Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts On #GamerGate: I Believe In Ethics In Journalism

For whatever reason Star Citizen has been a punching bag for the gaming media. You don’t have to look far for a hit-piece about the game being a “buggy mess”, as noted by Wired, and you don’t have to look far to find attacks about the financial structure, development and end goals for the game from people like game designer Derek Smart. For whatever reason, a portion of people within the games industry and media sector don’t like Star Citizen. Apparently that also includes former employees who worked on the game.

The Escapist [backup] recently published an article on October 1st, featuring comments from current and former employees from Cloud Imperium Games about the impossibility of Star Citizen ever being finished. Phrases like “toxic environment” were thrown around, and some staff were accused of using racist, bigoted language. There were also accusations about mismanagement and poor spending.

The comments from the employees were mostly aimed at giving fuel to a fire that burns in the hearts of anyone who feels as if Star Citizen needs to fail.

Chris Roberts, the head honcho over the project responded with a very lengthy letter on the RSI website [backup] where he expressed disappointment in The Escapist, noting that the site is oftentimes considered in alignment with #GamerGate. He lamented the fact that they would publish what he considered as a “hit piece” against Star Citizen. He did note that he’s neutral to #GamerGate but does believe their fight for ethics in journalism, writing…

“I’m a gamer. I am making a game that gamers have overwhelmingly said they want made, to the tune of almost $90M and rising! I believe in ethics in journalism. I also believe in being inclusive to all and not being abusive to people in person or online. I don’t support either side [of GamerGate] because I believe it’s too polarizing but I believe we can do better, as gamers, as journalists and as human beings.”

The Escapist did reach out beforehand to Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games, giving them a day to respond before publishing the article. However, the drafted rebuttals and responses were not included in the initial article published on The Escapist. Roberts decided to take pieces from the article and respond to them in the public letter. The chairman wrote…

“We are a very public project and rely on the goodwill of gamers to exist. Having a negative article that includes the views or comments of a small number of disgruntled ex-employees with their own opinions on whether things were run well or not, especially when they will be shielded behind anonymity, could give people an impression of the project and company that is 100% false, especially if we are not part of the story”

It is true that the project is very public. There are updates just about every week detailing the progress of each module, the design of the assets, the art, the code, the engineering and the multiplayer. It’s about as transparent as can be save for the lack of a printed stamp of each employee’s pay stub.

Roberts goes on to state…

“I know that this kind of material is great for clicks but you also have to remember that we are talking about the jobs of 261 people and numerous contractors.

 

“Here you have a 100% gamer funded project on the PC, a platform that almost every publisher ignored or pushed crappy console ports to and you have a game in a genre that everyone said was dead to a level that no publisher would dare to – and you want to harm it? Shouldn’t the press be cheering on these kinds of games? The gamers spoke. They wanted something as big and ambitious as Star Citizen.”

Star Citizen - M50

Ironically enough, none of the people speaking out in The Escapist piece seem to address the fact that in the AAA sector there is nothing like Star Citizen and that there are no games currently aiming to do what Cloud Imperium Games is attempting to do.

I suppose many fans of the space sim genre would be okay with so many people wanting to see Star Citizen fail if they at least had viable alternatives, but the only ones that come close are still far from perfect, including titles like Elite: Dangerous, Everspace and Limit Theory, all of which are still in development in some capacity.

According to the ex-employees in The Escapist piece, they claim that Cloud Imperium Games burned through all their funds and that they only have $8 million left, with one of the anonymous individuals stating…

“They’ve spent $82 million dollars, and what is there to show for that? There’s a demo, a racing demo, a single first person shooter level, and an area where you can walk around. For $82 million,”

As noted in the article and by Roberts, no one seems to have any evidence to show that that’s the case, and that’s not to mention that it’s only been two years of development on what many would consider to be an AAA level title. If the game still has nothing but three demos five years into development, then panic should set in.

Derek Smart did try to vouch for an independent auditor to come in and publicly assess the financial assets of Cloud Imperium Games; it’s something that maybe Roberts should consider to at least quell some of the controversy over how much they’ve actually spent up to this point.

Another anonymous individual claimed that it was all about spending money on commercials and not making a game, writing…

“We were always building towards the next event,” […] “It wasn’t about making a game. it was about a flashy demo for Gamescom, or PAX, or the next commercial. It never felt like they were trying to make a game, as much as digital spaceships to sell.”

I may not be a backer but common sense at this point has shown me that there’s more to play right now and more content that’s been shown off than what DICE and EA have showcased with Star Wars: Battlefront. We’ve seen multi-crew demos, and the arena commander mode, hangar and social module are playable at this very moment and all three have higher quality assets and functionality than most AAA games on the market right now. Objectively speaking if it was about building towards events and spending money on commercials, there wouldn’t be anything playable at this point.

Weirdly, even with the playable demos and the distended release – and honestly the most egregious thing CIG and RSI have done so far is not let people know up front that this game would likely take five  years at the minimum to complete – some of the anonymous [ex] employees stated that the whole thing felt like a con, writing…

“Fans would come into the studio, and I wanted to be like ‘Dude, run. Take your money and run.’ I felt like I was part of a con,” […] “This could really severely damage crowdfunding, at least for games. Who’s going to want to do that again? People will look at everything and think ‘but what if it’s another Star Citizen?'”

A con is a scheme to get money for offering nothing in return.  Things like Crash Override Network or Rebel Game Jam? if they haven’t produced anything but have taken money then you’ve just been conned.

So far there are playable demos of Star Citizen so the whole con bit makes no sense given that lots of people from around the world have put in time and energy to create something that people are experiencing right now. No, the proper term they’re looking for is “pipe dream”… that seems more appropriate to what they’re talking about.

Star Citizen - Damage System

If Star Citizen succeeds it becomes a historical triumph in the world of interactive entertainment. Chris Roberts will have graduated from legend status to the mythical god-tier status in game development. Perhaps there are some who don’t want Roberts or Cloud Imperium Games to reach that status, perhaps this is turning into something out of an Ayn Rand novel or Ken Levine’s BioShock games; maybe there are those who don’t want Roberts to become the Andrew Ryan of space simulators… or maybe they want to control “Rapture” for themselves?

Whatever the case, it disappoints me as a gamer that they can’t get to finishing the Star Marine module and the persistent universe module because the developers of Star Citizen are embroiled in needless drama. Unless someone has evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity, it seems like a lot of hot air.

Ksar_devastator_energy_ammo_removed_02

One thing that game designer Paolo Munoz mentioned during the SPJ event in Miami, Florida is that “Gawker destroys lives”… a phrase that shortly sums up how click-bait style outlets attempt to stay relevant by any means possible, even at the expense of someone else’s life. That phrase stands as an antithesis to the very fact that journalism can actually be used to help lives.

Within the gaming arena alone, without media journalism many Kickstarter campaigns never would have hit their goals, and new IP, revitalized brands or new interactive entertainment experiences never would have come to fruition without it. Titles like FTL, Wasteland 2 or Pillars of Eternity all benefited from positive media coverage, where-as games like Shadows of the Eternals never came to be thanks to hit-pieces on sites like Kotaku, which helped kill interest in the project and its crowd-funding campaign.

A lot of it boils down to a few very simple questions in regards to what the journalistic aim is for pieces that can build up dreams or shatter lives: what sort of effect will a potentially damaging article have on the subject that it discusses? Will it be for better or for worse? And what sort of outcome are people looking for?

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

48 thoughts on “Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts On #GamerGate: I Believe In Ethics In Journalism

  1. When it comes to Star Citizen, I would be extremely suspicious of Derek Smart’s sources. None of the claims seem to align with reality. I honestly don’t get this active desire to see this project crash.

    1. It is weird that a crowd-funded project actively working against the AAA machine is being attacked so thoroughly.

      This is kind of what people have been asking for since… well, since Activision and EA took over with annual re-hashes and practically zero innovation in the AAA sector. Roberts is trying to deliver that game but he’s being met with resistance from the media who seem to be actively attempting to sabotage the project.

      It’s bizarre.

      1. Great idea.
        Truth is, every studio (and the SC ‘modules’ are being developed by multiple studios at once) has employees that simply aren’t fit to be working on a project. Usually, they end up pissed off when they are culled or leave, often because they lacked the necessary skills to contribute effectively to the project.

      2. If you’re referring to the backer rewards that’s par the course for crowd-funding. Shenmue 3 has a jacket for $8,000.

        It’s not really about the item so much as it is a supposed reward for pledging a ludicrous amount of money to help crowd-fund the project. Technically they could just ask for $2,000 and not give backers anything in return, but handing out the ship models while they work on them is a way to incentivize people to back the project and sort of see what the money is paying for.

        Now if they plan on having $2,000 microtransactions following the finalization of the game’s crowd-funding phase then yeah… that could be a huge problem.

  2. Honestly, even though there’s not a ton of content at this time, the attention to detail is truly astounding. I never expected to spend hours simply looking at ships and exploring the interiors, yet I have done just that.
    I get the impression that several developers are rather concerned by the precedent that has been set and rather jealous of what Roberts has begun.
    I think they realize that the genre is being re-defined as we speak.
    Their communication is also completely unmatched. They tell us exactly what their working on and go to great lengths to openly discuss bugs.
    Small example: they already had a very decent visual damage model, yet the entire thing is currently being overhauled with incredibly thoughtful design and attention to detail. Same thing with the audio design and flight model.
    Other developers would have said ‘this is more than good enough’. I don’t think they like seeing someone else comprehensively bucking the trends that save them time and effort. They simply look rather uncommitted in comparison.
    In the end, star citizen feels like a project fueled by genuine passion combined with visionary ideas. It’s going to take a long time to fully materialize, mainly because they keep improving the fundamentals of the game (imagine that), fixing issues with cryengine and overhauling the content creation tools, rather than pushing for a release date as fast as possible.
    This is what I want and it’s the only way to actually reach ‘next generation’, I’m not sure what some people are looking for.

    1. I know we disagree about some things now and then but this post perfectly sums up my feelings about Star Citizen.

      THIS is the next generation of gaming I’ve been dreaming about and Roberts and the crew at CIG are aiming to turn it into a reality. I may not be the biggest flight/space sim fan but I adore the attention of detail they’re implementing into the game.

      If I had one major gripe it would be that they opted for the CryEngine instead of the Unreal Engine. Both engines suck for MMOs but Unreal Engine sucks just a little less. Plus they could have implemented a ton of stuff with ease using those BluePrints (although to be fair I don’t know how well UE4 scales for animation dense projects, something CryEngine has proven to handle quite well as evidenced with the procedural animation design used in the original Crysis).

      1. Yeah, that is true. Too late now, since they rewrote CryEngine already and lots of CryTek staff now works for them full time.

      2. I didn’t know that. I suppose that means they are basically an intrinsic part of cryengine’s future and focus.

      3. They may have gutted a lot of the CryEngine to get it to work right with Star Citizen but I still worry about how well it’s going to handle 30+ players in a single instance.

        Multiplying players times their ships and assets, etc., burns through resources really quickly. Reloaded Productions had the same problem with APB: Reloaded and attempted to convert over to the newer Unreal Engine as a way to help optimization and multiplayer synchronization.

        I fear that in the case of Star Citizen, even if you have a decent PC for the single-player portion it may not scale very well for the multiplayer at all. But hopefully the engineers at CIG can prove me wrong.

      4. Yes. There are very real limitations and I expect they will keep bouncing off of these walls.
        It’s going to take real commitment, time and skill to work around/resolve scaling issues. 30+ in an instance, plus multi-crew ships…That’s not going to be easy.

      5. Hahaha, take no notice of my bitching about console implementations and compute performance/vertex deformation/ads. We have the same end goals, even if we interpret a few relatively unimportant details slightly differently.

        I went off about the ads because the browser I happened to be using that day kept auto-scrolling up to the video ads. I knew you could handle a bit of uncalled for raging and unfounded claims of ‘driving away vistors’. I’ve been visiting the site even more regularly since then and dealing with the actual problem directly (the browser).

        the UE vs. cryengine decision… All you say is accurate, though I think there’s a pretty simple answer. Cryengine 3 appeared to be more ‘ready’ than UE when they made their decision. As you say, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

        I’m personally a bit biased against UE, due to their collusion with closed implementations and pre-compiled shader packages that enable developers to push out yearly re-hash titles with less effort, knowledge and consistency. In the end, it’s still up to the developer to decide if that’s what they want to do, so it’s not really a valid critique of UE itself. I just don’t like the potential for low-level misuse of consumer trust by shady developers who don’t understand why their product does or does not work and then proceed to make unfounded statements based on their own choices.
        Slightly mad studios comes to mind as an example of what can end up happening. The standard media will report what they say without any verification of reality, even though these developers do not even have control over a decent portion of critically important .dlls in their own game.

        Moving to dx12, some are going to make a complete hash of it (greater control isn’t something they have sought after, as it doesn’t necessarily help them make money more quickly) and point the finger at others because they can’t or won’t fix their game for them.

      6. “I know we disagree about some things now and then but this post perfectly sums up my feelings about Star Citizen.”

        This doesn’t surprise me as evident by the article. You definitely give the impression of having a lot more at stake then meets the eye and are quite the fanboy. Fanboyism tends to produce irrational and inconsistent thinking.That is why I’m going to have to take what you say about the topic with a large grain of salt.

      7. You definitely give the impression of having a lot more at stake then meets the eye and are quite the fanboy.

        I love technological advancements. Star Citizen is the only game in development right now with near CG-levels of fidelity as an actual real-time gameplay environment. They’re pushing the envelop as far as they can when it comes to interactivity and the depth of graphical fidelity offered in a game.

        If the project fails it’s not just the people who invested in the project that lose, the entire industry loses because then it means actual next-generation gaming is not viable.

        Why anyone would want to see the project fail is absolutely beyond me.

        It basically means we get another generation of rehashed trash from top-tier pubs like Activision and EA and most Kickstarters will attempt to play it safe to avoid any risk of failure.

      8. “Why anyone would want to see the project fail is absolutely beyond me.”

        This we can agree on. There are many projects happening now with the potential to change the industry, and hopefully they are successful. I doubt there are very many people who actually want to see a project fail. But let’s not lose ourselves to hype and the tunnel vision associated with it that leads to bias and fallacious thinking.

        The Escapist article, which was completely fair, is being sensationalized to the max by fanboyism when it should be taken for what it is: comments from disgruntled employees, ex-employees, and Chris Roberts about the conditions at CIG and the state of Star Citizen, which should be taken with a grain of salt. I think most rationale people do this, but fanboys are needlessly flipping out over it and making the most ridiculous and fallacious claims and arguments. It’s not as big of a deal as they are making it out to be. Maybe they will be settled down once the Escapist does its tour of CIG (assuming things really are on track over there).

        Disclaimer: I have absolutely no stake in this game. From what I hear it sounds like a cool idea and could be worth playing when/if it comes out. But I have chosen to not pay too much attention to it to avoid hype, as I do with every game that is still in development. There’s too many games out now, and not enough time to play them all, to have time pining away at games that are not out yet. The point is: I’m about as neutral to this topic as you can get.

      9. It’s not as big of a deal as they are making it out to be.

        Except it is… if it spreads or becomes the standard talking point amongst potential crowd-funders then the project could see a shift in refunds happening or fewer people willing to back the project or similar projects. That’s precisely why I linked to the Kotaku piece that did the EXACT same thing when the devs were trying to crowd-fund Shadows of the Eternal.

        At the end of the day: what exactly did the article accomplish?

        Did ANY of the allegations check out?

        Allegations of embezzlement were made, which means that potentially illegal activity is going on at CIG if that’s true. That’s pretty damning to throw out and if it’s true then yeah, Chris Roberts needs to be indicted. If it’s not true then that’s some very serious libel based on… what exactly?

        Disgruntled employees can say whatever they want but if it’s spread around for the sole purpose of damaging a company’s credibility (and in this case, unless any of the allegations check out that’s basically all these claims are aiming to do) then I can understand why some people with actual investments in the company’s endeavors are up in arms.

        It’s no different than why thousands of people got angry about the “Gamers are Dead” articles when they were based on falsehoods about gamers being ISIS of the tech world. And now we have the U.N., parroting the same thing, Switzerland instituting sexism ratings against games, a couple of games getting banned from certain Australian retailers and the ESRB misrepresenting a game with an AO label spawned from fear-mongering instead of actually investigating and looking at the content of the game.

        I understand the white-knighting going on with the Star Citizen fanboys but I also understand what poor journalism and fear-baiting can do.

      10. “if that’s true”

        And those are the key words. The article in and of itself doesn’t prove it, does not attempt to prove it, nor even makes a declaration of it. It reports on what people involved in it are saying. What we see there are possibilities that we don’t know and can only fill in the gaps with assumptions, as you and a lot of people have been doing a lot of here. Yes, it can affect people’s opinion of the game, as many people like to jump to conclusions (again as evident here), but I’m not convinced that was the purpose of the article. Otherwise, Roberts’ counter arguments would not be there. Nor am I convinced that the article is as damaging to CIG as you claim due to it being weak hearsay. The only semi-confident thing I can take from the Escapist article is that, Chris Roberts and his wife, are difficult to work with. And that seems validated by Robert’s snarky attitude in his responses.

        And that’s the biggest difference between the Escapist article and the absurd comparison to the “Gamer’s are Dead” articles et.al. The falsehoods in those articles were well known already and publicly proven to be false and politically driven, fear-mongering to get specific results. There were no opposing view points in these articles. They were clearly propaganda pieces from people with an axe to grind and a political agenda to push. And they were followed up by more propaganda piece after propaganda piece. It definitely had the look of a concerted effort by a group of people with certain political slants (and financial incentives). I don’t see this same kind of agenda pushing, or fear mongering, with the Escapist article, I see them trying to report as responsibly and fairly as they can. They were even courteous enough to explain the process of creating that article (which they should not have had to do, but were compelled by the zealousness of the complaints against them). This comparison is pretty ridiculous and off-base.

        As far as the money management concerns, or the question about the state
        of the game, I think the follow up tour will help debunk any falsehood
        from the commenters in the article if they are false (which we don’t
        know). Although, I suspect, as in many stories, that all parties are presenting only parts of the truth and not the whole story.

        If you’re going to be accusing the Escapist of libel, then you’re going to have to also accuse every other publication for libel, on a grand scale, as well. How many articles have been wrong because the sources were proven wrong, especially on the Internet where things move at light speed? If the article is about what sources are saying about a subject, is it libel if those sources are incorrect? It’s not the publication making those claims but reporting on others’ claims. They get vetted by lawyers. If there were legal ramification, the articles would likely never be seen. Perhaps the ethics behind it are an entirely different topic to discuss altogether, but in this instance, your eagerness is getting the better of you with over-dramatizations of the situation.

        I also understand why those who invested would be up in arms over
        the allegations (and moreso if they turn out to be true). I also
        understand that people have a need to justify their investment, no
        matter how unwise it may be. People get carried away with hype. There’s just a point where that need turns
        into some kind of fanaticism, and that’s not really helpful to anyone.

      11. What we see there are possibilities that
        we don’t know and can only fill in the gaps with assumptions, as you and a lot of people have been
        doing a lot of here. Yes, it can affect people’s opinion of the game, as many people like to jump to conclusions (again as evident here), but I’m not convinced that was the purpose of the article.

        Right, but Totilo said the same thing about their article about Denis Dyack which resulted in any mention of Shadow of the Eternals being met with “it’s a scam” because that’s exactly what the average person stepped away from after having read the piece on Kotaku.

        At this point, it’s only really damning for CIG if it’s proven to be true.

        Not really. If more crowd-funders decide to ask for refunds or funding stops coming in then yeah, that’s damning too because now all these allegations would be directly affecting the funding of the game.

        This isn’t EA or Activision where there’s already a set budget in place and it doesn’t matter what the media says. Like in the case of Battlefront the budget was set in stone long before so it doesn’t matter what the media’s opinion is of the game.

        The only semi-confident thing I can take from the Escapist article is that Chris Roberts, and his wife, are difficult to work with. And that seems validated by Roberts’ snarky attitude in his responses.

        I agree.

        I don’t see this same kind of agenda pushing, or fear mongering, with the Escapist article, I see them trying to report as responsibly and fairly as they can.

        Except being the louses that is media, we can see that it did create a similar effect as the GAD articles.

        Also it’s already spread through the media sphere on GNews:

        https://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=dZjrGBfYxnmPI7MDBPmaOK5dex9rM&q=star+citizen&lr=English&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCQQqgIwAWoVChMIuf3ow4OqyAIVhnE-Ch33WA33

        How many articles have been wrong because the sources were proven wrong,
        especially on the Internet where things move at light speed? If the article is about what sources are saying about a subject, is it libel if those sources are incorrect?

        Actually yes. Dude, if I were running a business and ex employees started spewing falsehoods about the business and saying I was committing illegal acts and that gets spread around in media then heck yeah that’s libel. If my business or projects could be negatively impacted by gossip being spread around as “truth” when in fact they’re just allegations then that’s terrible journalism.

        If there were legal ramification, the articles would likely never be seen. Perhaps the ethics behind it are an entirely different topic to discuss altogether, but in this instance, your eagerness is getting the better of you with over-dramatizations of the situation.

        Not over-dramatizing at all. In fact according to Forbes it looks like CIG is lawyering up against The Escapist over this very thing:

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2015/10/04/star-citizen-developer-threatens-lawsuit-against-the-escapist-demands-apology-and-retraction/

        If CIG was funded by venture capitalists or was an AAA pub with secured funding that’s a whole different thing, but as a crowd-funded project public confidence is their gateway to funding. When the media actively attempts to sabotage that confidence based on hearsay then yeah, that’s their business going down the drain.

        I don’t mind people being skeptical and I welcome it, but this kind of irresponsible witch hunting has no upsides at all.

        Responsible reporting on crowd-funding projects and a look into the finances and reports on the working conditions are handled in a far more mature fashion at the website Cliqist.

        Now if you want proper exposes into crowd-funding projects they do it right by addressing the concerns of the public and the consumer while respecting the process behind it. Right now that Escapist article wasn’t going to do anything but cast a negative light on CIG but the really rotten part about it was that the most egregious allegations were made without proof and now the rest of media are parroting it.

        In the case of the Gamers Are Dead articles not every journalist who picked up the story did their research, they just parroted whatever Kotaku and Polygon said — it wasn’t maliciousness on the end of the wider media that exacerbated #GamerGate and the negative myths about gamers, it was negligence.

    2. “I never expected to spend hours simply looking at ships and exploring the interiors, yet I have done just that.”

      Exactly. You mentioned the genuine passion they seem to have – I sense that too. That’s why I’ve sunk quite a bit of money into this game. I am pleased with what I have seen so far.

      I think the AAA industry is getting really shitty since Star Citizen is making them all look bad on a kickstarter budget. They are probably afraid that gamers will expect better with less money since Star Citizen is proving that it can be done.

      This game is like my wet dream come true. There has been such a large vacuum in space simulators when there is such a huge market for them. I believe this is why they keep raking in the money.

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  3. LOL

    “Problem is 1) I have never posted on their forums 2) I have never downloaded the game due it not being complete nor playable. They actually confirmed this in their legal response letter as mentioned in this blog.”
    -Derek Smart

    Cool. Decided the game didn’t have any worthwhile content and no playable elements without trying it. Where the hell did he get the idea that it was supposed to be complete already?

    Apparently, he made some sort of game that wasn’t successful, so now he just trolls full-time.

    1. What i don’t understand is why he holds CIG to standards he himself does not comply to. His game was in development for 4 years so far, and it is still in Early Access on Steam, having been delayed numerous times since announcing 2011 release date. It is in pretty much unplayable state, and he bans people who complain about it from his Steam forums.

      1. Very hypocritical behavior, though at least I feel like this somewhat explains his behavior against SC.

      2. Not just from the forums. He’s got it set up now so they can ban people FROM THE GAME. That’s how bad he is.

        I also want to point out how funny it is that the Desktop Commander video is from 2001. I think we can all safely say that this behavior of is is well established.

  4. Im one of the original backers I do think Smart goes overboard and the wrong way about this. But I do fear for the project since ut got overblown 900 ships 15K packages ? Its virtual goods on a a game thats not out yet. If pre order is a anti consumer practice ? What is this?

    I do think Roberts should have made his comeback in a smaller solid sim as he originally pitched.

    And The Good games who are not AAA are out there Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun eternity, Ark but they did not quite cost *80 + million.

    Dont Take me wrong I wish my fears to be proven wrong and Star Citzen delivers.

    The whole thing remenbers me of what Dynak said on the Kotaku reporting. But Lizzy did corrobarate what was said.And Roberts bringing gg into it. What a mess.

    1. Ark but they did not quite cost *80 + million.

      Before ARK was ARK, do you remember a game called The Stomping Land? Well they had a hand in that. Took the assets that worked and built off that mess. So it wasn’t like they came in fresh from out of nowhere.

      Don’t get me wrong, though, I did like The Stomping Land but how that was handled was just pretty poor.

      I do think Roberts should have made his comeback in a smaller solid sim as he originally pitched.

      I completely understand this line of thinking, but then that would make Star Citizen just another Elite: Dangerous or Rogue Galaxy or Everspace or the dozen or so other smaller space sims on the market right now. I think it could have easily been done but it risked becoming cannibalized by other smaller space sims filling up the market at the moment.

      1. archive.is/BFwW8 mobygames.com/developer/shee… archive.is/Zj9ok Its bad if this guy who hates gg guts and twisted anything he could against gg is agreeing

    1. When it’s ready. And frankly, after seeing all of those great opportunities that have been rendered into rubbish by EA, Activision & co rushing out projects, I have to say I’m glad someone is actually taking all the time they need with something.

      Until then, you can play parts of Star Citizen right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm1KJiZGx7Q

  5. I for one am happy that the media is more sceptical towards a high profile Kickstarter project. We saw the dangers of Kickstarter with Inafune and Schafer – no backer control and zero responsibility to deliver for the devs. This is a risk with all Kickstarter projects.

    Either way Star Citizen isn’t some small project that needs the backing of the media. It is the highest profile user backed game with a budget of a AAA title. If for some reason all gaming websites refused to do articles on GTAV they wouldn’t be able to hurt the sales too much and this is a similar situation.

  6. I would like to point out that Roberts’ response wasn’t included in the initial article because he sent it three hours before it went up and, according to Vanderwall, the e-mail went to a contractor:

    https://twitter.com/encaen/status/649657531321618432

    Also, as soon as Roberts published the response and before the article got most of its views, his comments were quickly included all throughout the article.

    The sources themselves were vetted but asked for their identities to not be revealed, the only two anonymous ones were not quoted in the article and only used to corroborate stories. Also, allegations were clearly indicated as such.

    So the reporting seems to have followed their ethics policy, I only have a few doubts: one is whether the time to respond was adequate, I asked at the Escapist forums and someone said one day is pretty standard, but I don’t know, people are complaining a lot about the timing, the other doubt is that maybe it should have been made clear which sources were former employees and which were current because, for example, we really don’t know if any of the vetted sources were current employees.

    Oh, and Roberts’ response goes into some pretty weird crap, like suggesting that FART is a sockpuppet account for Lizzy, he also referred to Harper and Wu as GG “targets” and generally tried to inject GG into this in a weird way.

    1. Oh, and Roberts’ response goes into some pretty weird crap,

      I think it’s mentioned he started writing it at like 5 in the morning. Not really defending the tangents in his post, but it was obviously written in haste, while he was very emotional and obviously defending the project.

      It reminded me of one of those late night forum posts you find from a dedicated fanboy. It happens.

      1. Trade places. You are the guy aproached with the story by Smart and others what would you have done?

      2. Do exactly what was done with all the #GamerGate coverage on the site: interview as many people as possible and get as many sides as possible.

        That’s how it went down with the story about the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers:
        https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/02/controversy-behind-the-untold-history-of-japanese-game-developers-part-1/

        And that’s how it went down with the story about Blistered Thumbs:
        https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/12/the-fall-of-blistered-thumbs-mismanagement-and-despair-part-1/

        You give everybody a chance to address the questions or concerns raised by the other party and publish the results.

      3. Perharps you should look into it. But CIG is likely to be hostile as is clamping up they are even erasing archieves. In the end I want a good SC game and I will gladly put my fears to rest.

        Even so Does not look like CR is a easy guy to work with.

      4. Perharps you should look into it

        Already sent some questions to a CIG employee. Whether he answers or not is entirely up in the air.

        Even so Does not look like CR is a easy guy to work with.

        I think anyone with a specific vision is probably not easy to work with unless you’re melding your ideas with theirs. We hear about this a lot with movie directors. I don’t really care if he’s easy to work with or not, I just hope they make a good game.

      5. All claims should be verified. Is he a abusive boss, can he deliver? I know the demos, the vision and I understand you have faith he can deliver. I hope CiG manages to do it. Roberts vision is ambitious but he has not made a game in a over decade.
        Perhaps you are correct and the reveal was premature and It will hurt CiG. But hard facts wont come easy.

        A talk with Richard Garriot formal or informal could give insigth.

        I do think this needs a big piece of investigative journalism and many a question like should a AAA game be funded this way?

        You may clear the air or make it worse.

      6. “It reminded me of one of those late night forum posts you find from a dedicated fanboy. It happens.”

        Oddly enough, this article gives the same impression.

  7. So now I’ve seen everything, up until now at least.

    I first warned you about this a few months ago Billy D and your answer was refusing to cover it “because such stuff can bring projects down”.

    Here we are, a few months later, the increasing scandals surrounding the project involving 50 million dollars of kickstarter money are making it obvious something is going on, and you have the nerve to open with:

    For whatever reason Star Citizen has been a punching bag for the gaming media.”

    And herein lies your biggest problem Billy D, you are quick to speak against the industry, AS LONG AS you are not invested on it somehow. emotionally or economically, then you become an average run-of-the-mill shill.

    Did you contribute to the kickstarter, right?? If you lose the money, it serves you well for encouraging the industry on its CONish practices.

    INB4 you pull the ” kickstarer contributions are a risky investment” fanboy card.

    1. the increasing scandals surrounding the project involving 50 million
      dollars of kickstarter money are making it obvious something is going on

      And my words to you were “if there’s something illegal going on then it needs to be investigated”.

      I do not advocate witch hunts on the premise of suspicion.

      What makes us any better than Gawker if you start doing that?

      Did you contribute to the kickstarter, right?? If you lose the money, it
      serves you well for encouraging the industry on its CONish practices.

      I have no financial investment in the project whatsoever.

      As I mentioned to you before, if you have evidence of actual wrongdoing I’ll report on it.

  8. The one thing that really stands out to me is that Roberts’ argument amounts to:

    “Why poo poo us? We’re just giving people what they want. If it doesn’t turn out, then let it not turn out, but I believe it will turn out. Wait and see. Don’t report on scurrilous rumors if you can just wait and in a while, whenever, we’ll get around to releasing something and then let that be judged.”

    Meanwhile, he’s got his hand out, asking for money more often than a politician running for the Republican primary. Look at those costs on ships he’s putting out there. Thousands of dollars? For in-game anything? Hundreds of dollars for a ship? A single ship?

    If he wasn’t out there promising the moon and demanding you buy imaginary asteroids for lots and lots of real money, I’d be willing to just say, “Well, we’ll find out how it turns out when he ships.” Like I do with most any game.

    But he’s asking for way too much money and promising way too much for people not to question how he’s spending it after he’s passed his own deadlines time and again.

    Especially when you remember his history (ie., Digital Anvil and Freelancer, his movie company and Kevin Costner). There aren’t many men I’d trust thousands of dollars to ahead of time.

    And I guess what I think is his indignance at people being too impatient to not give him the benefit of the doubt is rather absurd.

    No one deserves THAT much benefit of the doubt, but especially not someone with his track record.

    Bonus: He’s not doing much to really change people’s minds with how he’s doing with Star Citizen. This game is going to end in lawsuits.

    Lots of lawsuits.

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