Star Citizen Backers Can Be Perma-Banned For Off-Site Activity
Star Citizen


David Maddaluno, station owner and show host of Beyond The Horizon Radio offered to help provide substantial information used in this article to point out some inconsistencies with the way Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games handle bans in relation to using their services for the crowd-funded game, Star Citizen.

Agreeing to an end-user license agreement or a terms of service to participate in specific activity for a product or service you paid for usually comes with stipulations about proper conduct and behavior when using said services. But what happens when what you do outside of that company’s domain potentially results in getting you permanently banned from utilizing some of the company’s services?

David Maddaluno was one of the backers banned within the past couple months for what he feels is inconsistent behavior from the staff at RSI and CIG. Maddaluno states he was banned from using the Star Citizen forums and from interacting with the community on the Roberts Space Industries website for being “toxic”.

According to Maddaluno, he expressed that CIG handed out his ban for being “toxic”, even though he felt that the ban was handed out because he was questioning their progress on the development of Star Citizen

“I started to pull funding in August. After GamesCom, I called CIG on their lack of progress. I forget which live stream it was, but I was banned for being toxic.

 

“In reality, I was questioning their ability to properly manage this project. I have a background in project management.”

Maddaluno was permanently banned on October 10th, 2015 during the CitCon live-stream, with his account being locked out the forums permanently. It’s almost equivalent to user No_Forum_Jokes_Allowed, who ended up with a 10 year probation on his account for “misconduct”, which stretches all the way to 2025, as evidenced in the screenshot below.

After being banned, Maddaluno requested a refund and asked for his account to be closed. He still has access to builds of Star Citizen and can play the game just fine, but he’s no longer welcome on the forums or related community services.

Maddaluno began posting about his perma-ban and his experiences with CIG staff on the Something Awful forums. After posting about being banned on October 14th, 2015 on Something Awful, Maddaluno received an e-mail from Cloud Imperium Games head of marketing, Sandi Gardiner, on October 14th, who had been monitoring his activity on third-party websites and forums, after he was banned.

What’s more is that he was later contacted by Gabriel via SMS/text message who mentioned he had inside knowledge of CIG, as evidenced in the images below.

Star Citizen SMS

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.

[Edit: Part of this information was requested for redaction]

I did reach out to Gabriel to ask if Maddaluno’s ban was justified and if he was actually a “toxic” member of the Roberts Space Industries community. Gabriel made it known that the following quote is him speaking personally [Edit: Due to a miscommunication some of this information had to be redacted following publication]…

“[Dave] seemed to become disillusioned with the project and as is his right stopped being a fan. However he seemed to fall into a certain crowd that tends to associate itself with the Something Awful forums. For whatever reason they do it the group including certain antagonists such as Derek Smart who continue to disparage the Star Citizen. In my point of view Dave was a really nice person to meet, talk, and drink with at PAX East 2014 however it seemed that he only became “toxic” to the Star Citizen community after he started associating with specific people on the Something Awful forums.

 

“Dave unfortunately wasn’t the nicest or most civil commentor on the Star Citizen project and it most certainly took me by surprise that a person who in 2014 was so excited to post such negative, hateful, and hurtful views. In my opinion yes he had become toxic to the community in what he was posting however I can’t comment on the specifics of if he violated the TOS however I can certainly understand how what he posted upset a good part of the community.”

According to Dave Maddaluno, he was not aware of what rule he exactly broke in the terms of service and was not notified about the exact rule, stating…

“I never violated any rules. They just didn’t like the fact that I was vocal about questioning their abilities to produce. Again – my background is in project management. So they tagged me as “toxic” and banned me.”

It’s true, the current terms of service does not state anything about “toxic” behavior. The word isn’t used in the TOS, and in regards to chatting about Star Citizen, the TOS only states the following reasons for potentially getting warned or banned for disruptive behavior…

“Disrupt the flow of chat in chat rooms with vulgar language, abusiveness, hitting the return key repeatedly or inputting large images so the screen goes by too fast to read, use of excessive shouting [all caps] in an attempt to disturb other users, “spamming” or flooding [posting repetitive text]”

Gabriel noted that after seeing the messages and finding out about Maddaluno’s ban he decided to text him, stating…

“I ended up texting him after I saw to see what happened as I hadn’t seen him since PAX 2014. As a friend I wanted to reassure him that everything was going well and not to fall into the naysayers. Personally I think it was a matter of circumstances that lead to him posting toxic comments.”

Maddaluno didn’t appreciate that his off-site conduct was being monitored by the Cloud Imperium Games staff, and made note of it a few times on the forums he frequented.

The micromanagement of the community doesn’t end there, though. Another financial backer who goes by the Twitter handle Beer4TheBeerGod was also permanently banned from using the Star Citizen forums.

There is a very expansive set of e-mails that have been published between Beer4TheBeerGod and the CIG staff over his perma-ban dumped within this Pastebin file. Some names and contact information have been removed.

Beer was banned back on October 8th, 2015, permanently. He wrote to them about the ban, stating…

“I can only consider the information that has been provided to me, but a permanent ban does not seem to have been an appropriate action given my history. As I understand it given the length of time since my last warning the September 25th infraction should have also resulted in a warning, and subsequently whatever specific infraction occurred on October 8 should have resulted in a 24 hour probation. That infraction should also have been specified along with the moderator initiating the action.”

According to the rules there’s supposed to be a five-step process leading to a permanent ban. Throughout December Beer had a discussion with president of marketing, Sandi Gardiner, who explained to Beer that she could not overturn his permanent ban from using the RSI services…

“Regarding your moderation, there is no way I can overturn this. I am completely outvoted by everyone and I have to respect that I am outvoted.”

In a later e-mail when Beer argued on behalf of overturning his ban, Sandi asked why he would want to be a part of a community where he didn’t like the executives or many of the staff…

“I still don’t understand though if you are not fond of the executives, and how the company is run, why be part of the community? The executive group isn’t changing any time soon and certainly not Chris. You are not going to be well received constantly disparaging the executives and most certainly when Chris is concerned.”

After some more back and forth e-mails, Sandi Gardiner later turned the case over to Patrick Probst from Cloud Imperium Games after she could not provide Beer with details on why he was permanently banned.

In the e-mails that Beer shared, Patrick Probst states that Beer was permanently banned due to his off-site discussions with Derek Smart that could be construed as “corporate espionage”…

“I’m honestly a little surprised that you are not aware of what caused your permaban. I am not prepared (nor do I think it is a good idea) to discuss this in great detail but the final straw which caused the permanent exclusion from the forums was your collusion with one Derek Smart Esq.

 

“You seemingly cooperated with him to spread secret information gained by questionable means. This could be construed as aiding and abetting corporate espionage”

Probst points to the following tweets as reason for Beer’s permanent ban from the RSI forums.

Beer4TheBeerGod on Twitter

@dsmart You’ll need something more impactful to convince people of your authenticity, like the name of the ship they’re going to reveal.

 

Beer4TheBeerGod on Twitter

36e75651fb234ddc6b88f57254017e0b78baef327f522cabdea975c07eca691a

 

Derek Smart on Twitter

@randomspacestuf I revealed it to a Goon @Beer4TheBeerGod this morning. He encrypted it with SHA-256. Was cracked in mins. Was hilarious

The tweets are also backed up on archive.today. There is an also an archive of some of the e-mails via screen capture, as noted by Twitter user Bandit.

Apparently, Beer was banned for having discussions with developer Derek Smart, who has been at odds with Star Citizen‘s development and Chris Roberts for more than several months.

According to Probst, the reason Beer didn’t receive an answer about his actual terms of service violation was because it was circumvented to enact the ban…

“Your opinions and associations are, of course, your business and certainly your prerogative. Preventing your toxicity and malcontent being spread on the forums is, however, ours. All things considered we felt the forum is better of without you. As you are aware the normal 5 step process was circumvented given the serious nature of your actions.”

Beer stated that it was disappointing off-site behavior could result in a permanent ban.

According to one member of the Star Citizen community, Liam, he stated that Beer’s “days were numbered” regardless of what the CIG staff did.

Liam on Twitter

@istheguy @BTH_Radio @sh00ter_d Give scrutiny to the banned too. Beer’s been a problem on the forums well b4 Smart. His days were numbered.

I reached out to ask Cloud Imperium Games if it was true that off-site behavior and communication with certain individuals such as Derek Smart could result in a permanent ban. According to director of communications, David Swofford, he mentioned the following in regards to Beer getting banned…

“I can tell you that the person in question violated our TOS and was banned for his behavior on the SC forums. Any further particulars for that ban are between CIG and our support staff.”

I notified Beer that he was permanently banned for violating Cloud Imperium Games’ terms of service. This seemed to be at odds with the e-mail from Probst, where it was stated that Beer’s ban was due to “corporate espionage” in relation to off-site behavior.

Beer decided to ask CIG’s president of marketing, Sandi Gardiner, about the ban and the conflicting information between what David Swofford mentioned and what Patrick Probst mentioned. Sandi stated the following…

“[…] looking at Patrick’s email, that is not why you were permabanned. I will have to track down the moderator who banned you and get the real reason.”

Part of the problem is that there is nothing in the stated terms of service, as published on the site at this moment — or at the time when the bans took place for the above individuals — that state that off-site behavior can result in permanent bans. In fact, as of October 2nd, 2015, before both bans took place, the terms of service makes it clear that accounts are terminated based on a breach of the rules in relation to on-site conduct or RSI content…

“RSI may immediately suspend or terminate your Account(s) (and access to all related entitlements) or any subscription for an RSI Service after notifying you of your breach of these Terms of Service, or any illegal or improper use of any of your Account(s), or your illegal or improper use of the RSI Services, products, or RSI’s Content.”

I did ask the director of communications, David Swofford, about any recent changes to CIG’s policies regarding terminating accounts for off-site behavior, but Swofford states that it was all on-site behavior that resulted in the ban…

“Just to reiterate…this individual was blocked for behavior on our site. How that transpired exactly is strictly between our [customer service] and this individual.”

This is something to be wary of for potential backers because what you say or do off-site could affect what access you have on the Roberts Space Industries website, such as communicating with Derek Smart.

And speaking of Derek Smart… he was actually refunded and banned from using the RSI services not necessarily for breaching the terms of service but, according to CIG’s Ben Lesnick, for using “Star Citizen as a platform to gain attention”. Smart’s particular case was covered in detail in an article back on July 14th, 2015 by PC Gamer.

If you’re okay knowing that your access to some of the Roberts Space Industries services can be revoked based on off-site behavior then proceed as normal.

Star Citizen is currently in development right now for PC. For more information feel free to visit the official website.

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  • Zufield

    Wait, why would the dude be banned from the forums for ten years for “interacting and associating with DEREK SMART” when goons have historically hated DEREK SMART for years? That, and goons have been some of the biggest supporters for the game, from what I’ve read.

    I dunno. It doesn’t seem to add up.

    I personally don’t have a horse in this race; I’m just wondering why stuff like this would happen.

    • LGD

      it was the long con- Goons knew that one day Star Citizen would be created and to stifle Chris Robert’s vision it was first necessary to beef with DEREK SMART and enthusiastically praise the game’s potential to the sky, so that when they later turned on it and began coordinating the DEREK SMART (for what any right thinking person would say looked like borderline-criminal mismanagement) they would be beyond reproach. Fortunately the Star Citizen faithful are too canny to fall for even such a thoroughly planned deception.

      • Nick

        Da fudge…. That plot though…

        I would like to see them add something like what was described above as a long term side quest that ends with the character trying to sabotage their competitor, just as an inside joke and a bit of clean fun.Take a break from flying and shooting to do a bit of corporate space drama.

        It would make for an interesting story arc for those that didn’t follow all of this real life drama during development.

    • Phil Richardson

      Personally, I liked Beer, I didn’t always agree with what he had to say on the CIG forums, but he always offered a coherent argument for his case.
      What came later when DS started his blog’s against CIG and Chris, he pushed backers to demand refunds, beer also participated in this movement.
      I agree with you, I still do not understand why the goons have sided with DS, or perhaps I’m reading that wrong.

      They are not banned for the game, only the forums.

  • Wait, Armond works for CIG? Since when?

    • He asked that his comments be made to reflect his own personal opinion and not that of his military outfit or of Cloud Imperium Games. I complied.

      You’ll have to talk to him about his exact role in CIG.

      • Ebalosus

        [This comment was also requested to be redacted]

  • Cash Roberts

    Commander I can sense that a swarm of Sperg Citizens are coming this way to defend their church. shall I initiate orbital cult bombardment?

    • Rajafa Mitswuey

      If anyone’s cultish it’s you.

      • Cash Roberts

        learn to fucking know how to spell, don’t show your spergness to the public.

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        Lol, what? I didn’t misspell anything. You, on the other hand, should learn proper grammar.

      • Cash Roberts

        yes right! lol

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        Glad you agree, goon 🙂

      • yeah i agree, dedicated fake accounts on twitter, media websites, reddit, etc… to hate on a game development and its company individuals. It makes part of that group of people that puts a lot on effort and time into this. Cult or not? Stay tuned for the next episode…

    • Goobs

      this rajafa guy shows up in EVERY. SINGLE. ARTICLE. about SC, it’s reallllly fucking creepy. Even youtube videos he just looks for videos about star citizen and posts. It’s ironic that he’s accusing others of being cultish.

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        It’s the same with goons like Cash Roberts up there. He spews non-sensical bullcrap everywhere ;). And the only reason I get to these articles is because of Reddit. I never go out of my way to search for them.

    • Muten

      Haha, nostradamus over here. It’s happening.

  • Bitterbear

    So that’s where Dina Karam and her minions went after the Mighty No. 9 fiasco.

  • Gorgon

    To be honest, I don’t get why they want to access the forums so much, other than troll or try to convince other people to demand refunds and stuff like that. If you don’t like SC anymore, ask for refund and be on your way. I seriously doubt they could persuade all the “cultists”, as they see SC fans.

  • The most amazing and stupid thing about this, is that people like this usually complain “oh look the forums are awful, the mods abuse their power, etc… ”

    Next thing they do: Keep posting there, pushing it, over, and over, and over again.

    It gets to a point most people there just want you gone. And so it happens. I don’t use the forum and i’m happy, other’s are more happy going into drama and controversy to a point they get banned and they complain they got banned.

    Meh, sorry, can’t care enough. Just if you’re a backer, wait for the freaking game, or follow it’s progress and alpha updates, if you’re not, back the game when you feel what it can currently offer is what you’re looking for, and be happy! 😉

  • Zeldain

    Finally the balls to manage a game community the right way – remove the fuckup toxics no matter where they do it. They are a cancer on the community. Good riddance, piece of shit.

    • Ky Luong

      To me the developers are pussy. Won’t give a shit when they go bankrupt.

      • Zeldain

        They won’t. They are perpetually funded.

      • Ky Luong

        We’ll see what happen when all the parties enter court.

      • Zeldain

        Court for what? That’s the funniest part of this whole thing – a bunch of imbecile children think there’s anything at all that is wrong or with legal ramifications. Just a big fat lol.

        Remember, Derek Smart is all blow and no job. He’s a pussy.

      • Yeah this is the truth, people delude themselves into think like there’s some “world-wide” law or whatever to justify they are breaking the law.

        The claims of that are so certain, that ever after so many attempts and claims on the imaginary FTC investigation, it’s a sad drama story. xD

      • Ky Luong

        Come back in a year or two and we will see who is right. Everybody want a part of the drama.

      • Scion

        And if SC is a success you’ll just crawl into a hole and pretend you never said anything anyway. Typical internet keyboard fighter.

        Meanwhile, backers go on to have fun with the game and not care what some second-rate bloggers and commenters say 🙂

      • Libluini

        SC won’t be a success though, so this point is moot.

      • Darcy Clouds Ducky

        So a guy that can’t even release his own game is going to sue another game maker for changing the release date. But his game that was set for release in what 2012 is still in alpha to this day and he’s talking about star citizen being a scam lol

      • Ky Luong

        For the record, I am not a backer. I don’t have any stake in this project. I just love drama. It very entertaining to me. That’s why I inject myself into the debate.

        You can tell a big project going to shit by looking at their actions.

        1. Spouse. Having a spouse part of a major project will most likely bring chaos. It how things tend to go. It is very bad to be romantically involved with a co-worker.
        2. Mission creep. Mission creep is where the project keep adding more stuff. It probably is the number one killer of any major projects. Star citizens have mission creep all the way up theirs ass.
        3. Spending funds on luxury items. When the project spend money on luxury items and not the project itself. There have been lots of complaints by backer where thousands of investors money were used to by very expensive furnitures.
        4. Delays. This game was supposed to be out at the end of 2014. It’s 2016 and four years in development. Two years late. 4 years is where investors tend to get nervous about any project. How many of you think it coming this year?
        5. Lawyers. When you bring lawyers into public view that signals the project is in trouble.
        6. Sensitive to criticisms. The deeper the trouble the sensitive to criticisms. It is a natural human reponse to stress.
        7. Investors start to rebel. Investors have been more vocal on the project with some of them pulling (refund) their money out of the proect.

        All Smart did was open a debate on the health of the project. He bought attention to it which I think did a great service to the project investors.

  • Ky Luong

    It’s another pussy developer that can’t take criticism. Never stepping out of their ivory tower to understand human nature.

    Anytime you have a message board or venue where people discus stuffs, there will be disagreements. That’s how things are. If you don’t want people arguing, trolling, bullshitting, etc than don’t create the venue.

    When you create a product there will be people criticizing it. Some criticisms you might not think are not fair but you have to deal with it. It’s how the world/human nature works.

    This game is a slow train wreck. Everybody are lawyering up. The drama will be great entertainment value tho.

    • Zeldain

      You uneducated fuck. Why not do the work to understand what you are speaking of,

      • Ky Luong

        The developers can’t handle shit. They mismanage their funds and people called them out. That’s why everybody is lawyering up.

        Tell me what was the original release date?

      • And the proof of that is on random sentences on random internet blogs that stated such. GL with lawyering up on game delays. 😉

      • Ky Luong
      • Threats, empty threats, on both sides. The usual game, you don’t seem to be aware this drama game as been ongoing for the past 2 years…. yeah. I’ve seen this type of internet game development drama happened too many times to even care anymore lol

      • Ky Luong

        When you have the developer threatens lawsuit to a publication on an issue as minor as the escapist article than something is seriously wrong. It touched a nerve with the developer. The proper way to handle it is to said they story is wrong instead of threats and let it go.

        So it tells me there are some truths to the story.

      • the issue wasn’t minor on the part it accused directly the company of committing crimes. It wasn’t about opinons, stories of situations, etc… If it touched a nerve to the developer reading his wife being accused of being a racist cunt? Wouldn’t impress me.

        It doesn’t tell it’s truth or not, it tells that the article did spread too much on the internet far enough to cause one company official reaction. It wasn’t something that would go away, pretty sure you know this, when something goes big on the media the companies will be forced to react, one way or the other.

        And at the end several of those statements were already proven wrong, the company was supposed to have shutdown by December last year due lack of money, the first and major Universe release did happen, so we are seeing a GAME being developed, not a vaporware or a scam. So yeah.

      • Ky Luong

        It’s a minor issue. No one would paid attention to the story until it broke out that CIG threatened lawsuit. Escapist got their lawyers and stand by their story. So I would love to see this go to court.

        When was the last time a developer threatened a publication with a lawsuit? Even AMD didn’t threatened Linus Tech Tips with lawsuits for being ultra bias against them. AMD just stop giving them free samples.

        When you have lawyers involve it means it is a serious matter.

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        The Escapists was proven wrong time and time again. There’s even an entire Reddit page that disproves everything Derek Smart says.

      • Id

        You may want to take a break from reddit and explore the rest of the internet, it’s a big world out there.

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        Eh. I’m only on Reddit for 30mins out of my entire day. Other than that, I might just comment on a thing or two and let my phone show me the responses. Like right now.

      • Ky Luong

        The deveopers threatened lawsuits for slander. Escapists rechecked the story. Got their lawyers to check the story, than issued a public statement standing by their story. It have been over 3 months and the developers didn’t take them to court.

        Now what does this tell me? It tell me the Escapist got their story correct and they are more then willing to go to court defending it. By threatening a lawsuit and not go through with it painted themselves in a corner. It basically tell the reader the story is true.

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        They threatened lawsuits because it WAS slander. It was a bunch of lies. Heck, their sources came from Glassdoor! Anybody can write on Glassdoor with no verification at all. I could claim I’m the president of the USA on Glassdoor and it would be fine. The reason there is no lawsuit is because, why bother? Everything the Escapists stated was just a complete lie. So it shouldn’t effect CIG in a negative way development-wise. After all, they’re still releasing weekly patches and monthly updates.

        The Escapists haven’t said a word since. This indicates that they knew the writer had screwed up. And the only way to keep their credibility was to stand by the story, even if it was completely false. Again, there is an entire Reddit page that proves the Escapists story completely false.

      • Ky Luong

        Then why didn’t they bring them to court? The developers have every right to bring them to court if they are being slandered by the publication. If the developers won the court battle the publication will be forced to publicly apologize and compensate the developers.

        Escapists infact double down and issue no apologies. Here is Escapists response to the threatening lawsuit. The are willingly go to court for this story. It been over 3 months and the developer still haven’t taken the publication to court over slabder. So by logic who is correct.

        https://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/14727-The-Escapist-Explains-Its-Star-Citizen-Sources-Vetting-and-Respo

        https://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/features/14715-CIG-Employees-Talk-Star-Citizen-and-the-State-of-the-Company

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        The Escapists response is irrelevant. They were proven wrong time and time again. Every livestream that CIG has (whether formal or informal), the people in the livestreams constantly state how they love the company. This contradicts the Escapists claim that CIG is a toxic work environment. If this were true – it wouldn’t be just 3-4 people who have left out of 300 people.

        Heck, if the Escapists article is correct, then why not verify the sources? This makes their case completely invalid. Especially since the so-called “evidence” was posted on Glassdoor. Which anyone can write on without ANY verification process. I could go on there and claim that I work at CIG even though I don’t and make just as many false claims.

        If you look at the so-called “sources” that the Escapists article have, you can see that every single “source” writes in the same way. Short, concise, bullet point styled writing. Everyone writes in a different way, but those “sources” were all written in the same exact format and style… almost as if it’s the same person…

        What’s hilarious though – is that the Escapists article never even sited the “sources”. They just wrote down what the so-called “sources” supposedly wrote. So this is what Journalism has turned to huh? Just write down anything without providing a source?

        Their overall claims were instantly invalidated once they accused CIG of racist / ageist hiring. When we have clearly (for years now) seen blacks, asians, latinos, old, and young people working at CIG. If anything went to court – the Escapists would lose INSTANTLY.

      • Ky Luong

        It is relevant because they basically told the otherside lets do it. Lets go to court! Lets figtht! The developer backed down. So who is in the right?

        Hahaha you are so emotionally involve in this that I find it very funny and entertaining. The employees confused their love for the company in live streams with their bosses looking over them. Do you know how silly that sounded?

        I don’t think you know how the court system work. It doesn’t work the way you think it does. 99% sure the developer will not sue the publication for slander. For one thing the developer don’t have a case. They fucked up and let their emotions got in the way of better judgement. Second they don’t want their dirty laundries made open to the public.

        There is something called the discovery phase when dealing with the courts. Both sides will asks the otherside to provide the information pretending to the case. Some of these information are very sensitive to the company. In other words the Escapists lawyers will ask CIG for a lot of shit like their books, employees records, email, etc.. Of course the otherside will try to prevent it. So both sides will go to the judge to short it out. That’s why court cases can drag on for months and years. Also all the big guys in all parties will probably be on the stand to testify.

        For me personally I would love to see this case go to court. All the dirt will come out. Good stuff.

        https://litigation.findlaw.com/going-to-court/filing-a-lawsuit-the-discovery-process.html

      • Rajafa Mitswuey

        “The developer backed down. So who is in the right?”

        Why would the developers waste their time with outrageously false claims? The Escapists claimed CIG has racist hiring methods; even though in almost every single ATV episode there is a black person, a latino person, and sometimes an asian person. The article also accused them of being ageist; This is blatantly false because SEVERAL different community shows have older people such as Jared Huckaby, Tony Zurovec, etc…

        Read this:

        https://totalgamingnetwork.com/entry.php?117-The-Sky-is-Not-Falling-for-Star-Citizen-or-Cloud-Imperium-Games

        It completely SHATTERS the claims that the Escapists article makes.

        Also, read this:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/3n59ft/working_at_cig_from_a_cig_employee/

        Those were two current, non-anonymous CIG employees stating quite the opposite of what the Escapist article claims. Who would I believe…. the current, well-known, non-anonymous employees of CIG? Or the unknown, ex-CIG, anonymous “employees”? The Escapists screwed up. They went with the story, and after completely getting proven so wrong it’s hilarious, they had to try and keep their image up by stating that the sources (that they didn’t cite) were completely legit (even though they are completely unconfirmed, and write in the exact same way… hmmm..).

        Honestly, why’d I even post that second link? You’re probably going to call it fake. But it’s not, those two employees are seen in so many community videos it’s amazing.

        There simply is no need for this to go to court – the Escapists lost. They lost before they even publicly published the article. As the entire company (including every employees’ Twitter & Reddit feed) says the exact OPPOSITE of the Escapists.

        On top of that – the Escapists “sources” were posted one day after the next. Logically (and realistically), not every single CIG employee that leaves would have left one day after another for 4 days straight and then just magically stop and all of a sudden an article appears quoting those exact sources.

        Basically – no judge or jury or legal court would want to get in this mess. Nobody would chose the side of the Escapists because of video, image, and text proof against their claims.

      • Ky Luong

        They made a legal threat against a publication. Legal is nothing to joke about. If a party back down by default they are wrong.

      • Kronpysus

        That’s not how it works, bud. There is a reason they backed down – the evidence that supports THEIR side is overwhelmingly – everywhere.

        Points that the Escapists made such as racist and ageist hiring are EASILY disproven just by looking at any amount of videos from CIG.

        The evidence supports their side so well, why even waste time going to court if they’re just going to win instantly anyways? The two outrageous claims from the Escapists alone being disproven so easily instantly invalidates the rest of the claims made by the Escapists.

      • Ky Luong

        Lets take it one at a time and slowly so you can u n d e r s t a n d.

        1. The developer is the Plaintiff.

        A plaintiff (Π in legal shorthand) is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court.

        The developers made a legal threat but did not go through with it.

        2. Escapist is the defendant.

        A defendant is a person or entity accused of a crime in criminal prosecution or a person or entity against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in a civil case.

        The defendant (Escapist) did not admit any guilt. The defendant in a written response to the plaintiff stand by their story. In other words the defendant did not backdown.

        Those are facts.

        The court is the finial arbiter of facts. The courts decided who is in the right and who is in the wrong regardless what other people thinks. That include you.

        The developers did not file a formal lawsuit. The developers backed down. The defendant (Escapist) never retracted their story.

      • Kronpysus

        I already knew all of this. My point is – the developers never filed a lawsuit. They only threatened to file one.

        Just because they didn’t go through with the lawsuit, doesn’t mean they’re instantly wrong. Considering one doesn’t even need to hire a lawyer or PI to find out that all of the Escapists’ claims were wrong. This alone invalidates any type of “credibility” the Escapists had. Lawyers want to win. That’s what they’re in for. They won’t take part in a case that can be ended so easily with a little bit of basic researching.

      • Ky Luong

        It means they are instantly wrong. Here is why. The developer believe their good name have been slandered. One can assume they talked to their lawyers first to see if the case is winnable. They threatened the lawsuit so one can assume their lawyers think it is winnable. They asked for the publication to retract the story and publicly issued an apology. The publication stand by their story and issue no apology and no retractment.

        So now eveything is set in place. Both side clearly disagree agree with each other. If the developer have a case than than one can assume they will proceed with the lawsuit to clear their good name. The court is the final arbiter of facts regardless of whatever body thinks in the case.

        The developer didn’t go through with the threat that means they don’t have a winnable case. The threat might directly intended to intimidate current and former employees of the company to prevent more damaging/embarrassing information from leaking out.

        As for PI. You don’t need a PI. The developer probably already know who gave the escapists the information. It not like this company was around for over 100 years. There employee base is small, just over 200. They know who left the company in disagreement. They know which employees are unhappy.

      • Kronpysus

        No it doesn’t. If they were instantly wrong, there wouldn’t be video footage that supports their side. They would be instantly wrong if there were no footage whatsoever from them. They would have no way to back up their claims because they could just hire someone and scream “SEE! SEE! YOU’RE WRONG!”. That’s obviously not the case here. Becuase they’ve had video footage that supports their case before the entire Escapist thing even happened.

        CIG won since before the Escapists started. The Escapists lost. A lawyer would never support the Escapists’ because the Escapists were proven wrong so easily it’s hilarious.

        Lawyers and judges observe facts. They observe the whole picture. If any part of the picture (on either side) is distorted, the case is pretty much over. The Escapists’ case is VERY distorted. So much so – that even attempting to go to court with CIG would just be a complete loss.

        CIG has other things to worry about rather than slanderous claims & lies. The best way to prove them wrong without wasting time and money on a lawsuit, is to finish the game. And that’s what they’re doing.

      • Michael Nolen

        again, where are the Escapists current articles regarding CIG/Star Citizen? Nowhere to be found because they know their shit is weak and would not survive a lawsuit.

      • Ky Luong

        I don’t know why don’t you go ask them? Maybe they got a big scope and waiting for the right time to release it.

      • Ky Luong

        Again if the developer have a case than by all means bring the publication to court. Clear their good name. The court is the final arbiter of fact.

        The Escapists never retract the story or issue an apology. In fact they did the opposite. They told the developer to “come and get it bro”. They dared the developer to take them to court. Their lawyers are reader to fight.

      • James Brand

        You really are dumb aren’t you ?

        Why bother taking Escapist to court when the threat had the desired effect, Escapist bit their tongue and shut the fuck up,Lizzy was quietly let go and webt to work for Brietbart,Escapist has gone totally silent since then which says only 1 thing:

        The Company owning Escapist looked into the situation realized the both the magazine and the author had monumentally fucked up by both consulting Derek Smart and by doing zero fact checking along with making assertions that criminal acts had gone on and ordered them to be quiet in the hope that it would go away.

      • Ky Luong

        The developer don’t have a case that’s why they are not suing them. The escapists never apologize or retract their story. The lawsuit was probably to imitate Escapists sources and to keep other from talking to the press.

        Wait a year or two when this company come crashing down. That’s when all the tears from fanboy become a river.

      • James Brand

        Oh my did you get your Tinfoil hat from the same place Derek Smart got his ?

        Its called damage control 101, the author Lizzy practically had a coronary on Twitter when it was made clear to her that the Studio does not have “Employee ID Cards” like one of her “sources” used to verify that they “worked” for the company

        Add into that the fact that she took 2 “reviews” from Glassdoor and listed the accusations made in them as coming from 1 “source” along with the “Employee ID” ballsup,along with passing off Derek Smart’s Bullshit as “inside sources”, she basically fucked herself and the publication which is why they have been ordered by the Escapists owners to STFU.

        Its self evident that The Escapist fucked up by their very silence even more so that they are no longer responding to Derek Smart despite his persistent attempts recently to tag them in every one of his tweets he has been meet will a wall of stoned silence.

        CIG has no need to take Escapist to court when there is plenty of publicly available Evidence to show both Smart and The Escapist and all the naysayers are full of shit.

      • Ky Luong

        I find it very funny so much is being made on the escapists lawsuit. I mean mentally these fanboys are at the level of cultists. You can feel theirs anger and tears. Pretty amazing if you ask me. If anything the developers understood how to manipulate their backers just like con artists or cultists leaders.

        For example: The developer want backers to be part of the team. This give investors an emotional link to the project. This allows the project leader to effectively control their investors because if they fail you fail. Emotionally no one want to fail and if you’re part of the team you will defend the project at all cost. All the way to the ground. This is what I’m seeing right now.

        I learned at a young age not to get emotional involve in any investment. I learned at a young age when a person want me to invest money and want me to be emotionally part of the team. That sends a red flag. That telling me the investment will fail. I want a return on my investment not emotionally attached to it.

      • James Brand

        Then I suggest you visit a optician and get your eyes tested they are faulty and covered in salt XD.

        You want to know why people willingly give money to Roberts and CIG ? Its called a track record of delivering quality games time and time again Wing Commander 1,2,3,4 Starlancer,Privateer,Strike Commander etc etc etc.

        Today is no different to then a bunch of naysayers like Smart screaming “it can’t be done” only to be proven wring by CR again and again.

        Derek Smart was also screaming the same BS about Elite Dangerous with his “its impossible” “it can’t be done” “it’ll never see the light of day” yadda yadda yadda,ironically the same shit he said about Wing Commander 1,2,3,4 and every other space game that did not have Derek Smart’s name on it.

        It’s quite clear you got your legal education off the back of a cereal box or a episode of Law and Order, If the Escapist had even a leg to stand on then they wouldn’t have “Pleaded the 5th”, they would have made follow up articles and yet total and utter silence, despite Derek Smalls furiously tagging Lizzy F and The Escapist in most every tweet over the last 2+ months.

        That says only one thing, Escapist has been ordered to keep quiet by its owners to salvage what little reputation it had left,because admitting they cocked up would have them blacklisted by the industry.

        Its very telling that of all the possible places, these “sources” could have gone to that they chose “The Escapist” instead of a big name Publication like IGN,Gamespot,CVG and so on.

        The reason why this is is because the “sources” are Derek Smart and in the gaming Industry the man’s name is mud he has such a established Track Record of lies,falsehoods,spurious bullshit and never delivering on any of his promises that he makes Peter Molyneux look the worlds best Gamedev.

      • Ky Luong

        Hahaha. Before I start. What was the last major game Christ did and what year was it?

        Here the fun part. Lets look at this objectively folks. Lets dissect space citizens cultism because it have become that.

        Go reread all the fanboys posts. There is a very common theme in their defense. Everybody is happy in the company. Employees profess their love for the company. They even said it on the live stream.

        Off all the thing they could argue against me the choose the Escapists angle. They argueed in such a way you can feel their rage. The escapists story is nothing. It just pissed off employees letting off steam. Happen in every big companies. Really it is nothing. However to a cultist society pointing out members within their ranks are unhappy drive them nuts. That’s is what is happing here. That my friends is cultism.

        As I pointed out the developer with or without knowledge used the most commonly and effective tool to control manipulate other human beings. The idea of being part of a cause larger than themselves. This type of control been used since the dawn of man. It so effective that it can cause members to sacrifice themselves. It allows the string pullers to manipulate their followers to do things not in their interest. For example: black lives matter destroying their own communities.

        If you want to understand the technique use to control other human beings. Check out Brian Patrick Ten Commandments of Propaganda videos. He is an expert in the field.

        https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC7rjlbXk8UKNPPhLYpzuBLg

      • James Brand

        Might want to get a refund on that Tinfoil Hat there I’ve heard some really barmy conspiracy theories this however takes the whole cake.
        The simple fact is that The Escapist fucked up monumentally,it failed to do basic verification of its “sources” because they were in such a rush to “break” what they thought was a story.

        Even more Ironic that the author was part of GamerGate arguing for ethics in journalism and yet on the same hand chooses to throwaway all ethics to chase clicks and views and it backfired on her monumentally.

        In short CIG’s funding shows that the “article” had zero effect on funding or backer numbers both have increased because every single claim made by naysayers and the Escapist are easily disproven by easily available information.

      • jseph1234

        B*5ch, why are you commenting on every negative article about CIG?? Everytime I read a damn article, there you are kissing CIG’s and CR ass!!

      • James Brand

        Awhh diddums did Daddy Derek refuse to give you a cookie, now go back into your kennel mutt like a good little monkey

      • Moe Sasseville

        Just because a story has sufficient sources to be published, it doesn’t make it true. The protection against slander is that you’re not showing reckless disregard for the truth. This provides broad protection for many types of media such as the inquierer who “broke” multiple erroneous stories over the years without being sued successfully.

      • Ky Luong

        These is not how things work when you threaten to bring the other party to court. If you are being slandered you have every right to bring the other party to court and clear your name. The 1st amendment does not protect from lies, threats, and slander. You can ask for compensation and a public apology if you win.

        Lawyers are expensive. When you openly tell the world and threatened the publication with slander like the developer did. By logic you are telling the world you have a case. Now the ball is with the publication. They are on the spot because their reputation and lots of money are on the line.

        So typical the publication double check their sources and have their lawyers check the story. If publication think they don’t have a case they issued a public apology and hopefully without compensation to the party they slandered. In the Escapist case they doubled down. Told the public they are in the right. So the ball is back with the developers. What did they do with it? They backed down. It means they don’t have a case against the publication. By logic the story is true.

      • Moe Sasseville

        That is incorrect, the burden of proof against the 5th estate is very high, there is no law against putting out biased articles as long as they aren’t completely made up. You are making assumptions which are based on your own internal logic as opposed to facts.

        For example, each of the people who made the inflammatory statements have their freedom of speech and the right to their opinion. A publication can create and article strictly from their information and assign it greater factual value than any other opinion or statement regardless of quality or internal consistency. They have no legal requirements to do so. To prove that the article is indeed libel, you first have to prove that the initial statements were untrue and made to harm. Then you need to prove that the publication knew about it at the time of publication.

        If you don’t believe me look up false light laws and defamation laws if you don’t think I am telling the truth.

        Just because the suit was dropped, it doesn’t mean that the article is right and doesn’t show bias. It means that they can’t meet a very high burden of proof.

      • Ky Luong

        It is irrelevant. The fact is the developer did not go through with their threat to sue Escapists. You don’t make legal threats unless you think you’re going to win or you use it as intimation.

      • Moe Sasseville

        That is your opinion, but it is not based in reality. There is a business strategy called limited legal action. Essentially, you file a letter with the court stating your case. This sets a baseline, if the company then continues this course of action, it then creates a pattern which can be used to prove a harassment case which is much easier to prove than a libel one.

        Legal maneuvers are often more circuitous than direct it’s not necessary to “win” rather than getting the other party to back down from further action. Keep in mind that cost is often a critical part of anything a company does or doesn’t do. In this case, pursuing full legal action would have probably cost hundreds of thousands in court and investigative gees without any real return. While filing the motion cost a few thousand at the most and set a strong baseline against the escapist or any other publications creating follow-up stories. Not saying it can’t happen, simply that they will need stronger sources in other stories otherwise they open themselves up to other types of legal action which are easier to prove and hence easier to pursue.

      • Ky Luong

        Would you start a lawsuit if you know you can’t win? Of course not so your argument is irrelevant. You don’t start if you don’t have a case. No lawyers will represent in these no win lawsuits unless they get a nice paycheck in the mail first.

        When the developer threatened the publication, one would think they cleared it with their lawyers first. Their lawyers told them it is a winnable case. So the issued a public threat to the publication. The publication reponse by publicly standing by their story and willing to go to court. The developer backdowned or never have the intention of going through with the lawsuit.

        So this lead me to believe:
        1. They didn’t clear this with their lawyers and act out of pure emotions.
        2. They want to intimidate the publication but didn’t expect the escapists to fight back.
        3. They want to intimidate current and former employees by making the lawsuit public. A common tactic to keep whistle blowers silent.

      • Moe Sasseville

        Well, filing a lawsuit and sending a demand letter are completely different matters entirely. As far as I know, (and to be sure I looked) there has not been any official legal filings made against the escapist.

        Sending a demand letter is extremely common and often done without realistic expectation to win a suit. Like I mentioned before, these types of actions are often taken as means to lay legal groundwork.

        Your claim of intimidation isn’t very reasonable. Yes, the publisher took offense to the content of the article, it can be (and has been) argued that the article is biased and ignored several facts which may have provided a more balanced viewpoint.

        I read the article and thought that it lacked substance at the time. I especially thought that the claims of racism were particularly bad considering the paucity of information on the matter.

        But in the end, you are free to think what you want. I just ask for more when it comes to reporting.

      • Ky Luong

        The fact is the developer made a legal public threat to a publication. You don’t do that unless your legal counsel think they can win. Going to court is very expensive.

        It could be they they used the public legal threats as a way to try to intimate/silence the whistle blower inside the company and ex-employees.

      • Michael Nolen

        And Escapist is silent regarding CIG/Star Citizen since then. what does that say about Escapist?

      • Ky Luong

        Personally I don’t think you understand how law works. They are not the one threading to sue.

        As in any legal case, the legal counsel will always insist their client stay silent. This is probably what is happening with Escapist. The more the client talk the more information the opposing side have against them. You don’t talk period. It is good legal advice. It is good to excises your 5th amendment right and allow your legal counsel to do their job.

        With that said, I know a lot of you don’t know how to deal with lawyers and cops. The best advice is shut up. Excises your 5th amendment. All questions to you should directed to your legal counsel first.

        This video is almost 50 minutes. It is very educational. I suggest everyone watch it.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

      • Zeldain

        No one is “lawyering up” and stop saying that because you sound like a twat.

        Release date is irrelevant. This game has only been in development for 3 years, which is only when it would be FiRST ANNOUNCED traditionally.

        HEADLINE: Game takes longer than expected. News at at 11.

        Welcome to the industry. Plus they are breaking new ground, and creating new technology that has not been done before.

      • Ky Luong

        I got some time so let me tell you who is lawyering up.

        1. The game developers.
        2. The backers.
        3. Government.
        4. Escapist.

        Second the game suppose to come out in 2014. Do anyone believe it will be finish in 2016? There is no shortage of drama. The game is fucked and the developers are circling the wagons.

      • Zeldain

        None of this is actually happening… media, Derek Smart, some random banned backer are entirely insignificant to the success of this project.

      • Ky Luong

        So trying to silence criticism isn’t happening? So Derek Smart letter to the government did not happen? Derek Smart lawyering up did not happen? The developers threatening a publication? The main drama still a year or two away.

      • I’m sorry but you must be getting your facts from the SA forums or something because it’s even funny to read.

        You may be right about one thing, the game release release is still a year or two away. 😉

        Good thing Derek Smart was wrong, at least, unless it’s my imagination, i’m playing through the recently released Universe Alpha just fine… “vaporware”. ^-^

      • Ky Luong

        Maybe I read this wrong:

        “David Maddaluno was one of the backers
        banned within the past couple months for what he feels is inconsistent
        behavior from the staff at RSI and CIG. Maddaluno states he was banned
        from using the Star Citizen forums and from interacting with the community on the Roberts Space Industries website for being “toxic”.

        According to Maddaluno, he expressed that CIG handed out his ban for
        being “toxic”, even though he felt that the ban was handed out because
        he was questioning their progress on the development of Star Citizen…”

      • Zeldain

        It doesn’t matter what David Maddaluno feels.

      • There’s more to that story, you can search about it. ^-^

      • Ebalosus

        Yeah? and Tropes vs. Women was supposed to be done years ago. What was your point again?

      • Bitterbear

        You just answered your question.

      • Steve

        Shouldn’t Chris Roberts have known this when promising a 2014 release?

      • briguy

        The only thing Chris Roberts is guilty of is optimistic time frames. If you look at the scope of the game detailed in the Kickstarter and what we have now, you should be able to come to the conclusion that a 2014 release want going to happen.

        I was there from the beginning and CIG/Chris Roberts asked the community if they wanted to expand the game or just make what was promised and the community responded with a resounding “yes, make your dream game”. Funny how this simple fact gets overlooked because it doesn’t fit your narrative.

      • Zeldain

        Nope… not any more than… every other publisher who ever talked about and then delayed a game release date. (All of them)

      • Darcy Clouds Ducky

        The thing is the backers voted with over 90% of the community asking for the delay so we can get a bigger game. Sorry but I would rather pay once. Then pay for every feature like elite dangerous. We voted as a whole in the hundreds of thousands. So the 2014 date change was not cig it was the gamers the backers that voted. There is more to this guy getting banned then what they have said in this article

      • Just a comment about Elite Dangerous: you are not actually paying for every feature. A new expansions is coming out and it is being sold. That contains a number of features.

        And yes, those who paid for the original game or don’t have lifetime will pay about $15 bucks extra, but if everyone in Star Citizen only paid the minimum once and no ships were sold, SC wouldn’t have raised as much money as they did. So SC gets themselves funded with ships whereas Elite get themselves funded with expansions.

      • Darcy Clouds Ducky

        How would he know the 90% of the community would vote to male a bigger game?

      • Moe Sasseville

        Games get delayed all the time. Often times for several years. Why didn’t anyone suing Valve over mismanagement over HL2? Because game delays happen.

      • Michael Nolen

        The Kickstarter states “Anticipated Delivery: November 2014”. unless you are a total idiot, that means “we hope”, not a “guarantee” of delivery. Two different things and so not a Promise by CR.

      • James Brand

        well last time I checked “Esitmated Nov 2014” does not equal “promised 2014”

        https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen/description

        might want to avoid Derek Smarts mistake and have actual facts at hand before making statements or critique

    • Nicholas Perry

      Ahahahaha

  • TetraD20

    Dsmart involved, all makes sense now.

  • Bram Rhys Swarr

    It is within their rights to ban people in their own forums for displaying their oppositional opinions, Derek Smart knows all about that. They didn’t take his access to the game away, because he has put forward his own pocket to gain access to it. Employers do the same thing all the time; they find someone posting on their facebook (as an example, lets say they are on a sick day but are posting about how much fun the party they skipped work to go to is), it is equally understandable for the company to fire said person.

    • It would be pretty crappy though if I started banning people from commenting on this site because they frequently post positive comments on Kotaku. Basically, I’m just saying that from the outside looking in it seems like you’re paying to be held on a tight leash.

      • Nojan

        Yea banning two people from the forums out of hundred of thousands ….looks like the backers are held on a tight leash:|

      • Well these are the cases that people brought forward. We don’t know how many people have been banned from off-site activity. I think the precedent of banning for off-site activity is at least something people should consider before diving in, since it’s not something stated in the TOS.

      • KnightwyvernPS

        You don’t know that anyone was banned for offsite activity at all. You’re taking your word for it against the word of the representatives of CIG that it’s the case. Since both parties have vested interests in their claim being accepted as the “true” claim, it’s completely a he said/she said situation.

        Also, if he posted the name of a ship publicly, ruining their reveal, that came through channels who specifically claim the information was received directly against the wishes of CIG (encryption that can be broken in minutes is barely worthy of the name,) don’t you think that’s an issue?

      • if he posted the name of a ship publicly, ruining their reveal, that came through channels who specifically claim the information was received directly against the wishes of CIG (encryption that can be broken in minutes is barely worthy of the name,) don’t you think that’s an issue?

        Are you saying they have a right to monitor what he posts on his own personal accounts unrelated to RSI?

      • briguy

        And you’re telling me that a company shouldn’t do anything to someone who leaked stolen information, regardless how it was accessed or encrypted, to one of their “competitors”? What fantasy land do you live in?

        The only times I know someone was banned for “off-site” toxicity had been people who have been toxic on their forums. The only exception was Derek Smart who allegedly was banned for off-site toxicity but I personally don’t blame CIG for banning him. IMHO, Derek Smart is butthurt while also projecting is abject failure on a company that has shown they’re capable of completing what they have set out to do. Can you say the same for Derek Smart games?

      • And you’re telling me that a company shouldn’t do anything to someone who leaked stolen information, regardless how it was accessed or encrypted, to one of their “competitors”? What fantasy land do you live in?

        First off, you’ll have to prove that information was stolen. And second of all, you’ll have to prove that it was maliciously leaked to somehow aid a competitor. The tweets above certainly don’t show that in their current context but if you have more information, feel free to share it.

      • briguy

        Yeah maybe in a court of law; however, they aren’t, as far as I know, pursuing criminal charges and quite frankly they can do whatever they want on their own site. If they deem your actions bannable than they have every right to ban someone and there is no legal recourse unless they break commerce laws. So by them only banning Beer from chat and the forums and not the game; Beer really has no leg to stand on, IMHO. Perhaps Beer should have known when to back away like a reasonable person would have done.

      • Moe Sasseville

        They don’t at all. Access to a forum is a privilege, not a right. They can ban someone for swearing if they really want to. This isn’t a legal matter, there is absolutely no burden of proof here.

      • And that’s why it’s important for the public to know that they CAN be banned for any reason at all, including things they say or do that has nothing to do with utilizing RSI’s services.

        Your answer right here is precisely why this is a story.

      • Moe Sasseville

        I guess, but it’s nothing new…RSI is far from being first and are far from being that last.

      • Very true. I think people should at least have the info so they can decide for themselves how involved they want to get.

      • Gaz Wkd

        If his personal account is posting stuff publicly, oh yes.

      • So you would be okay with Comcast monitoring your activity on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit and prohibiting your access to certain kinds of content based on what you say in those public forums, even if you’re paying them for the service?

      • Gaz Wkd

        It’s always been made clear you are paying for access to the game. The forums are not in that purchase they are a privilege not a right that can be recoded at any time but won’t affect what you’ve paid for.
        Your analogy is a bad one.

      • No it’s not a bad analogy. You’re paying for cable; the forum access is a privilege. So you’re okay with Comcast monitoring your social media accounts outside of their direct service?

      • Moe Sasseville

        That is completely different, the paid service which is the game was in no way impaired. In your analogy, Comcast is denying a primary paid service. Also, Comcast can at any time choose to not do business with you, and have done so in the past for those who have abused their services.

        Paying for use doesn’t mean that you have unlimited rights to said service. You have something called reasonable use rights, if you abuse said rights (and the burden is historically very light), you may be denied service and since you broke the fair use policy you are not entitled to a refund.

        In your example, Comcast could even charge a breach of contract fee should they feel you violated your agreement.

      • That is completely different, the paid service which is the game was in no way impaired.

        I used Comcast’s forums as an example. Same as Star Citizen’s forums.

        In your example, Comcast could even charge a breach of contract fee should they feel you violated your agreement.

        Unless you were denied access to the forums based on a clause that doesn’t exist.

      • Moe Sasseville

        No, you didn’t; you said that Comcast would limit your access to content not forums. Which is a completely different matter especially considering that Comcast is an ISP. If you want to change your statement to forums only, you may have a point… But it could still happen. If you are being abusive to Comcast on public forums then go and try to go to their support forums where you are being critical, you may find yourself being banned.

      • KnightwyvernPS

        Does a company like Apple or Samsung have the right to fire someone for leaking information about their upcoming smartphone against their wishes? Would they have the right to disallow a person from visiting their factory if, when on a tour, this person took a picture and leaked information against the company’s wishes? Yes. It’s private information that was obtained basically through espionage, which is undoubtedly a breach of trust and legality within the company.

        I noticed that you didn’t respond to the first part of my post. Do you have no rebuttal? This article is purely a case of several individuals with a probable agenda (of showing CIG in a poor light,) against the representatives of a company with a probable agenda (of not being taken in a poor light.) There is no proof whatsoever. You obviously took the word of many of these people at face value and decided to believe them despite the facts of the matter, even going so far as to not do your due diligence.

        I will repeat: You do not know these people were banned from the website for their offsite activities. You simply chose to believe so, stating your opinion as fact. That, in my opinion, shows a rather un-journalistic bias against CIG. Whether or not these issues raised are true or not, the article is misleading, if not outright fabricated by third parties.

      • You obviously took the word of many of these people at face value and decided to believe them despite the facts of the matter, even going so
        far as to not do your due diligence.

        The e-mail leaks is not face value. I’m not sure why you’re ignoring them. And I contacted CIG directly, so again, not face value. Don’t let your fanboyism get in the way of clearly presented facts in the article itself.

        I will repeat: You do not know these people were banned from the website for their offsite activities. You simply chose to believe so, stating
        your opinion as fact. That, in my opinion, shows a rather un-journalistic bias against CIG. Whether or not these issues raised are true or not, the article is misleading, if not outright fabricated by
        third parties.

        The e-mails from Patrick Probst have been verified. That’s not an opinion that’s a fact.

        My opinion isn’t depicted in this article. You choosing to ignore the facts is something I find to be somewhat disturbing.

        And lastly, your examples are about employees and tours… the article is strictly about consumers. No company has the right to their customer’s privacy OFF-SITE.

      • KnightwyvernPS

        I wasn’t able to read past about the 20% mark in the archive of the Email exchange, the later images simply didn’t load. I’m not sure if that’s an issue on my end or for everyone, so I can’t comment on that, other than to say that basically up to that point it’s all Beer’s side of the story.

        You contacted CIG directly and they told you that Beer was banned for on-site behavior. Yes, the initial response was to the contrary, but later follow ups explicitly stated it was indeed for on-site behavior, yet you seem to just ignore this, given the title of your article and following paragraphs. In the article it’s stated that what Mr. Probst said in his emails were not the case.. and even if they were, you yourself say there is a case to be made that Beer misused RSI material. “I did think about this, and it’s possible that revealing sensitive data could be defined as the misuse or improper use of RSI content.” Your argument against this sums up as “but it just wasn’t clear.”

        As for Mr. Maddaluno, there is no proof of any sort displayed in the article, simply his claims. The claims of a disgruntled ex-community member are just that, claims. They are also suspect ones due to that whole “disgruntled” thing. Furthermore, as you already are aware, this “Gabriel” character does not represent CIG so I’m unsure as to why their views have any bearing at all. Also somewhat strangely, you include a random tweet from a community member, also not associated with CIG so I’m not sure what bearing that has either.

        As to your comment about “No company has the right to their customer’s privacy OFF-SITE..” My example of a consumer taking a picture of a smartphone in the factory and leaking it applies directly. Again, what I’m saying is EVEN IF it is the case that his offsite activities played into his ban, it was because of what could be construed as corporate espionage. He leaked private, unreleased information on a public platform.

        You state below in the comments: “From what I’ve gleaned it appears Beer was asking Smart for proof of his claims? And then Smart revealed it and then Beer tried verifying it with others by posting it as a hash?

        Maybe I have it all wrong but it didn’t seem as if he was trying to sell or expose information maliciously. But again, the context of the tweets don’t make that very apparent.”

        So, you inferred what you think happened and then stated it as fact. You contacted CIG and then chose to disregard what they said in favor of what the claimants said.

        The article ends with a statement from CIG saying that Beer was indeed banned for onsite behavior, then with you immediately stating people should “be wary.” Queue Derek Smart reference, which leaves out the fact that CIG did indeed refund Mr. Smart on grounds of Kickstarter pledge rules (You can refund individual pledges if you want. After your project has been funded, you can cancel and refund a backer’s pledge at any time. If you do, you have no further obligation to that specific backer, and no agreement that exists between you,) AND “pursuant to Sec. XX of the RSI Terms of Service.” These are readily available facts, as you linked to them, but I’m unsure as to why you think they are not relevant. You state that: “according to CIG’s Ben Lesnick, for using ‘Star Citizen as a platform to gain attention,'” yet you leave out the part directly afterwards which states: “We have strict rules about people using our forums and chat for self-promotion and it was clear that he didn’t care about the project, or the backers, or a good game being made. He was just trying to create a huge fuss to make himself relevant at a lot of other people’s expense and distress. So we enacted our rights through Kickstarter (that we also have on our own TOS) and refunded him and turned his account off.”

      • later follow ups explicitly stated it was indeed for on-site behavior, yet you seem to just ignore this, given the title of your article and following paragraphs.

        Because NO ONE clarified which rule he broke and they weren’t willing to. Probst did. So I can either ignore Probst (who clarified why Beer was banned) or go with a vague statement that provides no evidence that Beer was banned for on-site behavior. In this case, Probst’s evidence rules out over Swofford’s statements, unless CIG proves it was on-site behavior. Probst linked to alleged proof of off-site behavior that triggered the ban. CIG should be able to provide on-site proof that triggered the ban. Evidence speaks louder than claims.

        As for Mr. Maddaluno, there is no proof of any sort displayed in the article, simply his claims.

        It was claims on both sides. The whole point was to point out that he was being tracked for his off site behavior and comments.

        Also somewhat strangely, you include a random tweet from a community member, also not associated with CIG so I’m not sure what bearing that has either.

        It was to show that some people didn’t believe Beer.

        Again, what I’m saying is EVEN IF it is the case that his offsite activities played into his ban, it was because of what could be construed as corporate espionage. He leaked private, unreleased information on a public platform.

        You or someone else would most certainly have to provide proof that it was private, unreleased information. As I said, the tweets do not provide context to reach this conclusion at all. It’s a leap in logic.

        You contacted CIG and then chose to disregard what they said in favor of what the claimants said.

        As I said, if CIG has proof of Beer’s on-site conduct triggering the ban, they’re welcome to share it. Probst showed proof, Swofford didn’t.

        The article ends with a statement from CIG saying that Beer was indeed banned for onsite behavior, then with you immediately stating people should “be wary.”

        And they should. Look, if you don’t think it’s important that’s fine. You have every right not to. If someone else DOES mind that a company will be monitoring their personal accounts and correspondence off-site, they have every right to know what conditions may lead to such monitoring.

      • Moe Sasseville

        You are correct, but public comments are not private. If they had gotten into the users’ private information then it would be scandalous. Off-site and private are completely different matters entirely. Please, do not confuse them.

      • Moe Sasseville

        No, but the post was public not a personal document. Who cares if the public release was on an affiliated forum or not. If he violated an agreement, he violated an agreement. You don’t get to claim privacy when you post something publicly.

        People have been banned from private betas for similar behavior before. Why is this a story when RSI does it, and not when EA, or Bungie, or Activision does the same thing?

      • If he violated an agreement, he violated an agreement. You don’t get to claim privacy when you post something publicly.

        Post what publicly, exactly? And the burden of proof is on CIG to show that he violated the agreement. I haven’t seen this proof yet.

        Why is this a story when RSI does it, and not when EA, or Bungie, or Activision does the same thing?

        Are you sure about that?

        https://www.google.com/search?q=ea+origin+bans&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

        https://archive.is/MBXpb

        https://archive.is/q9g2B

        https://archive.is/RPgsE

        Consume rights issues are ALWAYS stories.

      • Nojan

        I agree people should know about these things but i doubt this is the norm

      • I agree, and I’d like to hope this isn’t the norm as well. I figured getting the story out at least lets people know.

      • Bitterbear

        You only need a drop of pus to ruin a milk drum.

    • TritoneJapan

      No one is saying it’s not in their rights to ban people for any reason, just that in this case it might have been a dick move.

  • Cpt Underpants

    #NotAllGoons

  • Ebalosus

    I agree that this is bad, but at least CIG isn’t insolvent like the people behind Psychonauts 2, and they won’t ban you for questioning the finer points of their crowdfunding/investing platform like Double Fine will: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFX0f_YUn1I

    • Bans based on people asking questions is always worrisome.

      On the upside at least CIG has been very transparent in just about everything they’ve been doing… save for the finances, lol

      • Ebalosus

        True…but even in the cases of their finances, I tend to take the Bluedrake42 approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0pqkf8WXPE

        TL;DW So what if the boss bought a mansion or spent the money personally? That would make CIG just like every other company out there in existence! The biggest financial burden that SC faces is not financial mismanagement, but the fact that they’re using the FailEngine to make the game.

        I’m not like the radicalised SC fans that believe in the “new era of development” BS, but a realist. I know that there will be problems along the way, and I sure-as-shit know that the game is going to take long than expected (I remember the development woes with Freelancer, after all); thus unless something definitive comes out that gives me reason to worry (none of this “anonymous sources” bullshit), I see little cause for concern.

  • Grunthos

    To be honest, in Beer4TheBeerGod’s case, where he supposedly revealed the name of the upcoming ship (albeit in a masked form) his conduct could be construed to fall under section XX of the ToS: improper use of RSI’s content. I’m not sure I’d call that “corporate espionage” but it was (assuming it was accurate) at the time privileged information that RSI did not yet want released.

    • I did think about this, and it’s possible that revealing sensitive data could be defined as the misuse or improper use of RSI content.

      However, the context of the tweets and information therein aren’t readily readable in an easy to understand way. From what I’ve gleaned it appears Beer was asking Smart for proof of his claims? And then Smart revealed it and then Beer tried verifying it with others by posting it as a hash?

      Maybe I have it all wrong but it didn’t seem as if he was trying to sell or expose information maliciously. But again, the context of the tweets don’t make that very apparent.

      • Grunthos

        I agree that revealing a ship name (and as a hash even) is stretching the definition of being malicious, no doubt. And in Beer’s case it probably is more a case of guilt by association rather than any actual harm he caused RSI.

        In any case, if it is true that Beer was banned for this “corporate espionage” I don’t understand why David Swofford is so adamant that the ban was for activity on the RSI forums. I think that all of what we’ve seen recently shows that inside RSI / CIG there is no clear consensus or communication.

  • Gaz Instone

    Their forums their rules. Banned individuals still have access to the builds and the full game so I see no issue.

    People like Derek Smart ban people from their forums both personal and game wise quite regularly.

    • Hyco

      Their forums, their rules? Since when does CIG own Reddit and SomethingAwful?

      • Gaz Wkd

        Clever guy. They can ban people from their own forums for whafever they wish including outside activity. Hence their forums, their rules.
        It’s most amusing to watch one of the projects biggest critics, D Smart, complain about this stuff when he does it himself 😉

    • Miguel Angelo Martins

      You are correct “their forums, their rules”. It’s just a shame that their rules mean that you get permabanned for being an heretic but being a mod and posting child porn will land you a 7 day probation.
      https://i.imgur.com/ge4NsIu.png
      Still, as you say, “their forums, their rules”.

      • Gaz Instone

        ‘Apparent’ doesn’t confirm anything, the mods are known to be quite highly strung. That user is on probation until 2024 and hasn’t accessed the site since May 2014. Bit of a reach there.

  • Dave The Sandman

    “who had been monitoring his activity on third-party websites and forums”

    yeah….nothing at all creepy and worrying about that eh?

    • Nicholas Perry

      Or just monitoring something that someone else alerted them to. Or just monitoring when it comes to SC.
      You dont’ have the whole story.

    • Moe Sasseville

      If you are a community manager and don’t monitor social media and have a Google alert set-up you just aren’t doing your job.

      • There is a difference between monitoring general chatter and media news and specifically monitoring what certain members are saying and holding it against them.

      • Moe Sasseville

        True enough, but in this day and age, this isn’t exactly without precedent. I am not saying that they acted well, with the information they had, simply that monitoring the information is normal these days. And if you do so, you will often see the same people come up a lot, they weren’t stalking, just doing their jobs.

        Besides, anyone who believes that the Internet is still anonymous needs to rethink their understanding of it.

  • Stardragon

    Dear Author,

    might I ask… so what?

    I really mean it. There is a poster who is uncontent with what happened after he casued massive unquiet for many months – and has a dispute with a private company. They banned him for whatever reason, but mostly for his outspoken uncontentness.

    I honestly ask you: So what?

    Further, this is one case, not an epidemic where CIG silences all dissent voiced on “other websites”. One case and you blow it up as much as you can. Don’t you think this is silly?

    No matter what truth there is, this is a bad article.

    You might also want to know that Beer4thebeergod is a highly manipulative and forum-meta-gamer. You, dear author of this piece, have been played like a fiddle.

    • You might also want to know that Beer4thebeergod is a highly manipulative and forum-meta-gamer. You, dear author of this piece, have been played like a fiddle.

      Could you provide some examples?

      I honestly ask you: So what?

      If a company is banning people for what they say or do off-site, as a potential customer this is vital information I would like to have. You may not care but someone else might. That’s the whole point of informing people.

  • Here’s a reply for this article on INN that discusses several points: https://imperialnews.network/2016/01/drama-the-responsening/

  • Rajafa Mitswuey

    https://imperialnews.network/2016/01/drama-the-responsening/

    This oughta clear things up. Even though it was already cleared up months ago….

  • Balmong

    I was participating in the final conversation on the RSI forums with Beer, he went off the deep end. Towards the end he got very megalomaniacal, and vehement towards other forum users. People started drawing conclusions, and it appeared that Beer was rabble rousing to effect the change he wanted in the game’s development.

    His perma-ban is a result of that final thread, not the SA forums.

    • Do you have images or screencaps? CIG won’t discuss that aspect and I don’t have access to the forums.

      • Balmong

        Hold on, let me see if I can find the thread (may have been swept up in housekeeping). I didn’t have the wherewithal at the time to SS the thread sadly.

      • Balmong

        So it appears that Beer’s profile has been completely removed, unlike the other people who recieved the 10 year “perma-ban”. Since the thread that I was participating in was started by him, it was purged from the forums.

        It was mainly full of confusion and frustration, Beer was a well known and liked, and that thread was completely out of character.

  • Daryl Corey

    From everything I have read about Star Citizen the more certain I become it will never see the light of day

  • Id

    It’s pretty common nowadays. Forum moderation policies have been escalating out of control over the past 10 years, slow but steady.

    A great example are the official FFXIV forums. They will ban you permanently, with no warning, for just about anything. I know people that were banned for countering the point of somebody politely. (I saw the post, so I know it’s true)

    Neogaf is another good example, they will basically ban you if you don’t drink their group-think koolaid. I know somebody that was banned after making only one post that challenged a point one of the moderators had made, and without any sort of response the moderator perma-banned him with the reason, “Did not make good first impression.”

    It’s really sad to be honest, because gaming forums used to be a sanctuary for critical thinkers and people who didn’t fall in line with the popular consensus. Now they are more akin to Mao’s China, a place where you must always watch what you say, what you think, and which “neighbors” you expose your true beliefs to.

    • Moe Sasseville

      Lol that is just a ridiculous claim. Gaming forums were always full of trolls and fanboy vitriol.

      The thing is that a forum is a community, essentially a club. You can choose to exclude anyone you want.

      If people are unhappy with the rules it dies. The same happens if the community degenerates into a war.

      If you really think that your opinion is right and you will attract followers, get on Twitter or open your own forum and see what happens.

      • Id

        I never said a word about there being no trolls or fanboys in the past, but thanks for exposing yourself as a butthurt Star Citizen fanboy; not that we couldn’t tell from your other posts here.

      • Moe Sasseville

        Lol you called gaming forums sanctuaries for critical thinkers and you think I am some kind of butthurt fanboy.

        I don’t actually have any feelings about the game in one way or another. What I do have is an interest in gaming journalism, and I feel like these stories are taking a few pissed off people’s opinions and treating them like facts. People have been banned from forums for outside behavior before. Hell, people have been fired from their Jobs for inproper behavior in forums and social media.

        And gaming forums were never a critical thinker’s utopia, they were always havens for trolls and fanboy and this goes back to the IRC and BBS days. Have I had good exchange of ideas there? Sure, but mainly you fight off the trolls and fanboys while you get a point across.

  • GGundam

    Oh man… I think I won’t be buying this game now. I had high hopes for Elite Dangerous, but thanks to Billy’s article about Elite Dangerous, I won’t be playing that one either. LOL

    Maybe it’s time I go back to the golden days of Wing Commander! 😉

    • I don’t think this means you should skip the game, I think it just means that people should be cautious about backing and what they say about the game off-site and how they interact with the staff on-site.

      Star Citizen still seems pretty cool, even if what CIG/RSI does may not be.

      • GGundam

        Sorry, I meant Horizons. 😛

        I actually own ED that I bought on Steam about 3 months ago. 🙂

        My PC rig is old, so I’ll need to upgrade my parts as it barely runs smoothly on my monitor. In any case, I hope for ED:H the Devs make the right moves to win back the trust of their fans & new casuals. Otherwise we’re going to see a continuation of this type of marketing ploy.

        As for SC, to be honest once i saw the recommended specs I knew I’d need new hardware. The good thing is that until I buy new hardware then as time passes on I can read about the latest developments. If it turns ugly then at least I won’t have to worry about buying it. But if there’s a lot more positive press about SC (which there’s already a lot of hope & hype on reddit.com/r/StarCitizen) by the time I do upgrade then maybe yeah, I’ll buy it. 🙂

        Thanks!

  • GGundam

    Hi Billy, not to derail your article, but just thought you should know that when I was browsing through some of my “wishlist” games, a game called ‘Planetary Annihilation’ (https://store.steampowered.com/app/233250/) also went from Positive to Mixed reviews. It looks like the Devs of that game released a standalone expansion called ‘Planetary Annihilation: Titans’. Lots of angry fans that helped back the kickstarter for the Devs, but the original is still not quite finished, so by releasing the new standalone, which should actually be a free DLC for the original game, not only do you fragment the community, but new players to the game get the new standalone at a hefty discount (currently on sale at 70% off).

    Maybe you could do a series of articles about how everything’s not so glory & holy in the land of Steam/Valve. First the lead writer for Half-Life 3 leaves, and now Elite Dangerous, and Planetary Annihilation. I wonder how many other games are going through this very unscrupulous business practice.

    • Hey, it’s totally not derailing since I don’t think it’s possible to derail a comment section (or is it? lol)

      Anyway, thanks for the heads-up about Planetary Annihilation. I will check it out. It sounds like, from your description, it’s another Elite: Dangerous case.

      As for Valve/Steam… I don’t know if this is necessarily a sign of troubled times for them (we don’t know if Laidlaw was actually the lead writer on Half-Life 3 of if he was actually working on it; just speculation at the moment) but for some companies/devs it’s definitely some troubled times. Heh.

      But thanks! I’ll look into this case with Planetary Annihilation!

      • GGundam

        Hi Billy, again sorry for posting my message. My Steam pals said what I should’ve done was privately message you, cause it puts the Journalist in an awkward position if Joe Q Public posts something which forces the hand of the article writer to respond. My bad. 🙁

        I wrote a post in the new PA article you wrote. Thank you so much for investigating this. One of the big reasons I signed-up to your daily news info is A) I’m a big gamer at heart, and B) I want to see the truth when I feel many of us are being stomped on by the unscrupulous ones from the Gaming Industry.

        Thank you, and please keep up the great work! Only the truth and open communication will help the gaming industry, otherwise problems like this (i.e Early Access turns into a cash grab in some cases) will continue.

      • That’s no prob, I’m just glad you brought it to my attention otherwise I never would have known, heh.

        But yeah I know exactly how you feel about getting stomped on. The best thing to do is make these issues as public as possible and give people a moment of pause regarding the situation.

  • Bitterbear

    All that fucking money and not a single dime on PR training? STOP hiring someone’s girlfriend/wife/buddy to do community management.

    Even worse, stop hiring people who actually want the job. Hire someone who needs the job, these are the ones who will do it better because they can’t afford to be fired.

  • Toysrme

    Here’s a month long ban and “last warning” for off-site comments.
    https://i.imgur.com/ft73oD3.png

  • scemar

    I wonder when we’ll see this kind of things going to court.
    Things have rules, rules are to be followed by both users and service providers and that’s how it works in most older services.

    Online accounts, videogames, forums, social media and the like are all very fresh and new but law has its way of slowly catching up to the needs of the people and the reality of their interactions, and law is all about regulating those interactions.

    If people payed and got an account and then got banned without due process that’s something that could someday beg for legal intervention because at a basic level it is a breach of an agreement and a denial of a service.

  • Nicholas Perry

    There is a line between criticism and slander.

    Let them work on the damn game instead of playing politics with you kids trying to micromanage something you don’t even understand the real scope of. Nor have the real knowledge of day to day inner workings of.

  • Moe Sasseville

    OK, so why is this even a story? Forums are the hydrogen of the interwebs. The backer still has access to the game, he can still play he just can’t post on that particular forum. Go on the sub-reddit and get a life.

    • It’s a story for people who may not be aware that certain off-site activity may result in them being banned from RSI’s forums.

  • indirectsunlight

    ONE person can completely wreck a forum and thats a problem. You cant BOO hoo like spam email ala athf no more? too bad.. export the drama elsewhere, perhaps inward. ban and strict moderation IS a counter that silences most of the noise.

  • Jad

    CIG is doing well to kick out all idiots around Derek Smart.

  • WhatIfResearch

    If you dont think that he probably deserved the ban just look up his user-profile on the somethingawful forums – even his Usertext under his avatar is full of insults and swearwords (if Bluest… etc. is his username) …

    Yes censorship in online forums is a huge issue but this doesnt seem to be one of those problematic cases.

  • Michael Nolen

    I don’t know why anybody is butthurt about what CIG does on their forums – it’s their business – why not cite that Derek “Douche” Smart who bans anybody with an opinion even slightly different than his own vis-a-vis Line of Doody. If you behave like a wanker, you get dealt with. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are NOT entitled to be listened to. If it’s human nature to be an asshat, we’ve got some serious work ahead. CIG is way less picky about entitled asshats on their forum than PGI is with respect to their Beta MW:O.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Don’t sweat it, guys. When there’s a will, there’s a scam!

  • James Brand

    funny how they all have Bandit as a common connection, this scumbag goes by many names including PressFart2Continue, known for being one creepy motherfucker who Stalked and Doxxed Dodger of the Co-Optional Podcast like some creepy ex bf.

    So throw in Derek Smart,Beer, and Bandit and what you have is 3 scumbags with ButtHurt towards CIG for a variety of imagined slights to their Ego

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  • The Outlier

    Wow, look at the little crowd-funded startup behaving like 3rd World dictators because people question their ability to deliver. I now question their ethics, sanity, commitment to customers and good sense. Never more glad that I did not invest even though I was a huge fan of Wing Commander, XWA, etc. If a ‘game developer’ thinks that a Customer Agreement gives them full dictatorial control of our lives, fuck them. Buy games that aren’t being produced by narcissistic empty suits with napoleon complexes. It’s is no surprise that a ‘game’ that is targeted solely at the wealthy with the worst pay-to-win situation ever seen is run by people who view their investors and customers as disposable nuisances. Very surprised they are not offering the perma-banned redemption for a few hundred bucks.

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