Reply To: Star Citizen – Musings

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    As I mentioned in my GC2017 Star Citizen coverage, I am currently writing an article on Chris’s presentation. In the meantime, below is a private (industry friends and peers only) post I made on Facebook.

    Star Citizen is being shown at GamesCom. It’s been a massive and unprecedented disaster which has all but solidified my opinion that they didn’t stand a chance of ever shipping the massive game that Chris pitched in 2012 and which was due out by Nov 2014 (That was before he increased the scope, thus setting himself of for a massive failure).

    Today Chris was interviewed. Aside from declaring that Squadron 42 (last seen in 2015) was not being shown, thus pretty much confirming that it’s not a 2017 release, his astonishing response to a question about restraint, has to be heard to be believed.

    Note that he is comparing Star Citizen to Eve Online, a game that was COMPLETED before they went on to improve it, add expansions etc, over the years. Basically declaring that, promises and pledges aside, he has NO intentions of actually FINISHING the game, because he now views the project as a perpetual on-going project.

    A project for which, six years later, he has now raised over $156M, of which $75M+ was spent by a UK studio he built for his brother (who now makes £230K a year at a studio that’s NEVER shipped a game; even as Braben at Frontier Dev which has shipped two massive games since 2012, and a third on the way, makes £180K), and which has NO reason to exist other to unjustly enrich his UK friends and family.

    The same studio, the largest of five, that’s supposedly developing Squadron 42, and some major components for the engine that’s powering both games.

    I have added a link in the comments to the full interview. It’s 30 mins long, and is absolutely incredible.

    I had toned down and reduced the number of articles I write on this train wreck because, aside from the effects that it may have on some of our long time industry friends and colleagues working on the project, I came to realize that I was getting angrier and angrier with each article that I wrote.

    I have been in the industry for almost three decades now, have shipped over a dozen games, and made a decent living from it. Aside from the early days where I relied on publishers (Take Two who became a public company with one of my first games, Interplay who gave me a second chance and was very instrumental in getting me where I am today, Dreamcatcher etc) for partial funding, marketing, support etc, I have always funded my own games in a bid to remain independent, and to make the games that I wanted to make, and not the ones that industry trends dictated that I make.

    For me, this was never about a pay check. I truly love what I do, and because a group of people keep buying my games, I was able to keep making them over the years. And for as long as I have been around, so many teams, developers, and publishers have come and gone; and very few of us old school types are still doing what we love. The industry continues to go through a sea change in which our most heralded visionaries and peers have changed the way we make and fund games. While the challenges remain the same, only the battlegrounds and rules of engagement have changed.

    The advent of crowd-funding for video games, which we all knew was going to be abused sooner rather than later, has produced some of the most exciting and diverse games in all genres. Games which would otherwise have never been made.

    Then came Star Citizen in 2012, and which by all accounts, has now evolved into a massive scam which, at $156 million raised from gamers, has only served to unjustly enrich Chris Roberts and his family (3 of them) and friends (6 of them).

    And six years later, they have yet to move out of pre-Alpha for a game (one of two) that is barely 15% of what was promised.

    And this was all after Chris decided to burn over $75M on a studio (1, 2, 3) in the UK, which has NO reason to exist other than to have his UK friends and family benefit from this project. A studio which, being the largest of five around the world, is the most expensive, and which has burned through over 70% of the entire project’s funding. A studio in which his brother is now making £230K per year. A studio that has never shipped a product, and by all accounts stands ZERO chance of EVER doing so. This even as industry veteran Braben over at Frontier Dev which has shipped two games (one which was crowd-funded) since 2012, and with a third due out next Summer, is making £180K – from a company that was just today valued at a little under £500M.

    I have spent three decades curating and working in a single, dedicated, niche genre: sci-fi and space combat games. A genre that for years had been under-served, once gamers got older and decided they didn’t want to read game manuals any more, let alone spend more than 10 mins learning how to actually play a game.

    So for me, this vast amount of wealth (currently to the tune of $156M, not to mention loans and unknown investments) that’s not only been squandered but STOLEN from this genre and gamers who buy the games we make in the genre, is a very personal fight for me.

    In July 2015, before I wrote that first blog, I had written a similar Facebook post for the benefit of my many industry friends and colleagues, alerting them to what I believed was going to happen, most of which has turned out to be true.

    I always said that, regardless of the consequences (if you are aware of the many attempts to vilify, harass, and attack me for writing my articles, then you are all to familiar with that I am talking about) and/or expenses, that I was going to keep writing and exposing what’s going on, in a bid to not only hold Chris accountable, but also to ensure that he didn’t get away with what he has done.

    With that, believe me when I tell you this, with what I know, and what I have and believe to be true, I am going to do everything in my power to not only hold Chris Roberts accountable, but to also put him behind bars if it comes to that.

    That is all.