012/13, so natuarally it would take time to build up resources.

    I don’t think using this as a justification for the delay is valid, because surely, when pitching the KS, taking into account what resources are currently available and how long it would take to build a team is something that should have been factored in right from the start.

    The change from ‘vision 1.0’ to ‘vision 2.0’ can’t be used to justifiy why the amount of resources couldn’t be predicted because RSI didn’t get 100% agreement from those that signed up to ‘vision 1.0’. Even if only one backer that signed up to ‘vision 1.0’ didn’t agree, then RSI had no right to change to ‘vision 2.0’, with it’s implicit longer-timescale.

    IMO, it would have been accepatable to proceed with ‘vision 1.0’, then only after that was complete, continue towards ‘vision 2.0’.

    1. Hi,

      There are many ways they could have approached the game development. Focus all resources on building SQ42 for instance and only after its release focus on SC. Or building a simpler you suggest first.
      Then again, building a simpler game feature first and have to rebuild it later on could also be seen as a waste of resources. One example is building a Freelancer style planet side location instead of actually building a planet side location that allows you to walk around and explore.
      There is no denying that if they can deliver a more ambitious game, the backers will get a better product. If they can’t it is a major loss.

      Each person will have its own opinion on the subject but then again I’m not a game developer. I’m not going to claim I can do a better job then they do.
      With that said they have a responsibility. It is their decision to build the game as it is being built.

      As someone interested on the project, we should have only one concern. Will they deliver the game they have promised?

      So far they seem to be doing their job. But some people have made some serious accusations, that if proven to be true means the project is in danger. And obviously we should be concerned.

      With that said, without proof or a legal process that will determine the veracity of those claims, its the word of some people vs the word of other people.

      Each person here has its own experience with crowdfunding and game development.
      What I do know is that all the crowdfunding projects I have supported have one thing in common. They all suffered release delays. In some cases of over one year.
      And all the people that follow games in general know about the multiple game release delays that major titles suffer.

      So for me, missing a release date is not a major issue since in truth they also stated during the crowdfunding campaign, that release dates could change due to the complexity of game development.

      So again, my only concern is : Can they build the game they have promised?

      If they need more time to do it right, then no problem for me. I don’t want another AC Unity.
      If instead the accusations are right and they are running out of money and all that, then I’m concerned.

      Until then, I will avoid criticizing their game development process.
      I’m not an expert or game company CEO.

  28. Some Predictions:

    1) CIG releases their newest promotion, the CR9000 “Bukkakitron.” It comes with sixteen weapon mounts, moves faster than a Hornet, costs $25,000 and comes with a kleenex used by Our Glorious Savior Himself. Kleenex smells faintly of Jergens Lotion.

    2) Ortwin learns the hard way what a real lawyer is when he meets Sandi’s new lawyer as he hands Chris the divorce papers precisely five seconds after Chris informs her that, due to budget cuts, they will be forced to use a lower grade of champagne to fill the hot tub with.

    3) CIG releases a new promotion, the “WK Marine” expansion pack to Star Marine. The pack costs $50,000 and changes the graphics so that all the attacking enemies look exactly like Derek Smart. Package comes with a Derek Smart voodoo doll. Ortwin soon gets another letter from an even meaner lawyer than last time. Lawsuit ensues. Doll smells faintly of Jergens Lotion.

    4) Depressed and fleeing litigation fees, Roberts flees to the Republic of Guyana along with 1000 of his biggest contributors to form “The Citizens Temple” in the newly christened “Robertstown.” There his followers continue to auction off their worldly possessions on E-bay to keep the money flowing, liquidating savings, retirement, children’s college funds, etc, in an attempt to outbid each other in donations so as to earn the favor of Our Glorious Savior Himself.

    5) Eventually, due to the amount of media attention garnered by the whole debacle, a US Senator decides to visit and audit their books. It does not end well.

  29. Derek,

    I just read the following column, which is generally about MMO’s and is released weekly by – for my taste – one of the most horrible writers I’ve ever read:,star-citizen-jedi-zwerge-und-agenten:article.html

    Two things upfront for the record: It’s in German, so if you need help with translation, just get back at me via my email provided, I will gladly help out; Skype would also be possible of course. I just think I recall you saying you have German friends who can help you out.

    And I read it only regularly because it’s astounding how one person can missunderstand, interprete and ill-will simple facts on top of the unsensitive writing. I mean, I know that a column is written totally subjective, but I’m sure you will notice the difference. As a matter of fact while writing this I again find myself in awe, it’s freaking madness to me, haha. Not gonna spoiler anything, you should enjoy this in it’s entirety

    I also want to note that this news-site has not a comparable outreach to Gamestar, who you’ve already had the pleasure to deal with (haha, sorry man, it’s just madness and so strangely and despairingly funny for me).

    Also sorry for possible messed up paragraphs and formatting; I’m writing from my phone.

    Looking forward to read something from you!

  30. New white knighting fun. I learned that LostAccountant really hates you from his comments elsewhere.

    Also, I realized something. The vanduul are the scary bad guys. They are extremely important, and should have art assets with walking and fighting animations. We’ve seen nothing about the vanduul. Not in SQ42, and the last time was the cutlass trailer. Did Chris throw away all the vanduul work… again?

    Why does no one question the obvious things? Is Gary Oldman SOOOOOO amazing?
    I swear every $1 million is worth $300k.

    1. MDrake: Yeah, I saw that when it went up. Nobody but the cultists are going to pay attention to that drivel.

      As to the Vanduul, my sources tell me that nothing has been done with them thus far. Seriously. Nothing.

      1. The Disco leak included assets of fully modelled Vaduul fleet including the Kingship and up until that point unrevealed ship classes … check teller’s youtube for spoiler tagged previews
    2. To be fair, I’d drop a cool million to have Gary Oldman in my game, if I had that kind of money to burn. Because he IS that awesome. However, that being said…

      Busting out ye olde Windows Calculator for a second. Let’s see, if I were to spend $10,000 a day on booze & hook, uh, I mean, game development for two years straight with nary a single day off then my bill would come out to… 7.3 million dollars. That’s a pretty good chunk of spending. That’s, like, some rock star level money burning right there. Think about that – ten grand a day. And even then we’re still not at 10% of SC’s expenses, apparently.

      If I bought a $150,000 house for one of my friends ever single week for two years I’d have only spent $15.6 million. And unless I’m really bad at real estate, I technically will still have most of that money in equity. And I’d still only have spent less than 20% of what SC has so far.

      Now if I up my daily spending habits to $100,000 per day, two things would happen. First, Kanye West would personally call me on my phone to tell me that I’ve got spending issues and to tone it down a bit. The second thing that will happen is, after two years, I’ll have spent $73 million dollars. Which would leave me only $20 million left to finish SC.

      And that would still be twice as much left as RSI apparently does, if current estimates are correct.

      But wait, it’s time to go to… ludicrous speed! If I were to invest my $90 million into a safe, blue-chip stocks at a 5% dividend rate (not that hard), I’d be collecting $450,000 a year for the rest of eternity. Now that might not be a lot of money for a game studio to work with (these people don’t work for cheap, after all) but remember, this is pretty much forever at this point. Which means if it takes a year, or two years, longer… so what? I could point to my portfolio and say to backers “Look, no matter what happens, this is going to get finished eventually.” Yes, this would be a horrible misappropriation of funds. So is handing it over to a game studio to help them do their own side project, or opening a film studio for your “friend.” My version at least has an element of certainty and long-term gain to it. Best of all, once the game is finished I’m still going to be able to toss that $450K per year at whatever I want. Keep a public server open until the sun burns out? Why not? Free expansion packs every year? Sure thing. And if people go out and buy into the game later, well that adds to the investment pool and opens the permanently open door even wider.

      Don’t get me wrong: I still think Chris Roberts is a great game designer. It his financial & management abilities that are, shall we say, the sort of thing that would embarrass a government contractor working at the Pentagon. He the kind of guy whom a smart person hires… and then watches very closely. He is not someone you want in charge, though, and you definitely don’t want him knowing where you keep the silverware.

  31. Hey, I’m pretty new to all this drama about Star Citizen. I’m not a backer, but I’ve looked into both sides. I have a question for Derek Smart.

    Why go through all this trouble? What’s in it for you?

    It’s a lot of effort to do all this. You have a lot of people against you. Wouldn’t the best thing to do is just sit back, and if/when Star Citizen fails you can come back and say “I told you so!”?

    Is there money involved? Did Chris Roberts personally offend you? Do you really think the consumer isn’t capable of deciding how they should spend their own money? Why does it matter that other people are spending money on a project you don’t support?

  32. I’m still astounished how the cig community IS NOT reacting about the referral system.
    It’s not simply on a legal edge, it IS illegal in many countries.
    They ask you to ask your friends into buying something that doesn’t exist.
    Do you understand that ‘White nothing knights non-sense’ fanboys ???
    Though I admit legality has yet to prove the delivered product is non-existent or of an under value from claim. ( this wouldn’t be too hard tbh)

    Nevertheless , It is the cherry on the top, that set an end to my unbalanced state.
    For real it sounds like something dark occures in the backstage.
    I know something was going wrong anyway, since they’ve used every single technics known when one wants to hide something.
    Using superlatives, shiny for the show concept arts and webby, dedication to its leader, overwhelming informations, over promising, lying, dodging etc etc..
    And now that referral system.
    This sounds like extreme but I’m about to draw a report to the European (since I’m Euro Citizen) equivalent of FTC to be honest.
    The more we are…

    Re-upping this from Mark post on your last blog.

    If I may suggest : It would may be a good thing to gather and centralise all those interesting links , as a sum from comments, somewhere on your blogs.

    1. lir: Oh, it’s worse than that. By also giving everyone access to the game recently, they now force everyone who logs in, to accept the latest TOS. That’s intended to get around the same TOS issue we’re all talking about and for which, come November, they have to issue refunds and provide accounting reports. Someone else just wrote an article about it here. See also this.

      1. Another bad attempt in disguising the parody. They sneak and slither on the legal edge but they do it in a so rude way it is so obvious then. The TOS change won’t stand 2 minutes in front of a court.
        Believe me Mr.Smart when I say I want this game to be out ( correction > this kind of game) : ED + a real pu and interactions .
        SC obvioulsy has already failed. The bonus time reveals the scam; more and more public people talk about it, and not in a good manner anymore.
        Something tells me you won’t be the last person to take legal actions against CIG.
        And the backers are slowly waking up.
        Hopefully for the best.
  33. White knights do not realize the real danger to SC is from within not from the likes of Derek Smart. Sandy is the saboteur, DS is only a “troll”. DS has no power over SC, Sandy does. White knights, they have to fucking idea. They will be shot in their wet dream and never knew how they end up dead.
  34. Un wait Sandi is in the cast of SQ42 … That’s bloody double dipping … right?
    First the Lawyer.. now she also…

    And now actors that I admired for a long time have associated with this fiasco….
    Ugh If this ship sinks, (And it will) it’s gonna take a lot of good people with it..

    Beside that there are rumblings about the actor guild wanting more money/royalties in games for voice actors?

  35. I think Derek Smart is taking the right actions. I’m a backer and honestly I don’t really care who comes out on top. If star citizen topples over and bankrupts itself than that’s CIG’s fault. If the game is released and it’s everything it promises to be then great. Some people just need to calm down and get their shit together. Your’e fighting over a video game after all. Let Derek say what he wants and let Chris Roberts make the game he promised to make. If Derek wants to go to court with this then he has every right to do so. If Chris is doing everything he says he’s doing then he shouldn’t have any problems defending what he’s been working on for the past three years. I don’t want Star Citizen to fail but I want to know if Chris is managing his money correctly. Quite frankly every single one of these so called “black knights” most likely cares about Star Citizen. The reason they’re fighting along side Derek Smart is because they too don’t want to see Star Citizen crash and burn, they just want to make sure that Chris won’t fuck it up. Derek probably feels the same way. (Hopefully) Anyways I just wanted to voice my opinion on all of this conflict.
  36. One thing I don’t get, why hide the fact that CR and SG are married? There is a trail out there not hard to follow that proves this. If the backers don’t know but devs do and its being a closely guarded secret would they not get suspicious?

    Finally their PR person is an idiot. The narrative they could have had and ran with publicly being married would be gobbled up by White Knights and media personnel.

  37. Happy to report: My refund has been approved and the money has been received finally. Except the long waiting time until the request has been worked on, it all went smooth and without any problem for the side of the support team. I also am form the EU.

    Unrelated to the refund, I wonder about one thing:
    What has become off the cooperation between Star Citizen and Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I remember an old KCD video talking about how they would cooperate and share technologies (for example clothing/inventory tech) with each other and help each other out. Will a failure of SC have any impact on KCD development? But maybe the cooperation did not work out/come to be, since you haven’t heard anything about it since the first mentioning.

  38. I haven’t backed SC, but I’ve been following it’s development with interest since I first heard about it (just after the campaign on KS ended).

    My initial impression was that it looked amazing, and if those impressive visuals translated into the gameplay, then it would truly be a stellar game. I’ve always been confused by the distinction between CIG and RSI though, maybe you could enlighten me Derek?

    At the back of my mind however, was always the feeling that it looked a bit TOO amazing, promising to be everything everyone ever wanted in a game. This is the reason is why I held off buying a package. Over time, with the ongoing ship sales, the ever-increasing funding and the ever-increasing scope, I became more firmly convinced that I would be better off waiting until something playable was actually released, because it was becoming more apparent to me that RSI/CIG were focussing more on the shiny stuff and selling ships, and less on actual delivery of a quality product.

    When the hangar module was released, I immediately saw it for what it was – a way of examining your shiny ship purchases close-up. Not a bad thing in itself, but I was sure that the reasoning behind releasing this module was to persuade backers to buy more ships.

    Then Arena Commander came out. I watched some YouTube videos, and finally realised what was meant by the term ‘turrets in space’. I have a reasonable grasp of physics, and understand the how real spacecraft behave, but to me the way the ships moved didn’t look like fun, and when we’re talking about a game, to me fun trumps reality every time. Adhering closer to reality CAN be fun (trying to make orbit with a homebrew KSP spacecraft without it disintegrating for example), but SC’s take on ‘fun’ just didn’t do it for me.

    The way the ‘White Knights’ act hasn’t enamoured me with the SC community either. I can appreciate that these White Knights are probably just a small subset of the backers, but they’re extremely vocal, and have a habit of trawling the internet shouting down dissent wherever it’s encountered. CIG/RSI did nothing to curtail this behaviour, and maybe even encouraged it.

    With the recent furore around the game, I’m glad I didn’t part with any money. To me, CIG/RSI are looking more and more like a company that will never deliver on the dreams they’ve been selling. I don’t know whether this is due to underestimating the size of the task, or something more nefarious, but I haven’t been impressed with the way CIG/RSI/the White Knights have responded to your blog articles and those of The Escapist. In fact I now have the attitude that I won’t even download a free trial using one of those referral codes, because I don’t want to be numbered as one of the backers, and my involvement used as part of the SC marketing campaign.

    The impression I get from the various things I’ve read is that CIG/RSI have some very talented deveopers/graphic designers, but they’ve been hamstrung by senior management repeatedly changing direction/scope.

    Chris Roberts appears to be a man who is very good at coming up with great ideas, but severely lacking in the ability to manage those ideas to fruition.

    I had never heard of his wife Sandi Roberts/Gardiner before SC, but she seems to be very high-maintenance and more interested in furthering her acting career than fulfilling the dreams of the backers.

    Ben Lenswick lied about Sandi being married to Chris, and is probably a guy that you wouldn’t want to hold onto your wallet for you.

    Ortwin Freyermuth has the air of a shyster about him, and his smile looks like the grin of a shark.

    Erin Roberts I think is the exception amongst this group, and is probably the one person who could salvage anything from this mess, if he was enabled.

    1. Caveat:

      “always been confused by the distinction between CIG and RSI though, maybe you could enlighten me Derek?”

      RSI is the parent company. They have RSI, CIG, Foundry 42, Gemini 42 (movies for Sandra) spread across five (LA is the head office, Santa Monica, Austin, Frankfurt, Manchester) offices.

      “The impression I get from the various things I’ve read is that CIG/RSI have some very talented deveopers/graphic designers, but they’ve been hamstrung by senior management repeatedly changing direction/scope.”

      Yes, that is correct. They have a stellar team that they were able to attract with lofty promises. As in the past, they are hamstrung by Chris Roberts.

      1. Does backer money pay for all of that office space? I’m sure they’re all filled with nifty toys and gadgets all funded by backers as well.
        1. Rob: I don’t understand why people keep asking these questions. The company is primarily funded with backer money. So what exactly do you think?

      2. I was under the impression that CIG was the parent company and RSI was the subsidiary. At least that’s what it says in the Star Citizen Wiki ( ). But it is a wiki, so take that for what they are.

        In addition, I thought RSI was the developer and CIG was the publisher, which I suppose would fit the aforementioned structure, since publishing companies tend to own a few developer studios and companies.

        1. MKDAWUSS: They are all different entities. RSI (US) is the parent. CIG and F42 are studios under that parent.

          Scroll to the bottom of this page. They have five locations. Santa Monica (CIG), West Hollywood (RSI), Austin (CIG), Frankfurt (CIG), Manchester (Foundry 42).

          In fact, RSI, CIG and F42 are also registered UK companies. Since F42 is a UK only company, it is not registered in the US.

          Gemini 42 is another company. This is the one that Sandi recently said paid for the movies and such that she was doing/funding with backer money.

  39. Hmmm.. wondering why my previous question wasn’t posted.. but i’ll try again. Some sources are showing comments from D_smart on SA, making fun of suicides. As SA and the sources are never trustworthy only the source can say if he really said that. So, was that you or is this some weird plot to discredit you?
  40. Derek,
    Question for you.
    If you go with the burn rate what is the percentage chance of these things happening? I dont know anything about financing a game so I defer to your experience.

    1)CIG can manage to maintain a 3million/month income rate (that is a lot of concept ships) for what 3 years?

    2)The (mythical?) deep pockets investor comes in and funds the rest of the production till launch?

    3)They find a publisher to produce the game? I mean a 95 or whatever million dollar liability would be hard to overcome

    4)CIG goes bankrupt and the 4 horsemen (sandi,chris,lawyer,ben) all go running for the hills.

    Just wondering on your take of the most likely option. #3 + 4 will have the white knights slashing wrists sadly.

    1. Me:

      1) Not likely. Because if you look at their earnings metrics, you will see that they surround ship sales and key events (GAMESCOM, CitCon etc). During other periods, their earnings are low. And my guess is that it’s going to get lower going into 2016. And with their burn rate, they are going to make some heavy cuts going into 2016 because if they can’t keep their costs below $1m per month and/or in line with monthly earnings, they’re going to fold.

      2) Likely. Investors, like banks, deal in absolute numbers. Sure they could probably take out loans (like they did with Foundry 42 through NatWest bank), but the videogame sector is very volatile and fraught with losses. So, while still possible, it’s going to be tough for them to get outside money. Especially now with all the bad press, looming legal liability lawsuits etc.

      3) Very unlikely. The entire industry is aware of Chris’s industry track record and it is highly unlikely they will work with him. Especially since he was badmouthing the publishing model right off the bat and which is how he gained such support so quickly. The only way a publisher comes into this, is if they get SQ42 or the PU out. And even so, I don’t imagine that any publisher would want to work with this trio. All three (Chris, Sandra, Ortwin) would have to leave.

      4) Most likely. If they don’t have the money to at least release SQ42, they will be in deep trouble. As I stands, I am hearing that SQ42 is at least 15 months away. Nobody knows the fate of the PU. Even so, SQ42 could still flop. Remember that 700K+ people have pre-paid for it. So that’s not new sales. Very few games sell over 700K units. Even Elite took a year to sell 800K units!

      1. Thanks Derek,
        That is the conclusion I came to a while ago. The one thing that has always irked me was how little CR thinks of the backers and very little transparency has actually happened.

        I mean if you wanted to do a thesis on marketing this would be a dream to do because this is one giant marketing exercise. And of course how they say they treat you with respect but all they do is put out more marketing crap and no real info.

        It also reminds me of slightly mad studios development of project cars. If you arent familiar with it they utilized their backers the same way with a twist. If you backed at a certain level you were entitled to profit from the game!

        So the exact same thing happened here – the backers quashed all descent and spread fud all over the internet and hid the games faults. And when PC released it was pure shit and bans were handed out like sandi on a bender. It is one of the games that I will never buy due to this attitude.

        But CR has tapped into the exact same emotions on the forums and he leverages that to increase traffic and money into the game. The backers get a “Bigger + Better” game for it and people are happy. And they continue to crush dissent because it will interfere with their projections of the game. CIG management know this and play on it among other techniques.

        So for me CR has little care for my money and will use every technique he can in order to stop me from asking questions unless it is cheer leading. He releases marketing fud time and again and calls it transparency all the while not honoring his pledge to treat the money with respect.

        And sadly when this explodes the poor devs who worked on this will wear this like an albatross despite doing great work. Just an all around shitty situation. Do you think that the censorship on the forums plays an important role in this or not?

  41. The problem with this “will not made on time” is a problem that happen with all ambitious games:

    1-They dont tell when the game is going to be released.
    1.1-People Complain saying the game will never be made is a vaporwave or scam

    2- They say some early date, to stop the ones that will complain or just because they just want to say some date in the hopes the problems of situation 1 doenst happen.
    2.1-People complain if release date is over and the game is not released, saying the game will never be released or is a scam.

    3-Developers say a extremely long date.
    3.1-If the game is a kickstarter style of funding, players see the long date and dont give money.

    Its a fucking problem without solution.

  42. 7 People on the team for the demon at towards the end of 2012 doesn’t add up to 4 years. First real team wasn’t working until beginning of 2013. Complex games take a long time to make and we really shouldn’t start counting until the first team was working in 2013. That makes it 3 years next year. Lets get that part straighten out.

    The next part is so what if it takes 5 years or longer? Games are delayed all the time. Games are pushed out before they are ready all the time. Publishers cut corners to push out a buggy product before its ready, all the time. I thought we were all tired of this practice. We aren’t 12. We can wait until the game is done. Those of us that backed it, have backed it. That money is gone and I would rather them to take longer to make it right then push out some pos I don’t want.

    As for version 1.0 of the game. To semi Quote Ralph Koster. People don’t want to play a game, they want to live in a universe. I don’t want version 1.0. I rather them take time and send it out as complete as they can.

    What they are trying to do is hard. Most say it can’t be done. Then they tear them down, stress them out to make their job just that much harder and that’s really not fair. But that is how it is. When someone is trying to do something special to a lot of people, others come along and try to tear it down. Let them fail without help.

    1. So the same guys that likely had a hand in helping defraud Gizmondo are now working on a CIG project with tons of public money and no accounting? Why hasn’t the gaming press gotten hold of this?
          1. Trilbert: Most of them are either CR fans or have close ties to him and/or his PR guy, David Swofford. Then add to the fact that this is Derek Smart who started this “uprising” since July, and you can easily see why.

            1. I see. I just wonder how this guy has so many friends / ties to the industry, despite producing mostly hot air, that are influential enough to hinder the mainstream media to investigate.
    2. If you have life long friends, all with careers around the gaming industry wouldn’t you if you had an idea for a new project ask them if they want to join you first ?
    1. I knew Scott Manley was a SC supporter, he had lot video showing ships. So the white knights are turning on him, even he did not even speak highly of you, WTFs wrong with these people?
        1. dsmart: Sorry for changing the subject, but I hope you respond.
          I don’t like the way you talk about “the cult”. I get the impression you blame it on the worst members of the community. I don’t agree at all.

          The crazies are just crazies. The internet is full of people fighting with all kinds of mental illness. The toxic communities are probably just the result of constant internal fighting. I’d blame some of that on clans for a game that doesn’t exist, as I’ve seen it happen before.. but most fights are about what exactly this game actually is.

          All that’s pretty normal. The idea this is a “cult” should come from the cocktail of often extreme and manipulative marketing practices. It’s existed (and has been growing) since day one and effects all backers to vastly different extents. The fact the weakest members of the community are effected the most should be no surprise to anyone.

          I guess it’s not too unusual, but RSI has been targeting the weak this whole time. MMO addicts, P2W addicts, Sci-fi addicts, FPS addicts, PC gaming fanboys, suckers for fan-fic, suckers for the latest greatest graphics, people preparing for some sort of VR revolution, anyone with an irrational hate of video game publishers, (the list goes on). First priority, keep these people hooked on Star Citizen. Last priority, figure out the magical gameplay balancing required to please all these different groups.

          If you don’t believe that, fine. But don’t use “cultist” as a meaningless insult for the people harassing you. There are plenty of other insults you could use.

          TLDR; Don’t blame the player, blame the game.

            1. dsmart: Yeah, I understood that just fine. I’m asking how is that not the fault of the people in charge of this crowdfunding campaign?

              I guess it really boils down to; Do you believe Sandi got the community hooked on – donating to/campaigning for – this game through dumb luck and inexperience, or was that just the plan from the start and she’s almost criminally good at her job?

              I’ve gone back and forth on that issue, though after the escapist article I lean towards the latter.

              The first time I read the Star Citizen kickstarter page, I must have glossed over the parts saying this was going to be a small game (Vision 1.0). I focused on all the big promises for an all-encompassing space dream game that would revolutionize PC gaming… so.. I have a hard time believing they’ve ever planned to stop taking money.

              The worst part of that is any idiot since Star Trek first aired could have come up with the idea for this dream game. The problems always been “how do you build it?”. It seems like Elite came to kickstarter with a plan in hand. Meanwhile, years later, Chris is still doing R&D for the tech and coming up with the plan as he goes along. The year before the kickstarter should have been spent building the company, planning for the game, securing any outside funding, and setting realistic timelines for possible budgets. Instead Chris apparently just made a video showing off how cool CryEngine looks and maybe wrote the script for a “Wing Commander: The Movie” sequel (SQ42).

              P.S. the point of you picking on the crazies is somewhat moot now that I can’t see your twitter without an account. That’s where I’d see most of it. Still, I say stay focused on the people responsible or stay quiet. Once this collapses, I suspect you’re only going to see the numbers of irrational people going from extreme SC love to extreme DS hate increase. So you’ll have plenty of time to play with your harassment fan-club.
              Sorry for another long rant-y post or if I’ve sounded too harsh. ( or if I’m repeating myself as I tend to compose these posts while drinking =P )

  43. Thanks for all the hard work Mr Smart.
    I just thought I would post this youtube playlist on the SC delusion and cult here for some laughs. Enjoy.
    1. JPEGs? Are you serious? Its not even modeled in 3D and sell for 2000? Is CIG in a situation where they cant even hire modeling artist anymore? Now if some people pays 2000 for some JPEGs, then you can guess what kind of people you going to deal with in this game, any sane people should get the fuck out immediately.
    2. It is from this video, I’ve seen few months ago .

      I Took it with humour then, thinking it was a simple joke.
      But it made me think alot about SC outside the hype surrounding it.
      Humour is a good weapon at debunking stuff.
  44. So one million backers..think about it for a bit,
    one million backers.
    Are you sure you want to continue this crusade against..well all us “White Knights?
      1. I appreciate your stamina and dedication to your cause, these are things I admire in any man worth mention. I just can’t see an end game where anyone wins in this case.

        Like I said at least one million backers disagree with you on SC. Of course you will not win at this point, and maybe it would take a better man than me to simply walk away from a losing battle like this but I really think that would be best for all to let this disagreement just die out and let the world move on..

        1. First, there aren’t one million backers – the Kool-Aid is strong with this one. Second, this is the arrogance part, not all backers are raving lunatics who are in a cult.

          1. This x1000. You can’t look at the total number of subscribers and extrapolate that 1 million people agree with CIG.

            I am a backer, yet I stand with Derek Smart on this issue. Many backers dropped the minimum $45 package, played a few times (if at all), and are just waiting to see if the game comes out. It’s a small enough amount of money that most people will just shrug if they lose it.

            I don’t post on their forums, although I do read their development releases with casual interest. I don’t think the game will come out in the form they’re claiming, if at all. Yet I’m part of the 1 million. How many more are like me?

            1. Well Gary if you don’t support the project then why are you a supporter of the project? It seems that you are just one of the “one million backers” but with a twist, that you really don’t want to be a backer?
              1. Hi nitro,

                Let me phrase it differently. I am a man who went ahead and pledged $45, and in return, got early access to whatever they’ve made so far.

                If the game ships, fine; if not, fine.

                The label of “backer” was used by CIG, and by you in your initial post, as a way of claiming that each person who decided to exchange goods for services is automatically part of a larger group, and therefore gets to speak with the greater weight that those numbers confer.

                That is inaccurate. It’s far more accurate to say that my opinion represents 1/1,000,000th of the total number of people who are customers of CIG.

                Likewise, your opinion represents 1/1,000,000th of the total number of people who are customers of CIG.

                When we phrase it that way, you and I become comrades, even if we disagree about the likely outcome of the project. Our opinions are of equal measure.

                We’re both big enough people that we don’t need to bolster our own opinions by shackling us to a group and claming we’re “1 million strong.” You and I are plenty strong enough to stand on our own, even if we disagree. So is everyone else.

                1. Sry Gary but;

                  “The label of “backer” was used by CIG, and by you in your initial post, as a way of claiming that each person who decided to exchange goods for services is automatically part of a larger group, and therefore gets to speak with the greater weight that those numbers confer.”

                  …is all your talk!

                  I simply don’t agree with your interpretation of my OP.

                  All I said (in some mysterious ways it seems!) 🙂 was that it doesn’t look good for any creator of a Space (SIM) game to spend all their energy and skill to try and shoot down the biggest game the genre has seen in a decade..with a Million backers already confirmed before the game is released!

              2. I asked for a refund in May of 2014 and told there were no refunds. Stuck as a backer. But on a positive note–at least there are a few backers that don’t feel totally ripped off. MechWarrior Online all over again…
              3. This is why they stopped putting lead in paint. You somehow can’t understand, how it just might be possible that a good chunk of us that backed this game early on, are now unsatisfied with how things are going?
          2. How do you know that there aren’t one million backers?
            I mean really you cannot know that!

            And why are you being derogatory of my post?

            I respect you as an internet dude, can’t you give me the same respect?

            1. N-Jack: How about using some deductive reasoning. Tell you what. Wait for a quiet time of activity–late, late night or early morning. A time when the Citizen Counter is not increasing. Open Chrome, Firefox, and IE. Create three fake gmail accounts in each. Register all three accounts at the same time on RSI’s site. Notice the counter increment?

              The one million is simply a count of the number of users that registered to use the RSI website. No purchase necessary.

              Also, I know this from a period of botting the votes when RSI used to do stuff like ship polls. Created several thousand fake accounts in order to ensure voting outcomes were what I wanted. I wasn’t the only one that scripted either. Considering some of those votes would get to 50,000 votes and I’d just create fake accounts every time (never bothered to save the login credentials from earlier botting for votes there are a lot of fake accounts.

              Not to mention accounts from folks that either wanted to browse the forums or enjoy a free fly weekend.

              1. How about all the people that haven’t registered that agree with CIG? Pretty sure however you slice it, at least a million people side with Chris Roberts. The dude is a legend of the PC gaming world.
                1. A legend of epic failure yes he sure is. I remember what happend during Freelancer development and I remember the initial promises from back then. Hack I still have a old german gaming magazine called “gamestar” from back then where he talked about what Freelancer will be and what you will be able to do. It sounded an aweful lot like SC multicrew ships visiting planets all that fine stuff minus the FPS part. And what got delivered in the end? Yes he never finished the game because he ran out of money and the company went under Microsoft took over and 9 month later delivered a finished game minus all the fantasy features back then.

                  Similar things happend with pretty much every game he ever made just that it never game to the point there the company went under because of him because there were publishers that prevented that from happening. He is no where near as amazing as everyone always makes him out to be. Its like everyone has tunnel vision and has forgot about all the trail of fail in his record.

                  Way back then kickstarter was first announced I brought into it with almost a thousend bucks because I though it was a reasonable vision though even back then already too many stretched goals. But whatever I brought in what I never understood is how people become so clouded and deluded along the way I mean there is zero accountability no checks and balances and nobody thinks that that is a problem with a man known to be unable to deliver?

                  I’ve requested a refund a few days ago not because I’m afraid of losing the money but simply because it is a bad investment it really is. Usually when you give someone money you get something in return for taking that risk and they are accoutable to you. In crowdfounding neither happens and the arguement well you get to play the game is honstly a pretty poor argument if the amount of money you could give was limited to exactly how much the game will cost once released that be okay. But that is not what is happening.

                  Crowdfounding the way it is right now is a flawed concept and I think its high time that lawmakers take a look at that. If your company is publicly traded you have to publish your finanical statments at least once a year yet you can go and do a crowdfounding campaign which is esencially getting public found and are not required to do the same? Yet nobody thinks thats a problem?

                2. Legend to PC gaming, Chris Roberts?
                  CR a legend about gaming? That guy who said PC games were dead untill he came back from the dead?
                  ROFL, I didn’t even know his name before SC came out to story 3years ago.
                  First, PC games were NEVER dead. The best games ever came out on PC and long after CR had disapeared into hollywood studios.
                  Ok I knew about wing commander series and freelancer but I havent played them ever nor would had I cared about who made them.

                  Legends : John Carmack, Gabe Newell, Hideo Kojima etc and you don’t have to know what they did. You just know their name.
                  Chris Roberts? only niche players that knew about wing commander knew the man.

                  1 million people siding CR ? I don’t remember you calling me in. How do you know?

              2. Sry mate you lost me at “Create three fake accounts gmail accounts”
                If you think that is what is going on..all the best to ya, I’m sure that is not what is happening!
            2. Now this is just just bad Mr. Smart. why would you let a post like this through if you’re not out to troll?

              You have my handle and my email, don’t let shitheads like this drag you down please. Who is NitrJack? that you published on your blog in this manner?


                1. Sry dsmart, that was posted late on Saturday in an alcohol induced party :). I apologize for that post.

                  Kind Regards,

            3. We ‘re not disrespecting you lol.
              Not agreeing =/= disrespect.
              Respect yourself instead and try to see the facts behind the smoke.
            4. Maybe he couldn’t, but I could. I hold 5 alt accounts, which means there are at least 5 registered forum users and 5 backers less. Fortunately nobody else had this idea and so it is very unlikely that the numbers differ more than this.
            1. Drinking the Kool Aid refers to the mass suicide that happened in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. You don’t have to be American to know about Jim Jones’ cult–just well read.
        2. @Nitrojack : make it 999 999, im one backer that don’t agree with you or CIG.
          And since you want to play the number call, shall I remind you Backers are not the only dude on this planet that can make a statement about something. (aka SC)
          In you own words :

          So 7.2 billions non backers..think about it for a bit,
          7.2 billions NON backers.
          Are you sure you want to continue this crusade against..well all us “Whatever Knights?

  45. Happy to report i’ve got my refund request approved.

    CIG support was very polite and professional. Hats off to people working there.
    They did ask if i was influenced by any media articles, to which i’ve responded “no”, which is plainly obvious, as i actually requested the refund before the media brouhaha. They’ve apologized for taking long to respond.

    All in all – good refund experience, would refund again.

    Not sure if it’s as frictionless for people everywhere or if it’s just the EU or if kickstarter backer status has any influence (no one ever asked me about it), of course. Can only speak for my case.

  46. Hey Derek,
    Want to see a funny parallel?
    a forum title that says it all:

    Is MWO a warning sign of what will transpire here?

    and one other. It is a discussion on how PGI and the mechwarrior online was behaving at the time.
    And yes they to stalked people across the net and banned people. Niko SNow did.
    He was so bad when they launched transverse they ran reddit account and had the entire pgi team shadow banned.

    And yet here we are – a shovel ware game dev doing as good or better than the AAA community.
    And note that most of those who were well aware of the situation are staunch defenders or CR + CIG.

      1. Yep, it’s behind the backer wall. The thread is an old one from August 2013, and its 275 pages long with the last post made in Feb ’14. Basically it is someone lamenting the death of MWO and asking if the same situation could occur with SC. Of course everyone in the thread is basically saying “Noooo! Chris Roberts would never sell us out like that!”. Oh the hilarity….
          1. Well I was active and was actively shot down in that thread. Also there is another thread that started up after that. It got locked down a few months ago.

            Same Idea. Sadly here we are. It is just so disappointing that there was a voice back then and even then people were shot down.

            I really wish it never came to this but there were people who said something. There were players who cared. There info was right there on the forums.
            Yet CIG acts like a shovel ware development. A 90 million $ ego run wild.

            And when it comes down it is going to be catastrophic because so many refused reality even back then.

            /end rant.

      2. You now must have an account to view the forum. When I went to look it made me sign in with my RSI account creds.
  47. Hi,

    I used to be a gamer and know Wing Commander etc from playing it back in the day so this game got my interested as soon as I heard of it. I quit gaming to proceed my professional career as a trader and eventually financial investor having my share of personally dealing with CEOs from software companies. So I am a bit biased. For every true visionary there are lots of people who just sell visions.

    Tbh, I don’t like crowdfunding for commercial projects in general because it means putting financial risk on a fanbase without giving them anything substancial in return. It’s not a fair deal. Obviously.
    If the project works out you get little at best – if it ends being belly up – you have nothing.

    But they are not crowdfunding.

    They are selling add-ons for a future product at huge, huge prices. There is no way for the donators to get their money back if the company goes bankrupt. This would be fair if they had the chance to make profit in return. But they don’t, not in any scenario. This is either going to be a F2P or subscription base game and it is highly improbable the prices charged now will climb beyond release so that you could make a proft out of your investment in rare spaceships etc.
    You are not buying art or antiques here.
    Virtual add-ons can be produced at any number you want, so can games. These prices are just too high to not attract big competotion if this game ends up being successful.

    So, in conclusion, I do not know this matter well enough at all to be sure about what is going on here and if the comany might be in better shape at this Moment than it sounds but by just looking at their business model something seems very clear to me.

    At the prices they are charging they are ripping off their fanbase even if they eventually got out the greatest game ever.
    And this is the best case szenario.

  48. “there was really nothing here. Nothing at all.”
    Did we watch the same presentation?
    1. New locations as yet unseen in game engine:
    a. Crusader Gas Giant
    b. Nav Comm Satellite
    c. CryoAstra repair/refuel Space Station
    d. Security Station Kareah
    e. Idris

    2. Demo of reworked and flyable Constellation,
    a. as yet unseen interior and exterior
    b. multi-crew functionality including flight and turrets
    c. connie damage states including vfx (state not dynamic in in Q drive was a little weird)
    d. crew elevator

    3. Animations
    a. Single-seat EVA functionality
    b. side strafe en passant
    c. some FPS action, very limited though it was
    d. repair system

    4. SQ 42 interaction system
    a. floaty text system
    b. contextual behavior cues

    5. Cinematics and character previews
    a. that speech
    b. crewmates
    c. cast list, wow

    1. Damn!! That sounds awesome! I can’t find the download link, though… Could you point me to where I can download all those cool additions to Star Citizen so I can have fun playing the game?
  49. Derek,
    I have read almost all of your blog. I have watched several discussion on the issues you raise on YouTube and within the Star Citizen community. Of course I have read the Escapist’s articles, and Chris Robert’s reply. With all of this I felt compelled to respond, not as a white knight but as someone who invested into the game fairly early (around the 14 Million point) and has continued to track and enjoy the games evolution up to this point.
    While no one can say that you do not have a comprehensive and wide amount of experience in game development, to me (at least) it seems that Chris Roberts has more. While you say that Chris was not responsible for the games getting finished (which may very well be true I do not claim to know) the fact is the were. Again and again he made games that did very well. He made games (or at least had part in making) that were incredibly fun to me, and that I played again and again. Now movies… well not so much. I liked “Wing Commander” but more as a guilty pleasure. So, however he manages it, he has a large and respected number of games that he designed or oversaw that were completed. Now in comparison, your own experience is not quite as extensive. When people heard Chris Roberts was making a new game that was a huge draw (again to me at least) to check out and immediately invest in Star Citizen. Simply put, when I think of space sims I think of Chris Roberts, not Derek Smart. Again, I am NOT trying to disrespct you here, I am just stating that prior to this newstory I didn’t even know your name. I didn’t invest in Star Citizen, I invested in Chris Roberts….. because I knew his name, if that makes any sense.
    So, after all of this investigation on my part, I just cannot see where some of the comments you made make sense. Let’s start with Star Citizen going bankrupt. So they have $8 million in the bank. Well considering that’s around 10% of the total, that seems fairly normal. Most businesses operate with around 10%-15% capital on hand. You seem to dismiss the fact that Star Citizen is continually making money. They have a constant income and with more cash revenue streams opening up (more about that later) I just do not see that they have a huge amount to worry about. They have a growing fan base and from that fan base a growing stream of income from the whales who spend way more than the $45 base commitment.
    Further with another point you make, Star Citizen is now available for pre-order. What does that mean? Well nothing more than you can spend $45 and get a ship and access no differently than before. Now what it says is very important. Every major game prior to release goes on pre-order these days. I cannot think of a single triple A title that has not in the last couple of years. So I suspect that Star Citizen will soon be available on Steam as a pre-order. This will increase the revenue base (as I mentioned previously) and will get even more people talking about and buying Star Citizen (pre-alpha)… again I suspect a “pre-alpha” release on Steam, for the same reasons. Further, Saitek is coming on board with their own controllers for Star Citizen. SC will get a cut of whatever they make, and there is another revenue stream. If Star Citizen is seeking private financing… I would not be surprised nor would it bother me as it again is just another revenue stream. I mean CIG is a corporation and can sell shares, etc. There is nothing abnormal here except that a fairly small game company is doing it. The larger ones do it as well, in fact almost everything you have stated about the financial dealings at Star Citizen (to include waste on stupid coffee machines) is fairly common.
    Now as to Chris Roberts making a ton of money here. Why not? It’s his game, his company and his creation. In what scenario would he not be paid a ton of money? He is the CEO of a (so far anyway) successful venture. I personally do not care for his wife, and while I guarantee there is some nepotism there as you claim… so what. Again, this is just business as usual. If she does the job she is paid for, well again… so what? This honestly seems to be a pattern with Chris, he develops a game franchise, creates a company to make it, gets it off the ground and then sells it. As long as Star Citizen gets off the ground and eventually full fills what I expect for it as a game, again who cares? Personally I would not have jumped on board without Chris’s name up front but now, the game can be made with or without him. I suspect though that it will be completed though.
    You keep returning to that original release dates. Again, who cares. Every major title now changes release dates, and none of them have had the huge change in scope that Star Citizen has. Star Citizen has always been offered as a stand alone first in Squadron 42 (another thing you keep coming back to for some reason) and a persistent universe MMO after. Will the huge increase in funding, of course the dates change because they can do more add more and make the game (both Squadron 42 and the PU) even better. I fail to understand why this is such an issue. You have said they were going to chop up the game so they could get it released. Well isn’t that what everyone does, even yourself? You release a main game, then release add-ons with more episodes etc. Every major and minor title does this anymore so again I fail to see the issue. If Squadron 42 gets released with 10-20 missions, and 3 months later 10-20 missions are added, and 3 months later…. again I think you get the idea. I don’t think anyone would be terribly upset by this and I am only talking about the stand alone. If the PU takes another year… ok. I mean honestly they are only 2 years and what 9 months into development (from end of Kickstarter)? I just don’t see the problem.
    This is just a bit of what I want to comment on, but clearly it is running long. I don’t intend to be a troll here. This is simply my honest opinion.
    Best of Luck
    Robert Smith
    1. @Robert Smith

      Mate, you are one of the rare SC community dude that is questioning the other side without the hate and fascism.
      This is so rare that I’m going write some as well.

      I ‘m backer too.
      I think and hope you are on the good trails for an awakening.
      I won’t give counter arguments on what you have written.
      Only, remember that everything you know about SC advancement comes from ONE and one source only : CIG aka Chris Roberts.
      How do you know he is telling the truth? Because it is too big to be fake? Because it is Chris Roberts? Do you know him ? Can you confirm me he is doing what he claims to be? Other than ‘they show’ ‘they said’ ‘.

      I can’t say he’s telling the truth or not but I can say this, based on actual facts :
      The ‘game’ in its actual game is not a game. It’s a bunch of unconnected modules that are not enjoyable, full of bugs and in prealpha state for 2 years now. This is a fact right?

      I clearly remember Chris Roberts claimed to take the game out in 2 years with 2m$. Including PU, offline play, space sim, ingame economy. etc.

      David Braben realised precisly this with Elite Dangerous and with so less money on start it just speaks for itself. In 2 years. Ok they choped the game, and you are right it is a common doing nowadays.
      Nevertheless they released a playable product.

      I’m coming to the point :
      2 years ago would you have pledged for SC, with Chris Roberts on lead, if he had stated then “I need 2m$ to make this game but I won’t be able to do it. But please give me the money anyway.”
      Would he have said such a thing, I would have never pledged.
      You are right to anwser he never, instead he said he could do it with 500k$ ( and got 2m$) .
      PU, offline play, ingame econmy etc.

      Now, 2 years after, he is claiming the game can’t be made, seeing the scope range it has now.
      So it seems Chris Roberts can make mistake, only he’s CEO, and playing with YOUR money.
      A CEO from its very nature, doesn’t have the luxury to make mistakes , on a professional field that is.
      Sometimes they do and usually they are not CEO anymore after that.
      Since he’s human beeing and can make mistakes, how can you be sure he can’t do anymore.
      In what way does the scope range it has now differs from 2 years ago?
      In what way does it even match what we have for playable now from what was claimed 2 years ago?
      How come they can’t make it with 90m$ since they couldn’t with 2m$ ?
      How come it’s been 1 year they havent released out anything worth the try? with so much money?

      I can’t say he’s lying, not telling truth, or maybe self-enlighted,but I know for a fact SC after 3 years developement looks nothing like a game and that everything they show us is about future, dream, vision, and incredibly shiny concept arts and such.

      And I really belive CIG is designed to follow a Pyramid scheme business plan, as well as a dedication to its leader wich is close and alike of a sectish cult.
      Aka Chris Robert is awesome, period.

      1. @lir / Robert Smith
        Hell, before all that people should take the time just to consider how epicly different Star Citizen is from Wing Commander. That was 25 years ago! If Star citizen was being built with pixel graphics, then yeah, Chris Roberts is the guy for the job. I’d actually donate today if that was the game he was building.

        Chris Roberts is promising revolutionary features with revolutionary graphics. Trying something like that complete with R&D and a healthy dose of experimentation would have cost $100 million 10-15 years ago. What’s that gonna cost a start-up developer today? Does Chris Roberts know? All his mentions of timelines or budget so far suggest no. He tried this over 12 years ago and failed miserably. The fact a different company managed to use the assets to make a totally different, but fun, game is irrelevant.

        This is his second chance, and he’s showing none of the humility or caution that somebody who learned their lessons would show.

        At this point I don’t know why anyone following CIG would expect Episode 1 of SQ42 in less than 15 months (still technically 2016!) assuming no more delays. Even ignoring the fact the $170 Aegis POTATO basically proves Derek is getting insider info, clearly the “Baby PU” has to come first. It represents all core gameplay SQ42 requires. Unless you’re expecting $20 million worth of celebrity cut scenes mixed with childish missions played in Arena Commander maps.

        What was shown at citcon is just as far away as all the other “gameplay” videos you’ve seen so far and have yet to play.

        At best this game is halfway done, and if you believe they only have ~$8 million left, just staying afloat will require an increasingly desperate marketing campaign. You can see that already in their attempt to charge for CCUing your ships (I have no idea wth that actually means) and now a referral program tasking already obsessive fans with recruiting ever more people.

        It’s hard not to rant about this complicated mess. =/

    2. I would just like to say that “Disintegration” was one the best albums ever and changed many people’s lives. So thank you for that!
  50. Im curious Are those staged demos from Citizen con playable? I mean the one that involve hunting for a disabled ship, and the recent one with FPS inside station.
          1. They are on a good way digesting all the intel they got from CIG.
            When they are done you’ll see they’ll begin to wake up.
            Too bad for now we are only a few that don’t like CIG food.
    1. I read most of the weekly updates on star marine for the last few months..
      The impression I came away with was It was largely complete except all the animations needed some work and that’s what they’d be focusing on to release it in “weeks not months”. Now maybe it’s just me, but I thought the animations at citcon looked worse then gamescom. That’s probably why you only see other characters for a moment, and no 3rd person views this time. So what the hell have they really been doing?
        1. Changed direction? I would have guessed they’ve done nothing but spend months fighting to get illfonic’s code working inside their multicrew demo in time for citcon. The only thing left I hope for is they stay focused and cut any promised features standing in the way. Even if it ends up playing more like illfonic’s quake mod than the “Rainbow 6 + Arma 3” dream.

          I thought the “Baby PU” (I’d prefer to call it the “tech demo of foundational gameplay”) would take some time to get running stably outside of a super computer staged environment (was it just me or were some transitions totally missing at citcon), but It sounds like its now slated for “Two Weeks™”… I guess it’s another waiting game to see if that’s anything more than a better way of making money than “Soon™”.

          If you can’t tell, my optimism for anything they have to say is fading very fast. How is there still so much faith after years of misdirection like this?

          LOL. “open development”.

          I still hope there’s a feature length behind the scenes documentary (I think they promised that at some point) that’s capturing all the warning signs of this impending failure. Should be crazier than the leaked Disney documentary of “The Emperor’s New Groove” ‘s disastrous production.

          I really need to stop posting here, it feels like I’m just repeating myself. Though CIG has been repeating themselves for quite some time.

    2. dsmart, you claim to have insights to the company’s financial situation. You don’t seem to think they have many months left. Many of us would like to hear your official statement, a “last date” if you will. I claim that by the end of Q1/16 they will still have roughly same number of employees, and the game will still be getting significant updates. Your response would be perfectly suited as a reference for the future.
        1. Do you really believe the pledges will stop? I mean even if what you are saying about they’re finances is true, they still get financed by the community. You talk about a burn-rate of appr. 3 Mio a month, still they do get 1-3 Mio a month of continuing support, and that without ship commercials or any real effort of marketing.
          So why are you clinging on Q1/16?
    3. Actually, I understood this slightly different than you, meaning that I don’t agree with the statement that was put in indefinite hold. Quoting Ben Lesnick:

      “the Baby PU is NOT replacing Star Marine, it’s simply going to include a lot of the work we’ve done on the FPS. We still intend to release Star Marine proper (with Gold Horizon and the HQ game mode and all that.)”

      I don’t think that it was in “indefinite hold”. Because it seems not the case. They are still developing that apparently, but will launch it in a different form. First, with the elements developed in the Baby PU, then in the “Simulator mode”, Arena Commander style, a video-game inside the game: “Star Marine”.

      The delay was indeed, indefinite. But it was not “put on hold”. On hold to me, seems they stopping to work on that, to work in other things, and that does not seem the case. They just dropped the priority of the development of the Star Marine release format. On hold to me, would be if they totally stopped to develop anything related to those features.
      It’s important to have in mind too, that “Star Marine” is not a game as promised by itself. Are just features supposed to have in the final game, thought to be packaged in an earlier releasable form for testing (and more cash grabbing). But what matters to the game are the features that are part of that.

      That’s my point of view about this issue. I have to agree, in part with you and in part with Ben Lesnick notions about this matter. Indefinite meaning cancelled is bullshit. It’s drama and Lesnick pathetically trying to justify a fact shared by one of its developers – damage control. But “indefinitely on hold” is also wrong, for what is the purpose of the development and for Star Marine itself.

      “The release delayed indefinite” is the right thing to have been said by that time, just as that dev of CIG announced it.

    4. It sounds like they made a lost of progress with it, enough for it to no longer be stand alone but part of. That’s good, right?
    5. CIG provides and overwhelms the community with so much information, people can’t even seem to remember they’ve spent last year waiting for SM.

      all CIG has kept doing is about hiding a shit with a bigger shit instead.

  51. I am a SC backer too, But I Know they will burn with PU, Yes ok Cig will publish SQ 42 episode 1, but PU? how? 1000000 players? do they have a tech to place just 10000 players in same universs? or just 100? i think NO, not yet…so, 500000 people decide to log on? what will happen? Do they have quantum computers for such mass or something?
    1. Banis: I don’t think the plan was to put that many players in the same world. It’s going to be sharded. Which is why they keep talking about zoning in their dev logs.

    1. Nobody wants CIG to fail. #BlackKnightsMatter is simply a movement to gain accountability. Something CIG should’ve done a long time ago.
      1. Yep. Taking CIG down CIG is what Roberts is trying to do, apparently. His decisions to grab easy/quick money are all against the future and continuity of Star Citizen and CIG. Sometimes I think that he just want the wife’s plan to work, regardless the future consequences.
        As well as he is clearly interested to earn reputation of Hollywood actors direction/production, etc. Both for him and for his wife. You know, that one which appears in the middle of cast with other actual stars. It’s curious, because, no other CIG employee was in that list. I don’t doubt, many are better actors than her.
        1. It’s probably not a good idea to say such things when we don’t have any evidence for why she was has that role. We don’t even know how large the role is. Perhaps Sandi’s audition performance helped her land the role legitimately or maybe Chris wanted to give his wife the role as a gift (which is nice). It’s none of our business. Our business as Black Knights is CIG’s accountability. That’s the most important thing. The rest is simply noise that’s best avoided. So say we all? 🙂
  52. It just occurred to me the reasoning behind Chris’s ridiculous diatribe response to the Escapist article:

    He’s selling an image, not a product.

    Think about real companies, that make real products. How long have huge special interest groups been trying to take down companies like Coca-Cola? Corn syrup is unhealthy, we had rats tie little ropes and hang themselves after drinking Coke. The rats got so fat we had to use industrial mining equipment to bury them. Etc.

    Yet Coke lives on. The CEO of the company doesn’t take 8 hours to write long paranoid rants and personal attacks. They have an actual professional PR person who usually makes a 1-2 sentence response and they keep shipping product. Some of you are probably knocking back a soda while drinking this.

    Star Citizen, on the other hand, is a concept. It is not a product. What’s been released is complete shit. Everything else is images, movies, demos, websites, vacuous “progress updates” that say nothing, press statements, and fan gatherings. Tons of money creating the illusion. It’s like they’re making a “Truman Show”-style reality show about game development, where the illusion of showing people a busy game studio is the first priority. Actually making a game is a distant second.

    In a case like that, where you don’t have a project, image is everything. Image is what keeps the money flowing in. And image is what can be damaged very easily, especially on the internet. So suddenly, a few people question the project, an article showing that some people think things might be bad, and CR goes into overdrive, using his rabid fans as his personal internet PR army. This is because they understand how quickly opinions change online – how fast those doubts spread.

    If he had enough money to finish this game (which he said he did), then there is literally nothing anyone can do to stop it. Certainly not a single article, much less a single person. The fact that he wrote his litany indicates to me that he knows the money has to keep flowing, so in a panic he released his manifesto to his minions.

    I firmly believe that literary mind dump will one day be identified as the beginning of the end for this project. It even split backers into two camps – the people that would follow Chris Roberts into a wood-chipper if he told them to (while paying for it with a “donation” mind you), and the people who read it and started to say to themselves, “you know, this guy is kinda nuts.”

    I also can’t shake the feeling (I have no concrete evidence, call it a hunch) that there’s a little demon sitting on Chris’s shoulder, whispering in his ear, leading him in all the wrong directions. This little demon would be female, and has her own agenda with this project, and the money it’s bringing in. We’ve all seen this phenomenon before, perhaps in our own friends and families. I suspect Erin Roberts would agree with this assessment, and I gotta hand it to that man for keeping it together the way he does. He has the hardest job in the world right now, watching his brother getting manipulated into complete self-destruction, but he keeps his mouth shut and keeps plugging along. Erin Roberts is all pro, and he gets mad props from me.

    1. To me half CitCon looked like the behind the scenes of a movie showing Chris directing actors. It’s like he is holding on to Hollywood dreams and using backer funding for it.

      Isn’t that the MoCap studio they built? Won’t they keep that if the whole thing blows up?

      1. What I’ve heard from the RSI forums is they both built a mocap studio AND rented a much nicer one to host the ~$10 million worth of hollywood talent.
    2. “I also can’t shake the feeling (I have no concrete evidence, call it a hunch) that there’s a little demon sitting on Chris’s shoulder,”

      Nope. It’s Roberts himself. He is just that guy who does not care with people’s money after he got them. They all become “slaves of his wish”. IT does not matter who. Be an usual consumer, an angel-investor or an actual publishers. He always had this personality, this, celebrity complex. It happens with a lot of people who make some success and get some notoriety when it’s too new.

      You see this happening even in his decisions. For example, he puts a guy, of “some talent”, but without any experience in the game industry, as head of UI, He is obviously thinking that its another “him”, because he really thinks that he is a kind of super-god game designer.

      You know. How many developers started to make success so new? How many went to the Movie Industry to produce/direct Hollywood stars and movie projects? The ego of the guy simply blinds him about the reality. That he has some cool ideas, as any other person could have, but that his past success, in general, weren’t success to his leadership, but due others putting him back on track. And now, he seems lost, without anyone to put him back on track. With all the money and fanaticism over him. It’s a receipt for a disaster.

      And it’s Roberts. Nobody else. And while he can make the game that he wants to play, he actually cannot made it without earning a loooot of money. He is a money lover. He wouldn’t make anything, just for love, as some people in the game industry, actually does.

  53. I admit I was disappointed at seeing Sandi included with all the A List “Tier 0” actors (high poly count) as if she was a natural talent and already accomplished for that level, it gave me pause that some of the other thoughts on being unqualified and nepotistically placed are true, that the game funding is a personal venue for self-promotion and advancement in other areas of life.
    1. I have a lousy feeling in the pit of my stomach that this was her endgame.

      1 million backers, over 90 million dollars.

      Sandi got what she wanted.

      Backers did not.

      Speculation: when the internet furor rose, Chris got an earful of “BUT I’M NOT FAMOUS YET AND IT’S GONNA ALL BE RUINED” hence the sudden shift to SQ42.

  54. Now that we have a business day in the books, have your sources been able to provide any more information regarding “The Speech” (not the SQ42 one, but the Sandi Gardiner one)? I’m still wondering what that was all about.
    1. Sources are still trying to figure wtf that was about. She was going to quit. But as they’ve stated, it’s not the first time she’s threatened to do it.

      1. She should quit, but they should still let her as a wingman in the Squadron 42 story. This way, in the moment of having to sacrifice some wingman to proceed to a successful mission, a choice between one wingman or other, the choice would not be so hard. 😀
    2. I think she is maybe an insecure person who doesn’t believe in her own strengths enough to admit she is married to Chris and that any contributions made to the effort were come by honestly. This could become a paranoia and definitely a detriment to the working atmosphere within the office but such a situation is too hard to correct given her relationship. Most people will need to work around this and I hope it doesn’t add more derailment to the game development than it already has.
  55. You keep asserting that nothing tangible was shown.

    A baseline incremental AC 1.0 patch
    No new flyable ships
    No new social/planetside content
    No Star Marine
    No AC 2.0 / multi-crew
    No PU
    Nothing playable from SQ42

    Here is what was shown.

    A baseline incremental AC 1.0 patch
    No new flyable ships – The Constellation and Retaliator are both working in engine, which is big.
    No new social/planetside content – I don’t care about planetside content.
    No Star Marine – They boarded a station and had a firefight seamlessly, thats fps content, working in game
    No AC 2.0 / multi-crew – Um, that was the entire demo they showed. did you miss it?
    No PU – This is PU:
    Nothing playable from SQ42 – There was no real gameplay gameplay, but the walking and talking was not a cutscene, but a guy walking around in engine while npcs talked to him.

    You are trying to make it seem like them going from releasing fps and multi crew as separate modules to releasing all of it at once as a more complete alpha of the game is a bad thing. It seems more like they got a working build of it more quickly than they expected, and are skipping the whole module bullshit and going straight to an actual alpha.

    Squadron 42 has always been a separate game from the mmo part, thats been the case since 2012. And as for dates, well, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that Christ Roberts SUCKS at giving dates. The community doesn’t want them anymore, because they are always wrong anyway, and lead to PR trouble.

    Can you honestly say that this presentation didn’t show massive progress over the last presentation? The fps is now a part of the main gameplay, not a separate mode you load into, and it went from being absolute shit to being crappy. The multicrew ship gameplay looks a lot smoother (except the janky turrets). I mean, what they showed that day is enough to play. The only thing to do now is to make the netcode work, no small task, but still. It’s a big deal that they have this much working already. If they get this alpha working online with 20-50 players, then they have a working build of star citizen, the impossible game. The only thing left would be polish and content.

    What is your reasoning for saying that they showed no progress?

    1. I agree with the above interpretation of citcon – though remember I’m an admitted fan 🙂

      To me – if they put this in the hands f backers and it works it is definate “proof of concept” that the foundation of the PU is, in fact, possible and that the main game construction challenges have been solved.

      My single worry is the budget. Can they sustain this development to end of 2017 or even 2018? I realistically think the PU might take till 2018.
      I believe SQ42 will come Q4 2016 at the latest. Will that mean renewned funding? I dont know – many have paid for it already. Depends on the broad appeal I guess. It could go through the roof or it go give almost zero extra funds.

      In any case the train will come to an end for the Derek Smart vs CIG controntation long before that. Either by end of 2015 or end Q1 2016. I admire the “end game” announcement from the blog owner but it is a double edged sword. If PU alpha goes live to backers in 2015 and CIG continues current manning and development effort through to Q1 2016 AND all the major conjectures are still unverified this chapter is closed for me.

      1. “My single worry is the budget.”

        That should be everyone’s worry.
        I know many have already done this, but I took the time yesterday to – as the lawyer said was possible – evaluate their budget based on what’s publicly available. Now I believe Chris Roberts gave the number of $128,000 a year to fully employ someone in the game industry.. If you believe the chart showing the # of employees at Citcon, that’s ~$46,000,000 gone already. Now it gets tricky as that doesn’t include all the contractors working on the game. I remember hearing as many as 200 other people working on the game.. now I’m sure not for 3 years, so lets say 1.5 years. Now that still isn’t fair as I’m guessing there was also a similar ramping up involved.. but when you add over 2 months in the finest hollywood mocap studio with several AAA celebrity voice actors, $38,000,000 doesn’t seem so crazy.

        So long story short… on my first try, ~$8,000,000 left and a minimum burn rate of $2,880,000 a month.
        If these numbers aren’t true, why hasn’t Chirs Roberts said differently? He could’ve ended this whole backlash by stating 2 numbers anytime in the last few months. Unless it’s true and lying about it will only get him in more trouble

        1. Miles: They now have 260 people as per the CitCon presentation. Our internal calculations peg their expenditure to date, short of $80m. Which would lend credence to the $8m left in the bank statements being passed around.

          Also, note that these numbers do not account for malfeasance, fraud etc because all of that – if they exist – can only be uncovered either through a lawsuit (in which the financials are requested in discovery) or investigation if/when they fold. Similar to the demise of 38 Studios whereby the investigation didn’t uncover any criminal wrongdoing, just mismanagement.

        2. I did the same- just comparing to Frontier because their financial reports are public their cost is about $117 KUSD/year but they only have one studio. If you take the number of current contractors at CIG and halve it for last year and halve it again for 2013 you will get around $53 MUSD. Lots of stuff is a wash like the ecommerce site and advertising/conventions. But CIG has Illfonic contract, Mocap, actors, etc. and I think reasonable to estimate $10 MUSD for those. So conservatively CIG has spent $63 MUSD already. Burn rate means they need at least $93 MUSD to survive another year. So do-able as long as it isn’t worse than that- which it very well could be if they bought many aircraft wing tables and took a bunch of flights first-class. The Santa Monica studios are nicer than I would expect from a crowdfunded group, but I’m not familiar with the real-estate market so maybe DS can comment on that? I wonder if the initial “tech demo” year of work was “paid back” from backer funds? That would add another 1-2 million.
          1. InTheDark: It doesn’t matter if the company is crowd-funded or not, for them to have a high burn rate. It all depends on how they run their business.

            btw, they are apparently building out a new office in LA; though that work is currently on hold due to some dispute with the contractor. This is the office that apparently comes with the $20K coffee machine. Also, the entrance is apparently designed like one of the ships (I’ve forgotten which one). So uhm, yeah, more unnecessary expenses.

      2. Realistically the only thing really releasable by 2018 will be Squadron 42.
        If they achieve the end of 2016 with a 1st chapter release (removing many parts of the development out of it, like FPS/boarding missions, etc. and letting just the standard pew-pew and walking in a carrier in the first chapter), I will consider that outstanding results, considering the situation that their messed up marketing approach let them.
      1. LOL I don’t know who the hell Derek Smart was, until white knight throw him in my face. Apparently DS is the conspiracy behind all SC criticism. DS ruined SC that is why he was kicked out and he is no body compare to Christ R, fans need not to fear Smart, because he has no power, he is nothing to SC, but he ruined SC anyway. DS game is so unpopular that only 3 people play it, no body heard of this shitty obscure dev, but every SC hater is a DS fanboy. DS cult is living in a fantasy, because DS game has bad graphic, bad review, bad user experience, unlike the imaginary space ship vaporware you can buy which is the reality that evil DS cult is ignoring.
    1. So who all is in derek’s cult? I’ve seen maybe 2-3 people actually defend his games. I certainly never played one as it sounds like they’re painfully complicated.

      Wasn’t the attack line supposed to be, Derek’s incompetent and nobody plays LOD? Now all of the sudden DS is the cult leader taking people’s money who needs to face accountability? (and somehow CR doesn’t)
      The argument is mature as “I know you are but what am I!”

      I don’t recall Derek ever asking anyone for money or faith.. or anything really.
      The worst you could say about him honestly is he’s an opinionated asshole who lives in an echo chamber. Not A Cult.

      1. Apparently it is. I’m the boogie man, remember? As soon as you say something negative about Star Citizen, someone either goes 1) Oh look over there! Derek Smart! or 2) Line Of Defense sux and only 3 people playing it.

        It’s all interesting to me really. Especially when you consider that long after the collapse, I will still be here doing what I love: building games, not dreams

      2. It’s not, which is what makes it so sad & funny at the same time. People are unable to separate their opinion of a person from what a person does or says. In other words, most of modern society is under the collective delusion that truth is subjective, and the quantifier of whether something that was said is true or not is their personal opinion of the person who says it.

        Which is funny because anyone who passed a 3rd grade science class knows that the truth isn’t something that you get to vote on, or as David Gerrold put it “Reality is all the crap that doesn’t care if you believe in it or not.” Character has nothing to do with. Even if every single character attack that the SC fanboi’s have said about D.Smart were true, so what? It doesn’t make him wrong.

        Yet when the cult mentality is at work it plays out like this: If Smart steps outside at 2pm and says the sky outside is blue, the fanbois will go argue that over in Australia it’s actually night time and therefore Smart is wrong. Meanwhile, if Roberts steps outside at 2am and says the sky outside is blue, those same fanbois will go argue that over in Australia it’s actually day time and therefore Roberts is right.

        Actually, I take all all that back. The fanbois would just call Derek names and then run off to high-five each other over their “victory.” Meanwhile, reality would continue to be cleanly shut out, lest it contaminate the hive. And so long as character attacks are all that is needed to convince the fanbois then there is no reason for Roberts to ante up anything better… at least until the lawyers show up.

        Personally, I’ve tried very hard to stay as neutral as possible (as in all things). I’ve played BC3000, and honestly I was unimpressed. I don’t play LoD at all. I liked the Wing Commander series, and Freelancer too, though even David Warner couldn’t save that travesty of a movie attempt. By all rights I should have ended up on Roberts’ side but, like I said, personal opinions do not change the truth. On Derek’s end I’ve seen good arguments, lots of citations and a demonstration of knowledge. On Roberts’ side I’ve seen obfuscation, backtracking, cheap character attacks… and that’s pretty much it.

        In the end I always go with the evidence, not wishes. The subject is and always has been SCs ability to remain solvent and deliver the product that Roberts promised. They can throw darts at pictures of Smart all day if they want, it doesn’t matter. Any and all attempts to deflect the conversation away from the real issue only shows that they’re trying to hide something. I, and many others, want to know what that is.

  56. Derek,

    Did you see this?

    October 7, 2014 – Marc Beaudet (CEO of Turbulent) writes “We thank Cloud Imperium Games for taking a risk with us and for contributing conceptually and commercially to making HEAP C3MS fantastic for content monetization.”

    April 7th, 2014 – URBULENT’s HEAP C3MS platform was recently selected by Behaviour Interactive for the development of their Warhammer 40,000 Eternal Crusade Pre-order Founders Program store and their new website which will be unveiled next spring during E3.

    The Backers basically gave CIG money who then funded the development of a crowdfunding / preorder platform with Turbulent (Star Citizen’s webmasters) that Behaviour (also working on Star Citizen) then took and used for Warhammer 40,000 Eternal Crusade.

    What the absolute fuck?! How is this NOT a misappropriation of crowdfunded money? Backers didn’t pay for this. They’d paid for a video game.

    1. Kymode: Aren’t you forgetting that the backers/newer people benefit from this first. Turbulent then used their developed engine for their other projects.

      Similar to: The goverment funding an off-shore wind farm by awarding the contract to private company X. X develops the technology, builds the farm for the government, then uses the same developed technology to sell more farms to company Y.

      1. Backers didn’t give CIG $1 so that they could spend $2 to make $3. Backers gave CIG $1 to make a game. If they spend the money on anything besides game development this is called fraud. Fraud is defined as “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.” That’s precisely what CIG did with the HEAP C3MS platform.

        P.S. I realize “Ky” is not exactly flattery, but who cares… I have a fan! yay \o/

  57. My impression of the CitCon…..

    -It starts with a big Drama that was played badly by Sandi G. later on the MAN start his usual talks&promises and finally we are been showed what’s new in the “verse”(that’s just horrible name for space).

    -PU demo show 2 us some pretty assets and as usual excellent GFX but same shallow gameplay that we are been seeing in AC. The FPS looked extremely fast and twitchy honestly I am not excited about it at all,they almost didn’t mention Star Marine but I could not care less about that piece of…

    -SQ42 demo/intro/rundown is the answer where is the backers money invested,can’t said that demo and acting was bad couse it wasn’t but it was the cliche of the so many AAA games out there or big budget Hollywood movies nothing new or refreshing there.

    -The multi-crew/Constellation gameplay was just horrible and painful to watch seeing mass-less ship trying to be piloted in such a way as to not appear mass-less and CR that saying it:”Careful on landing such a big ship!” almost make me puke…..

    -At the end is worth to mention Star map that looks really cool and vivid with the nice music ambient….All in all DS didn’t miss almost nothing when he informed us what we should expected from the CitCon,now we will see what backers going to get in few following month’s to play and if nothing significant hit the game play and FM before the new year I recon that much more backers will starts to scratch their heads and to realize that SC is never going to be the game they are been pitched few years back…

    1. “The multi-crew/Constellation gameplay was just horrible and painful to watch seeing mass-less ship trying to be piloted in such a way as to not appear mass-less and CR that saying it:”Careful on landing such a big ship!” almost make me puke…..”

      As one of the guys more towards the SC backer end of the spectrum, I agree completely that the constellation moved way to quickly. It looked like shit. I just want to say though, that this isn’t because the ship is mass less, but because the maneuvering thrusters are WAY WAY WAY overpowered, making the ship maneuver too quickly to look good. This is one of the main problems with the game currently.
      But about the caution in landing, that’s totally warranted. The ship moves very quickly, and it does indeed have mass, so a very common occurrence is that when trying to land, you tap strafe down, and you slam into the landing pad at 20m/s and crush your landing gear. This happens with the fighters in game, and it is annoying.

      It’s possible to land nicely in decoupled mode, so you just drift to the landing pad at 0.5 m/s and touch down nicely. Unfortunately, the stupidly overpowered thrusters combined with coupled mode(dumbed down flying) and employees who frankly don’t fly too well makes the flying look like shit.

      This gif shows the difference between coupled and decoupled landing:
      Apparently, the constellation is as quick as a dogfighter. This is bad, but whatever all they need to do is reduce the power of the thrusters. It’s a quick edit.

  58. After a own member of CIG bullying me, earlier 2013, besided they banning me, because my feedback apparently was too dangerous to the positions/celebrity status of some key members of the Staff team, and the drama queen looking to the other side and offending me, and demonstrating that took an earlier feedback to an area, not to her, as “fobbing her” (, fanboys, encouraged by the attitude of the own company keep doing their nut job.
    Created many threads in their Forums, Reddit, about me, creating all kinds of lies or twisting the reality, turning the table as if CIG was victim and they were victims. Apparently, they also investigated my personal life enough, to gather information like personal address, personal phone, job, information about friends and family. Along the time, trying to show that in public, so I see, like suggesting a threat, obviously. Because why the hell not right? Even the company do shit like that with consumers to make their gaps disappearing of the public attention.
    Recently, I received this warning on Reddit:
    Besides, the own company lied about me too in public, when stated that Derek Smart was banned and refunded without asking, just like that did with others, including “the most famous troll” : me, because that was what they transformed me. Which is interesting. Specially when Sandi Gardiner complained of my incredible long email that was a waste of time of the CEO/CFO (actually was important feedback for problems that they could prevent, they didn’t and then suffered with such problems). Because before, the “troll” sent her another incredible long email to tell about how he was helping to promote CIG in his country, and giving other suggestions. So, if that is a waste of time, why Sandi answered for the other incredible long email that I sent, with praises, instead constructive criticism, at this form:
    The true is that Ben Lesnick lied in public not just about Derek Smart ban, but also about the fact that I was refunded without asking. I had to demand my refund three times. And in the last time, was with Cloud Imperium committing a true abuse that the refund only never really paid for, besides revealing who they really are, and making easy to see what was going on, since then.
    And yesterday, a member of the SC cult created a twitter accounts using my user name and image, and started to answer to people who follows me, or I chat, pretending to be me. Posting things like this: or claiming that I was under “medicine”.
    The thing is, between that “incredible long email” that Sandi talked that was a waste of time, was actually a prediciton that the way that CIG was forging their community would lead to situation like that with people that would just like to exercise what was promised that they would be… to give feedback. Recently, CIG have been not tolerating trolls, harassing people in their forums, just because they have more critics to say than praises. Still, its in rare ocasions. They still will look to the other side, most of the times, and find sins in the words of “troublemakers” (as they call people with feedback that despite true, despite important, they don’t want to hear in public, specially) very quickly.
    Most recentely, the banning of the famous fan, long participant of the forums Beer4TheBeerGod. And many others that are usually banned when they try to exercise feedback. And CIG keep forging and feeding their Army of White Knights as doing ok, as doing the right thing on defending them, no matter what. Never, I mean NEVER CIG came to public to ask to their backers do not harass people’s personal life online, just because they have criticism. Instead, they embrace those white knights, congrats them for their support, give prizes, promote them in shows as “examples” and others things like that (like they did with the member Wulf Knight, one of the biggest harassers of the SC community, which deserved special notes, by helping CIG with a lot of money and been a member example, that truly “supports” CIG.
    This is the kind of thing that CIG does. Because apparently, whatever means justify the ends in their point of view. What is valid for them, is invalid for others. A feedback that does not paint them as saints, angels, heroes, gods, and reveal flaws and gaps, instead been looked as important to not to be ignored, and solved, will not just be ignored (which they have the right to do it), but they will demonize the person enough, so others do not listen and make pressure for things that they should do, if they care with consumers.
    Finally, once again, I bring to attention that CIG build a crowdfunding platform in his own website and limited the feedback of the public to their forums. At the same time, FTC came to public and said that if consumers think that something is wrong, they should report to FTC, to State GA and alert other consumers in the place where the crowdfunding driving is going on. So, my question for FTC is how I could do that, if CIG is banning people when they try, and encouraging people to harass the personal life of those who try to do that outside of their walls? FTC probably will answer that it’s bad faith and CIG is just using their Forums as a marketing tool, doing false advertising.
    Even that some feeddback is allowed, everyone knows that its true and those who say the contrary, are pretending or are blind due fanboyism, or did not have too much time yet to look how the things happens there.
    Cloud Imperium Games cannot walk free from all this. No “incredible” game can justify all the shit that they are doing. All the disrespect to laws, to consumers, to FTC statements regarding crowdfunding practices.
    As Jacque Fresco says: This shit go to go! (
  59. Well, CitizenCon 2015 is over. You can see the full thing over here in case you missed it. And here is a pre-recording of the demo.

    And that bit with Sandra at the beginning? Pure Hollywood drama. Thus far, nobody, not even the rabid White Knights, can figure out wtf that was about. And right at the beginning. Aside from being a terrible actress, her ability to control emotions on-the-fly, is text book [bad] acting. I swear it looked like she was about to quit (she now denies that). Then Erin ruined it. As some have indicated, clearly this looked like she pulled an audible. Why didn’t ALL of this happen at the END? You know, like before or after the birthday cake celebration?

    For my part, as impressive as the graphics have always been, there was really nothing here. Nothing at all. There was no SQ42 playable mission because, well, it doesn’t exist in any playable form yet. Which is why my sources are telling me that it’s about 15 months out. Though they may chop it up and release episode 1 at some point in 2016.

    Also note now, no dates. That’s part of the admission of the uncertainty with the project. Aside from the fact that Star Marine was due out two weeks ago and now it’s off the table indefinitely. And it’s looking a lot like it’s no longer a standalone module but rolled into the PU. Which is precisely what I had predicted would happen back when I gave my review of the social module.

    In short, they didn’t release anything of substance. Let’s tally it all up:

    A baseline incremental AC 1.0 patch
    No new flyable ships
    No new social/planetside content
    No Star Marine
    No AC 2.0 / multi-crew
    No PU
    Nothing playable from SQ42

    And yet another concept ship sale.

    And a starmap, that’s cool to play with, but useless since there is nothing to do with it.

    Yet, somehow, most backers somehow missed the fact that, well, yeah, they took away their liability to continue frequent deliveries of content.

    Oh, and now, SQ42 is apparently going to be a stand-alone product. So the “buy it now as part of Star Citizen” cash grab has begun. Note how it’s now a “pre-order” instead of a “pledge to the dream”. You get one guess why that is.

    Then there’s the referral program. For a “game” that doesn’t yet exist and which in all likelihood never will.

    In short, they have spent fours years and $91.5m and thus far are nowhere near shipping the game as promised. But the whales keep funding it.

    Let’s wind back to E3 2014, shall we? Here is the interview. And here were the dates:

    – Arena Commander 2.0 (Multicrew) by the end of the year (2014).
    – First Person Shooter module tentatively PAX Australia (Nov 2014).
    – Planetside Module (after FPS module)
    – Mini Persistent Universe (after Planetside module)
    – Backer release of Persistent Universe (end of 2015)
    – Full release of the game (mid 2016)

    Note that the game was supposed to be delivered back in Nov 2014.

    So how close was my prediction (written at the bottom of my blog)?

    CitCon is going to be more smoke and mirrors. Just like GAMESCOM and every event before it. They have nothing tangible to show. If they did, all the stuff they have recently shown, would be in backers hands by now and in decent form. In fact, you heard it here first:

    They are going to parade all the A-List actors – all of whom cost a ton of money – for SQ42. This despite the fact that the stand-alone game is reported to be almost fifteen months away from completion.

    1) They are going to show the opening cut-scene sequence for SQ42 with Gary Oldman giving his speech, someone flying and landing, NPCs waving etc.

    2) They are going to show Star Marine. Again. It’s still a mess – and nowhere ready for production release. Reports tell me that if it gets released before year end, it would be a miracle.

    3) They are going to show multi-crew. Again. Problem now is that, as of the last report I got, it doesn’t run smoothly at all. And so they are now running the demo on super computers with 16 cores, loads of memory etc. Again, not production release ready.

    4) And a new ship. Rumored to be the Vindicator fighter priced at $175 (UPDATE: This price has been increased I’ve heard)

    There is nothing new being released to backers, other than another AC patch apparently.

    I think it was spot on. Aside from the fact that some Goon I had given the name of the fighter to, made an error with the SHA-256 and the name was cracked immediately. Thus giving them enough time to change the name to Sabre. It’s only data and no game model exists. So that was a trivial change for them to make at the last minute.

    ps: This Goon pretty much sums it all up.

    1. “It’s only data and no game model exists.”

      No finished model as of yet, but they are in the white-box phase of the model at the moment, and the white-boxed model is in the game files already

      1. “It’s only data and no game model exists.” < That's a fact. Are you enjoying/playing the game right now?

    2. You said “Though they may chop it up and release episode 1 at some point in 2016.”

      This has always been the plan, to release it in Episode, nice to see you agree that they will be releasing the game at some point, contradicting your “They will never ship this game EVER” statement

      1. Derp: It falls in line with all my commentary. If they make it through 2016, which is highly unlikely, then they will obviously have to release part of SQ42.

    3. “Though they may chop it up and release episode 1 at some point in 2016.”

      This has been the goal for two years. Last I heard, they were splitting it up into three sections in 2016, and two more the follow year, at 50 missions, 10 missions each section. All of these are included as SQ42 and we will not be charged for the accompanying missions discs.

      A baseline incremental AC 1.0 patch – That will add something we’ve never seen to the game.
      No new flyable ships – Herald is next up if you’ve been watching community content.
      No new social/planetside content – They stated more will be added when Multi-crew drops as this is now the AC 2.0 / Multi-crew.
      No Star Marine – Weekly Updates
      No AC 2.0 / multi-crew – The has been dropped and is now Alpha PU.
      No PU – Alpha looks pretty close to me.
      Nothing playable from SQ42 – Ok.

      “Oh, and now, SQ42 is apparently going to be a stand-alone product. So the “buy it now as part of Star Citizen” cash grab has begun. Note how it’s now a “pre-order” instead of a “pledge to the dream”. You get one guess why that is.”

      This is how it has always worked. The sooner you get it, the cheaper you get it.

      “In short, they have spent fours years and $91.5m and thus far are nowhere near shipping the game as promised. But the whales keep funding it.”

      There is nothing conclusive here.

    4. Hi Derek,

      I would like to thank you for your very civil response to my previous question. Although not agreeing with you on all points, I found it informative and interesting.

      In many countries, particularly Australia where I live, the term “Pre-Order” has legal meaning. Specifically any product sold as a Pre-Order must be advertised with a delivery date. Said delivery date can be generalized to a month and a year, or even just a year.

      I’m not sure if you noticed in the Admiral Bishop speech video at the very end, after the cast they had a date of 2016.

      So since CIG is providing refunds to Kickstarter backers and the fact that they have a release date for Squadron 42, thus fulfilling two of the demands from your original demand letter. This leaves only one demand remaining, which is for a forensic accounting of their books. Given that privately owned companies typically only need to show their books to their shareholders and the government (on occasion), what precedent is there (if any) that could possibly justify CIG showing their books to anyone but their shareholders?

      Having achieved two of your original 3 goals, the third being questionable. What cause do you have left to continue your campaign? Do you really think that backers are cult members? Are you trying to save these cult members? If so how? Or are you simply trying to stop people from joining?

      I guess really when it gets down to it, I’m trying to determine your motivation. Are you genuinely trying to help protect people from someone you perceive as dangerous? Or are you just waging a campaign against someone you feel personally slighted by? Honestly, it is really hard to tell sometimes.

      Baldric Black

      1. Baldric: SQ42 is not the same as Star Citizen. It is a separate product. And even for that, the 2016 date is dubious. They have yet to show any meaningful playable content for a game that’s supposedly due out in 2016.

        As to refunds, they are being selective; and people tell us they have to keep threatening them. In fact, one person (a poster here) sent me an email last week in which they were only going to refund him half (around $500) of his full pledge (around $1,000).

        I doubt that they will release any financial info without a lawsuit.

        So no, they haven’t fulfilled any of my requirements.

  60. Derek, you were right. They are finished… Just had to look at CR’s face last night. He was scared shitless knowing he has nothing to show. The emperor has no clothes and you pointed that out to the cult… Thank you!!!!
  61. The mind boggles at the energy you are putting into critiquing Chris Roberts and Star Citizen, perhaps the most ambitious and democratically funded gaming project in history. It’s hard to imagine you truly are looking out for Star Citizen’s backers – the only conceivable victims of the project should it collapse as you’ve suggested – and not some strange personal vendetta or ego trip of your own construction.

    Being open-minded, I am absolutely fascinated by your bizarre prediction of Star Citizen’s implosion. No doubt the next 6-12 months will prove one of us an indelible fool.

    1. ” the only conceivable victims of the project should it collapse as you’ve suggested”

      Actually the biggest losers here are smaller developers that are increasingly dependent on crowd sourcing dev costs with platforms like Kickstarter.

      THAT is why more developers are looking at the schedule, burn-rate, income and deliverables with a fine-tooth-comb. If they go down, they’ll take most small (risky) projects with them.

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