Star Citizen Lawsuit Comes To A Settlement

Get those closed doors ready.

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2019’s Awards We Made Up: 2019 Edition Part 1 Of ???

2019 was certainly a year for video games and 2020 is looking to be a year with video games in it as well. And what better way to celebrate video games than by handing out completely arbitrary awards that we made up to talk about video games? This is MMO Fallout’s 2019 Awards We Made Up: 2019 Edition.

I don’t know how many parts this series is going to be because, again, it’s all made up.

1. Best Remake

Winner: Resident Evil 2

I think it stands to reason that a lot of people were…skeptical when they heard that Resident Evil 2 would be remade and not in a way that was similar to how the original game played. And then we got the first trailer and those skeptics were even more skeptical. Why does Leon Kennedy look like three toddlers stacked on top of one another? Why does Claire look a bit like Miranda Cosgrove? And then the game came out and everyone was mostly happy. Resident Evil 2 comes on the cusp of Resident Evil 7 being successful and definitely not on the heels of the REmake which underperformed when it released on the Gamecube and had moderate success on further platforms.

Resident Evil 2 is an all-around beautiful return to a much beloved game in this long franchise. It twisted the story up enough that even those of us who played the original version to death on N64 or Playstation had a reason to go back and buy this at premium AAA game prices. For fans of the older Resident Evil, it continued to give us hope that Capcom was returning to the pre-boulder punching era of Resident Evil when the series was less stupid. Even better, it led to the announcement of a Resident Evil 3 remake in the same style.

2. Most Successful Con

Winner: Star Citizen

I’m using a photo of cheeseburgers because it’s less depressing than reminding people that some of them paid thousands of dollars for a product that will never see full release.

Star Citizen may well go down as the most successful con in the history of the gaming industry. The game has brought in more than a quarter billion dollars in crowdfunding and private investment and despite the fact that they have not come close to finishing what was promised seven years ago under a fraction of the budget that they now have, these sentient wallets we call whales are still lining up to throw thousands of dollars that some can’t personally afford to be spending on jpeg concept art for a game that is never going to release as advertised, and one that will continue to stack unfinished feature and pushing those benchmarks and release dates into the oblivion.

Chris Roberts didn’t make a video game, he built the video game equivalent of scientology where gullible rich kids can happily throw lods of emone into his wallet and finance some of the most well-fed grifters in the industry. He’s also responsible for the last five years being the most times the phrase “I hate to say it, but Derek Smart was right” was uttered.

3. Best Comeback

Winner: Destiny 2

I know Bungie is never going to come out and admit it, so I’ll just say this here: Destiny is probably in the greatest position it ever has been now that Bungie has ended its abusive publishing relationship with Activision. But what has Destiny 2 done since Activision got shown the door? Gone free to play, introduced cross-save, rejigged the cash shop, produced a holiday event that seemed more focused on producing something people would want to play rather than just being an avenue to shove expensive microtransactions down everyone’s throat. Not half bad.

Now that Destiny is back in Bungie’s hands fully, we can look forward to a future without Activision acting as the abusive publisher.

4. Company We Expect To Be Gone In 2020

Winner: Daybreak Game Company

I think I’ve made my contempt for Daybreak Game Company quite well known in 2019; it’s a company that refuses to acknowledge the place it is in while simultaneously begging for money in any avenue possible by selling increasingly low quality stuff that people don’t want. In 2019 I chronologued H1Z1 on PS4 becoming a depressing joke of a title. I also talked about Planetside Arena being a game nobody wanted and, look at that, nobody wanted it.

Daybreak is a shell of what it used to be. Its stable of games has plummeted down to six, the company has suffered more rounds of layoffs in the last two years than any healthy company should, and even their ability to support the games that are still alive has diminished significantly. H1Z1 barely gets anything in the way of new content, Z1 Battle Royale has been abandoned after the failure of a partnership that was NantG Mobile, Planetside Arena was a dud, and Planetside 2 doesn’t seem to be in a much better place in terms of staff still on payroll. 2019 marked Daybreak canning the player studio, the failed relationship with NantG Mobile, we learned that they were probably working on a Marvel MMO, several layoffs, and this company wants us to believe that Planetside 3 and Everquest 3 are still in the works?

I’m not buying it. If Daybreak survives 2020, I will be very surprised. If they manage to release an Everquest 3, I will personally eat a Little Caesars pizza and donate a grand to charity of their choice.

5. Most Interesting Topic

Amro Elansari

People loved MMO Fallout patron saint Amro Elansari this year as it turned out to be the most viewed In Plain English article.

Amro Elansari came to our attention earlier this year when he filed a lawsuit against Jagex in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging constitutional violations after the company apparently muted him in RuneScape. The judge threw out the case as implausible, noting that the constitution does not protect from actions of private companies. While Elansari’s case was tossed out in state court, he was told that he could still file in federal court. Elansari filed a notice of appeal, but there have been no updates since then.

Hopefully 2020 will be full of surprises in the court.

6. Most Unexpected Reboot

Winner: Kritika Reboot

When En Masse Entertainment canned Kritika Online back in May, I didn’t think that the game would be back up and running by the end of the year. Or at all, for that matter. But here we are, and on November 12 Kritika: Reboot launched on to Steam and back into our hearts. The new publishing endeavor is being handled in-house by All-M Co. Ltd.

Response to the title has been quite positive, with a 77% “Mostly Positive” rating on Steam and a seemingly healthy number of concurrent players in-game on a regular basis. We’ll have to see how well the game holds up going into 2020 and if All-M can keep the momentum going on the western relaunch.

7. 2019’s Most Busy Beaver

Winner: Pearl Abyss

Human resources has told us that we are legally not allowed to require being a beaver to be eligible for 2019’s Most Busy Beaver award.

Pearl Abyss has had a busy 2019 indeed. We’ve seen the full scale launch of Black Desert on Playstation, Xbox, and now mobile, as well as more content updates for each platform than you can shake a stick at. What kind of stick would you shake at Black Desert’s updates? Probably something made of pine. But not content with taking over the MMO space, Pearl Abyss announced four new games that will be releasing in the foreseeable future; Plan 8, DokeV, Crimson Desert, and Shadow Arena. Whether your interests lie in exo-suit shooters, creature collection, gritty MMOs, or battle royale games, you’ll have something coming to you.

Busy beavers indeed. We are excited to see what 2020 will bring for the work-loaded Pearl Abyss crew. But for now they can take solace in knowing that they are 2019’s most busy beaver.

In Plain English: Crytek V Cloud Imperium Games (and RSI)

1. Dismissal Sounds Unlikely

Let’s start off at the same station and make a few things clear: Despite what is being tossed around on the internet, this case is not a slam dunk for either side (at least not evident from the statements being thrown back and forth). It is very likely that this case is going to go to trial, as there are a ton of allegations being made and accusations that are going to require the backing of email communications and witness testimony. We are not at the point in the case where either side is trying to convince a judge/jury, that won’t come for months down the road.

What Cloud Imperium Games is doing with its response is attempting to have the case dismissed by convincing the judge that the accusations have no merit and including comments that there are no damages to be recovered regardless of Crytek’s claims of breach. Since this is a gigantic lawsuit, I wanted to go down the list of points that I found interesting so far. This is not comprehensive and will certainly be followed up with when more details are presented.

2. The Definition of Exclusive

With this lawsuit between Crytek and Cloud Imperium Games, it looks like we’re diving back into the Clinton era legal argument about what the definition of ‘is’ is. A major point of contention that Crytek is bringing forward in this lawsuit is the definition of exclusive, how it was applied when forming the agreement, and what exactly it means for both parties.

Section 2.1.2 of the Game License Agreement states that this contract gives CIG the rights (and I’m quoting) “to exclusively embed CryEngine in the Game and develop the Game which right shall be sublicensable pursuant to section 2.6.” Here’s where we get to the definition of “is” as Crytek is claiming that this passage means that CIG agreed to use the CryEngine and only the CryEngine in Star Citizen, as seen in this section of the original complaint:

Crytek and Defendants subsequently formalized their relationship by entering into a Game License Agreement. In that Agreement, Defendants promised, among other things, (i) to use the CryEngine game development platform exclusively and to promote that platform within the video game...”

CIG is naturally going to fight this claim, and understandably the wording in the license agreement is incredibly vague for the kind of contract where every line should be worded to remove any doubt or wiggle room for interpretation. To the layman, the wording of the agreement seems to indicate that the license does indeed require CIG to exclusively embed CryEngine and no other engine. As far as contracts like this go, however, such a definition of exclusive is not standard by a long shot. Exclusive in these sorts of agreements is generally understood to mean that Crytek would be granting the license to CIG alone and no other company in the agreement, rather than obligating CIG to use said engine.

CIG’s response:

The GLA further shows that CIG has an exclusive right, not a duty, to use the Engine in the Game. Through hiding the GLA, Crytek contorts the word “exclusively” to argue that the word means that CIG somehow is required to use the Engine in the Game. The plain language of the GLA where the grant of rights to CIG appears, plus the well-established concept of an exclusive license, instead establish that the word “exclusively” simply means that CIG’s right to use the Engine in the Game is exclusive to CIG and Crytek may not give that right to anyone else.

Right, except that this agreement seems to be anything but plain language, and the license agreement actually differentiates the two concepts. Where 2.1.2 allegedly requires CIG to exclusively use the Crytek engine, the question about sublicensing is taken care of in the previous step of the agreement.

2.6 of the agreement basically just says that CIG can sublicense the engine only to contractor developers, with prior written approval by Crytek, for the purpose of developing the Game. This is one of those lines that is likely going to require witness testimony on what exactly the companies negotiated, assuming the Judge/Jury doesn’t accept either definition of exclusive as a given fact.

3. Do You Understand Crytek’s GLA? Does Crytek?

Here’s an interesting note: You may notice in the passages from the lawsuit and license agreement that both parties say “the Game” (emphasis on the capital G in Game) regularly instead of Star Citizen when referring to terms that both parties agreed upon. There is a legal reason for this.

“The Game” is the legal definition given in the license agreement to, and I’m quoting the agreement here:

“the game currently entitled “Space Citizen” and its related space fighter game “Squadron 42, together hereafter the Game”

No that wasn’t a mistake on my end, yes the GLA actually gets the name of the game wrong and refers to Star Citizen as Space Citizen, but that’s not the key issue here.

This rolls into one of Crytek’s other claims, that the existence of Squadron 42 is a breach of the agreement because while it began as a mode for Star Citizen, it had since branched out into a separate purchase and, according to the license agreement, Cloud Imperium only has the rights to develop one game. Any time you see the word “Game” with the capital G, it is referring to “the game Star Citizen” and “the game Squadron 42,” combined together. Another section of the agreement goes further and states that the agreement does not include any game not accessed through the Star Citizen game client, or sold for a separate fee.

This is why clarity is necessary, and here is where we lead to another issue that the court is going to have to decide. Crytek’s contention with Squadron 42 is that CIG announced in December 2015 that Squadron 42 would be a standalone product. By December 2016, CIG announced that both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 would be moved over to the Amazon Lumberyard engine, and Crytek is going after the year that the game may or may not have been in development under their engine, claiming loss of royalties and upfront payments that would have been owed had CIG licensed a second copy of the engine.

The big question is whether or not the license agreement which appears to explicitly recognize Star Citizen and Squadron 42 as separate games, but licenses them both together, is at odds with Crytek’s claim that selling Squadron 42 as a standalone product is a breach of the terms against selling separate products, or whether any of this is even applicable since neither game is using the engine.

3. Crytek’s Negotiations: A Blank Check In A Used Car Dealership

Another thing you’ll see crop up more than once if you read Crytek’s complaint is how the company graciously negotiated a substantially lower sum than its usual licensing fee on the grounds that Cloud Imperium Games would exclusively use the license and also heavily promote the CryEngine to its base. Since CIG is no longer using the engine, thus depriving Crytek of further licensing fees, the company feels that it’s been substantially damaged by not receiving the full, usual license fee. Money that they willingly gave up in negotiation.

The licensing fee negotiated under the GLA reflected a substantial reduction from Crytek’s usual licensing fees in view of the promotional consideration and other consideration that Defendants promised to Crytek in Sections 2.8.1, 2.8.2,and 2.8.3 of that Agreement. In view of the fact that Crytek has been deprived of that promised consideration, Crytek has been substantially damaged, and has failed to receive the balance of its full, usual license fee.

Crytek is apparently so angry about the conclusion of this agreement that they’ve taken to potentially slandering some individuals involved in the negotiation process. They actually call out by name Crytek co-founder Ortwin Freyermuth, who was a former Crytek employee and negotiated the deal on behalf of CIG, for apparent conflicts of interest and never recused himself from the negotiations or resolved that conflict of interest, despite apparently knowing confidential information about Crytek.

“Notwithstanding that he had confidential information about Crytek’s licensing practices that would unfairly advantage Defendants, Freyermuth never recused himself from those negotiations and never resolved that conflict of interest with Crytek,”

Except that claim is allegedly a complete and outright lie. In the declaration presented to the court by CIG lawyer Jeremy Goldman in support of the motion to dismiss, who also kindly submitted a copy of the license agreement that Crytek for one reason or another had withheld, Freyermuth’s conflict of interest was never in question. In fact, Crytek not only didn’t have an issue with Freyermuth’s involvement at the time, they went as far as writing and signing a conflict waiver allowing him to take part. Goldman has this conflict waiver, apparently, and no doubt we will see it once this case goes to court.

It seems like a lot of this lawsuit is intended to force CIG to keep paying Crytek royalties, because the company made the arguably poor decision to substantially lower its licensing fees on what they may have seen as a huge long term earner, they negotiated a contract that may or may not say what they think it does, and now they’re angry that the money train has stopped so they’re also throwing the guys who did the negotiations under the bus.

4. Why Would Anyone Write No Damages Into a Contract?

One tactic that Cloud Imperium is using to quash this lawsuit before it ever goes to court is to point out that the license bars either party from seeking damages in the case of a breach of contract. If there are no damages that can be recovered, and in consideration of the fact that this lawsuit is popping up because CIG stopped using the engine and considers the contract scrapped, bringing this case to court would just be a massive waste of the court’s time, which when you’re trying to get a lawsuit dismissed this is a pretty logical avenue to go down.

Crytek’s claim for damages — an essential element of any breach of contract claim — is precluded by express language in the GLA barring either party from seeking any damages from the other. The FAC also seeks various forms of monetary damages and equitable relief that are unavailable under the GLA or as a matter of law, including statutory damages and attorney’s fees under the Copyright Act, punitive damages, and an injunction.

I read this response and honestly my first reaction was that CIG had grievously misread or is really reaching for something in the license. For the sake of clarity and the fact that it’s one of the few ALL CAPITAL LETTERS parts of the license, let’s look at that part of the agreement in its entirety.

So neither party can be held liable for damages incurred by either party or a third party, even if advised beforehand on the possibility of damages. In their response, it looks like CIG is going for a more in-your-face approach to their motion to dismiss.

House of cards pleading? Sham interpretation? Someone’s going for the jugular.

5.  Comments, Disclosure, and Public Access

In wrapping up this first bit of coverage, I’d like to share some disclosures. First, I am not a lawyer and nothing in this coverage or anything else on MMO Fallout should be interpreted as legal advice. As such, I try to refrain from making any judgement calls or act as armchair lawyer on how these lawsuits will proceed or which side has the more solid case, rather In Plain English has always been about presenting the allegations as-is and lining them up with publicly known facts and prior cases.

Another note that I didn’t mention is that Roberts Space Industries is a defendant in the lawsuit even though the company claims it isn’t part of the contract as it didn’t sign. Indeed, RSI didn’t sign the GLA and isn’t even mentioned in the list of sublicensed companies, however they did license Autodesk from Crytek who are claiming that that is enough to keep them involved in the lawsuit. RSI is a subsidiary of CIG.

I will be maintaining a publicly accessible Google Drive folder with the pertinent documents at this link here. Feel free to leave any thoughts or allegations of collusion/bias in the comments section below.

Column How Reddit Once Again Bamboozled the Media

I have a distinct advantage over traditional media with MMO Fallout; I don’t run ads, I don’t have sponsors, and I have given minimal thought to opening a Patreon. As an entity, I am completely unaccountable for boosting views to their maximum potential, and as a result I enjoy the unique trait of not being beholden to being the first to publish a breaking story. I do try to keep the news relevant, but at least I have the time to do some fact checking.

Which leads me to this week’s failure to communicate: A number of news websites are running retractions and corrections after it was revealed that stories on Reddit are not entirely trustworthy. A user in the Star Citizen community claimed that he had managed to obtain a refund in excess of $45,000, in the form of three $15,000 refunds for his clan, and that the process had been a "nightmare." This got picked up by a number of websites, I won’t be calling them out because that’s not the point of this article.

So let’s go through the piece and I’ll offer my thought process that came to ignoring this news piece:

"It was a nightmare getting the refund, we are a commercial org and pooled the money to buy the completionist packages, and used a corporate card to buy them, so we had major issues with getting refunded to the same card, paypal and then providing ID. Total it took about 5 weeks to get sorted. A lot of time was spent trying to explain the situation to some woman called "Schala" and just getting the same answers copied and pasted backwards and forwards, they definitely try to delay you as much as possible in the hope you’ll forget or give up."

First let’s get out of the way that this is a first party Reddit story and therefore automatically less credible than your average "Zombie Elvis Lives in Reno" story on the Enquirer (he still performs in Vegas as a member of the Blue Man Group, as anyone knows). On policy, I don’t trust anything that is posted as a story on Reddit, even if the person has "evidence" in the form of easily doctored screenshots and gifs, and doubly so if said poster claims it’s "impossible" to fake navigating a website in a video. It is possible, and it’s very easy.

I also had trouble believing the part of the story that they were trying to delay as much as possible in the hopes that the issue would be forgotten or that he would give up. I don’t think any company thinks that a customer is just going to give up on nearly fifty grand.

Now I don’t claim to be a licensed journalist with a fancy journalism degree, but I know enough from experience and from watching all three seasons of The Newsroom to know that stories must be verified before they are printed. In the thread, another moderator independently verified the refund claims, a factor that isn’t worth the paper it isn’t printed on. You’re verifying an anonymous source with another anonymous source.

So the proper thing to do would be to contact Cloud Imperium Games for confirmation which evidently nobody did before rushing this story to print. CIG has come out since then and stated that the refund was more along the lines of $330 and that the refund was handled smoothly and without issues, also noting that most of the story regarding delays was completely fabricated.

And in case you had any remaining doubts, the user subsequently deleted his account. Case closed. I’m hesitant to attribute the story to "haters" as some in the Star Citizen community have, if anything this is a case of an attention-grabbing headline driving the news on the backs of "well we did say it was just an allegation." And judging by the number of comments on individual articles, it was a success.

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

Star Citizen Threatens Lawsuit Against Escapist Magazine


If you haven’t been paying attention to the ongoing drama surrounding Star Citizen, the public spat between Chris Roberts and Derek Smart has expanded to include a very critical article published, and subsequently backed up by, The Escapist. The article alleged discriminatory practices at CIG against racial minorities, enforced by Roberts’ own wife, that Roberts himself would routinely insult and demean employees, and that the company was “bleeding money and employees.”

Chris Roberts responded to the article by, naturally, blaming Derek Smart, and taking the time to dig up dirt on the article’s author to engage in personal attacks.

I know you say that “none of these come from Derek” but we both know that’s not true. You are quoting the exact same things in your email he has spewed in his blogs and twitter for months. If you want me to give you links to the exact same claims (which are patently UNTRUE) I can but we both know it’s coming from him and the few people he’s rounded up.

Derek Smart’s name, despite having no part in the creation of the Escapist’s article, comes up more than 20 times in Roberts’ response. Roberts also pulls from other unrelated events, including Gamergate, Randi Harper, and Brianna Wu.

In an update posted to the response page, Cloud Imperium Games has made it public that they intend to take legal action against The Escapist, maintaining the claim that the article was a conspiracy between the author and Derek Smart. CIG has demanded a public apology from The Escapist, as well as an apology to their HR department and an investigation into how the article was approved. Otherwise the developer intends to take legal action.

Normally, we would keep this behind closed doors, but we felt it was imperative to put our statement on record and indicate how disgusted we are with The Escapist’s irresponsible actions. Corporate at Defy Media asked us to delay publication of this letter while investigating, but we feel strongly that the record needs to be set straight without further delay.

As noted in the letter, anything expressed should not be construed as a complete statement of the facts.

(Source: Star Citizen)

Derek Smart, Indie Devs, And Death Threats


As those of you who follow my Twitter account (see right hand side of page) know, I spent a good part of last night following up on a story that broke earlier in the day yesterday. Derek Smart, game developer and ex-Star Citizen pledge, posted via social media that he had received a death threat over his continued criticism of Chris Roberts and the handling of Star Citizen’s development. While death threats have become common enough that the media pretty much glosses over them these days, the source of the threat was even more interesting.

The email, posted in full by Smart to social media, originates from an email address owned by Carlos Bott, mobile developer and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. Smart also posted the raw data from the email to show that it did indeed originate from the SAE servers. MMO Fallout was able to corroborate via a third party source who wished to go unnamed that the email did originate from SAE’s servers likely using Google Apps to manage their email.

MMO Fallout reached out to Bott, who has fully denied sending the email in question. Judging from my contact with both parties, it seems very likely that this could break out into legal action in the near future. For our readers, we suggest not jumping to conclusions or presuming guilt until more details can be shared.

Any further information will be covered as it arises.

Derek Smart: There Will Be A Lawsuit


If Cloud Imperium Games thought that booting Derek Smart out as a customer would be the end of the story, they were sorely mistaken. Smart has been heading a crusade against Star Citizen over claims that the game, as it is currently being promised, can never be made. The two parties have been going back and forth since then, but in a recent post on his website, Derek Smart stated that there will be a lawsuit, regardless of who initiates it.

Until a lawsuit (class action or otherwise) is filed, there is currently no lawsuit. That’s a fact. It has nothing to do with whether or not there will be one. I can tell you flat out, that there will be, regardless of who (us, Feds, State) initiates it.

In regards to CIG locking down the forums to backers only, Smart denies that the move has anything to do with him and voices his support for the decision, citing the need to remove trolls and prevent unwanted users from simply creating new accounts to stir up trouble.

(Source: Derek Smart)

Derek Smart Enlists Law Firm, Threatens Lawsuit


If you haven’t been keeping up with the kerfuffle between Derek Smart and Chris Roberts, it goes as follows: Derek Smart has been a very vocal critic of Star Citizen and Chris Roberts, over the fact that the game’s funding has grown to a massive level and over Smart’s belief that the growing scope of the game cannot be realized and will not be released. Cloud Imperium Games responded to Smart’s blog posts by unilaterally refunding his Kickstarter pledge and banning his game account, despite Smart not actually posting his criticism on the Star Citizen website. CIG then accused Smart of using Star Citizen to promote his own game, Line of Defense.

Since then, Derek Smart has been amassing what appears to be a small encyclopedia of evidence against Cloud Imperium Gaming, building up to what may become a class action lawsuit on behalf of backers regretting their purchase who are unable to get a refund through the official channels. This, presumably, in addition to a defamation lawsuit hinted at by Smart regarding public statements made by CIG against Smart when refunding his pledge.

Smart is encouraging people to get in contact not just with the Federal Trade Commission over unrefunded pledges, but to contact him as well. You can read the entirety of Derek Smart’s latest blog post here, but be warned: It’s massive and contains a lot of reference links. Clear out some time in your schedule before you sit down for a look.


Ben Lesnick Addresses Recent Criticisms Of Star Citizen


Ben Lesnick (not Chris Roberts) of Cloud Imperium Games has posted a very long and detailed Q&A session on the official Star Citizen forums in an effort to improve communication and dispel recent criticism. The response is at least partially due to the wide coverage last week of a heavily critical piece posted by Derek Smart, in which the veteran developer stated that Star Citizen “as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever.”

The post is long and covers a wide array of topics including the delay of Star Marine, the first person shooter module, as well as allegations of wasted time/money, long delays on features, and lack of communication with the community.

“I will continue to push my folks to their limits to communicate with you and we will always try to improve… but if you’re someone who honestly believes development is behind an impassable wall, you’re incorrect. Between AtV, RtV, the monthly report, weekly Star Marine reports, Jump Point articles, Meet the Devs, Bug Smashers, 10 for… we’re putting an insane amount of content out there. And we’ll keep doing more, to the best of our abilities!”

If you have some time, head on over to the forums (link below) and give the Q&A a read.

(Source: Star Citizen)

Derek Smart Slams Star Citizen


Derek Smart is an industry veteran whose work and legacy goes back two decades, with the Universal Combat and Battlecruiser line of games, and he has bad news for those eagerly awaiting Star Citizen: It’s probably going to be a total disaster. Once you get past Smart reiterating his curriculum vitae, he gets to the meat of the article:

Without disrespect to anyone, I’m just going to say it: it is my opinion that, this game, as has been pitched, will never get made. Ever.

Smart does not believe that any company capable of building the game that Roberts has pitched, especially not for less than $150 million. When the game eventually does go belly up, as the blog post states, the same media that have been reporting on the game’s funding stretch goals will be the first to vilify the developer.

The hype surrounding this project since its 2012 inception is going to guarantee that every media outlet is going to want a piece of the action, and most of that is going to be based on sheer speculation, wanton conjecture, bullshit anonymous “sources” etc., because the focus would be on vilifying Chris and crew, rather than focusing on what mistakes were made.

Star Citizen first popped up on Kickstarter back in 2012 when other industry veteran Chris Roberts asked for a mere half a million to get his game off the ground and to make it look enticing to private investors. The space sim community responded by throwing a sack load of money in Roberts’ direction, $2.1 million in the Kickstarter campaign alone. Even so, with the Kickstarter campaign over and done with, the momentum of the cash flow didn’t stop. It sped up, to the tune of $84 million.

Since then, the game has become synonymous with big money, and you can say what you want about the morality of selling $2,500 singular digital ships for a game that doesn’t exist, people are still lining up to give Roberts money hand over fist. As the cash pile increased, so did the scope of the game, to the point where the the original pitch is just a blip on the current design plan.

And the more that Star Citizen has seen its vision broadened, the further behind the game gets, and the more money it seems to bring in, and the more agitated that early backers seem to be getting. After three years of development, backers have been graced with a hanger and an incomplete Arena Commander mode where players can battle with some of their ships.

You can read the entire thing at the link below, but be warned: It is a long read.


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