Make My MMO: Star Citizen would make for a terrible scam (September 16, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts gave an interview that seemed to express understandable frustration with the constant barrage of demands for alpha launch estimates, scam accusations, and “fan trolling” he encounters.

“I am fed up of giving someone an estimate – I’d rather say, here’s the data I have, here’s the schedule I see,” he told Eurogamer, arguing that CIG is already providing progress reports for the massive crowdfunded MMO. “There’s a subset of people who say ‘this thing is never going to come out, it’s a scam’. Which is plainly not true. It would be the worst scam in the world. We’re hiring all these people, we’re working really hard. We’re showing what we’re doing every week.”

Meanwhile, we wrapped up our tour of Shroud of the Avatar, Elite Dangerous announced its September 26th update, we chatted with Ashes of Creation at PAX, Kickstarter began welcoming Japanese creators, Albion Online kicked off playtests for its arena mode, AdventureQuest 3D is going all out for Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Dogma: Eternal Night continued hammering out its combat system (thanks, DDOCentral!).

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

Elite Dangerous

Recent MMO crowdfunding news

Shroud of the Avatar

Campaigns and crowdfunded MMOs we’re watching

3001SQ (Société des Mondes Virtuels) – Kickstarter unsuccessful. Work continues.
AdventureQuest 3D (Artix Entertainment) – Raised 368k; beta began Oct 2016.
Albion Online (Sandbox) – Launched July 2017.
Antraxx (Team Antraxx) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ascent: The Space Game (Fluffy Kitten Studios) – Successful KS. Fully launched 2016.
Ashes of Creation (Intrepid Studios) – Successful KS.
Broke Protocol (Cylinder) – Unsuccessful KS. In free early access.
Camelot Unchained
(City State) – Kickstarter successful; open donations/packages.
Caribbean Conquest (Invenio) – First KS canceled, second ended unsuccessfully.
Contested Space (Zon)
Crowfall (ArtCraft) – Kickstarter win, open packages, Indiegogo crowdfunding ongoing.
Chronicles of Elyria (Soulbound) – Kickstarter successful, open packages.
Citadel of Sorcery (MMO Magic, Inc.) – Open donations.
City of Titans (Missing Worlds Media) – Successful KS; launch planned for fall 2018.
Descent Underground (Descendent Studios) – Successful KS.
Divergence Online (Stained Glass Llama) – Three campaigns; now in KS early access.
Dogma: Eternal Night
(Prelude Games Factory): Kickstarter overdonor preorder packs.
Dragon of Legends (Thrive Games) – Successful Kickstarter.
Dual Universe (Novaquark) – Kickstarter funded, now has donor platform. Alpha delayed.
Eco (Strange Loop Games) – Funded, now in alpha.
Edengrad (Huckleberry Games) – Kickstarter funded; in early access.
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments) – Funded and launched.
Empyrion Online (Eleon) – Kickstarter canceled; launched on Steam early access.
Epic Space (EpicSpace.net)
Ever, Jane (3 Turn Productions) – Now in open beta.
Global Adventures (SubaGames) – Kickstarter funded.
Gloria Victis (Black Eye Games) – Open donations, no end date; in early access.
Greed Monger (Greed Monger) – Abandoned, multiple times now.
Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Guns of Icarus (Muse) – Funded and launched.
Hero’s Song (Pixelmage) – KS canceled; Indiegogo. Canceled w/ refunds.
Infinity: Battlescape (I-Novae Studios)
HEX (HEX Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Legends of Aria (Citadel Studios) – Kickstarted as Shards Online. Currently in alpha.
Life is Feudal (Bitbox): Indiegogo ended. Currently in beta.
LUX (Chimera) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maestros of the Anthymn (String Theory) – Kickstarter canceled.
Mekria (Infinity Online Studios) – Kickstarter canceled.
Midair (Archetype Studios) – Kickstarter successful.
Nebula Online (Mizar Games) Kickstarter canceled; launched in November.
Neo’s Land (NeoJac Entertainment) – Open donations, no end date.
Novus AEterno (Taitale Studios)
OrbusVR (Ad Alternum) – KS funded March 2017.
Overpower (Hydrant Games) – Kickstarter unfunded; heading to early access.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen (Visionary Realms) – Open donations, no end date.
Pathfinder Online (GoblinWorks) – Doom, mostly.
Planet Nomads (Craneballs) – Kickstarted, early access launched sans multiplayer.
Pixel Starships (SavySoda)
Project Gorgon (Elder Game) – Kickstarted in three tries + Indiegogo. In alpha.
Pumpkin Online (Monique) – Downgrading from MMORPG.
The Exiled (Fairytale Distillery) – fka Das Tal; 2015 KS unsuccesful. In Steam early access.
The Realm: Reawakened (Stephen Nichols) – Ongoing GoFundMe.
The Repopulation (Idea Fabrik) – Kickstarted twice by A&B. Back in alpha
ROKH (Darewise) – Kickstarter canceled; now in early access.
RUiN (Tarhead Studio) – Kickstarter successful.
The Stomping Land (Alex Fundora) – Abandoned.
Sacrament (Ferocity Unbound) – Kickstarter failed; Patreon ongoing.
Shadow’s Kiss (Clockwork Throne) – Ongoing Patreon.
Shroud of the Avatar (Portalarium) – Successful KS. Soft launch July 2016.
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium) – Ongoing donations/packages.
TUG (Nerd Kingdom) – In middle of year-long revamp after funding surge.
Vigor Roads (NeuronHaze) – Kickstarter unsuccessful; early access planned for 2017.

Wild West Online

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135 Comments on "Make My MMO: Star Citizen would make for a terrible scam (September 16, 2017)"

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Ket Viliano

I take it that you don’t read mmo rpg dot com
:P

I post here because most people are polite and thoughtful.
:P

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Depends on what you call a scam.

Reader
Roger Melly

I know we are all talking about Star Citizen but I thought the Wild West Online gameplay video looked kind of nice .

Reader
Roger Melly

I don’t think Roberts started this project with the intention of scamming anyone and he himself probably was surprised at the level of interest and investment in it .

The problem is I think it went to his head a bit and he started getting over ambitious with stretch goals and now he is in a mess and I think from his recent comments he could be nearing breaking point .

I would not be at all surprised if he has to either step down or step back on the grounds of health eventually .

He is under a hell of a lot of pressure because even if he didn’t intend this to be a scam but if things to go awry and because of the amount of money involved he is going to be in a lot of trouble .

My view of the man is he very creative and a dreamer . That is cool but it doesn’t always make for a good leader .

Reader
Ket Viliano

Forget it :P

Reader
A Dad Supreme

“There’s a subset of people who say ‘this thing is never going to come out, it’s a scam’. Which is plainly not true. It would be the worst scam in the world. ”
===========
Au contraire mon frère… this would be the BEST scam ever in the world ever invented, even better than selling timeshares.

You would have raised almost two hundred million dollars by selling people imaginary ships and $10,000 lounge access subscriptions for a game they would barely consider playable if you didn’t finish it.

This would be all the best of Bernie Madoff’s scheme but you actually would be free from prosecution because you “tried” to deliver the game.

Does Roberts realize just how many people would try to bottle that formula if he failed to finish this game and got away with that?

Reader
Utakata

You know you indicated me once back in Massively-that-was never to make such assumptions unless I have the evidence enough to bring it to the SEC. I think I was referring to some MMO outfit of “cooking their books”. You beat my brows and pigtails saying that’s something I should not be so lightly throwing around. I agreed to that, and I was over stepping my bounds.

So assuming you are quite serious about this claim, you are preparing to march the necessary paperwork into the SEC’s front office (or what ever public entity is responsible for dealing with this). Or perhaps maybe you should take your own advice. Just saying. :(

Reader
A Dad Supreme

“So assuming you are quite serious about this claim,…”
===========

I didn’t say Roberts is running a scam. Read a bit closer (and also down below, long posted before you replied where I said I don’t think it’s fraud).

I said it would be the best scam ever invented, if it was one and that’s what others would copy.

Not his honest attempt at a game with a million promises, but they’d see the results, no consequences, and then pretend to make games along the same lines fraudulently.

Reader
Utakata

That’s a little better. And thanks for clarifying that. :)

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

This is why I love this forum, the polite discussion.

Reader
Roger Melly

It is plainly not a scam but it is also not plain as if it will get a release ( I think it will get a release eventually but given how slow development seems to be going it’s not a certainty )

Reader
Armsman

Roger Mellly
It is plainly not a scam but it is also not plain as if it will get a release ( I think it will get a release eventually but given how slow development seems to be going it’s not a certainty )

Given the development times of MMOs that are in effect clones of existing MMOs (IE they’re not implementing a lot -if any – new software tech); given what Chris Roberts is doing (effectively having s Universe simulator that does a lot of thing procedurally – and basically putting full planets and environments that don’t require the standard ‘Skybox’, etc.) – how is 4 years 10 months to get to the point it’s at now “slow development”?

Reader
Roger Melly

Because alpha 3.0 is already nearly a year late , the original release date for Star Citizen was 2016 (and the way it’s going the very earliest release date will be 2019 unless they release it as an unpolished buggy mess )so that is one and a half years late and there is still no sign of Squadron 42 .

Think it should be obvious to anyone whose head and wallet has not been swallowed by the black hole that is Star Citizen why the development is slow .

You can’t candy coat this with the its new and original argument and so it will take longer than any other mmo to develop anymore because even if that is true the game should be a lot further along than it is now after nearly 5 years . That might have worked a year ago but as the time passes it is becoming a more and more feeble argument . I think you are going to have to come up with something a bit more substantial if you want to defend it .

Reader
Lethality

Why would this game not finishing be any different than any game not finishing? Do you have any idea how many countless projects that are cancelled before you ever hear of them?

Emmanuel Carabott
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Emmanuel Carabott

In principle I agree with you, as backers we agree to take the risk and if they fail well they dont call them risks for fun of course. That being said though things are rarely if ever black and white. Now lets forget star citizen for a moment because I dont know if this is what they did or not, I am just arguing a potential scenario of how a project like star citizen can even without intention become a scam. Essentially how circumstances could blur the lines between risk and scam.

lets say for the sake of argument I create a crowdfunded project and money starts coming in. Its literally the classic hen laying golden eggs.. money is coming in but there is so much i can get without me keeping the momentum going so I start promising things, problem is every few days I need to promise a new feature with this really busy hen so I end up not doing my due diligence on the features I am promising, I will figure them out later for now lets keep on collecting the golden eggs. People start realizing that perhaps being promised everything under sun isnt necessary a good thing and they did what essentially i should have done and started pushing for a halt on the expansion of the game design because they not I started worrying the scope was increasing so much that it might create problems so we stopped the scope but certainly we didnt want to stop the hen so no more features we’ll just focus selling items in my game. new Item every few months should keep the momentum going. But my problem now is to keep the faith in the game and that will not happen if I give long timelines and outline the real risk so I try to paint a rosy picture.. next update is around the corner, we have enough money to finish this no matter how much we’re delayed etc.. I am not pocketing the money of course, I am only taking my wage but I also acted dishonestly a bit to keep the funds flowing.

Its like economic bubbles in a way, why do economic bubbles occur? people pay for stock prices far exceeding their real value and why did they do that? well generally because whoever sold the stock painted a much rosier picture then what the reality was at the time. This is where things get complicated… is it a business man job to kill the golden hen? well no, they want to sell and of course painting a rosy picture is part of that. On the other hand is it fair or even legal for buyers to be presented the wrong picture so they buy the product? Its a tough question whats for sure is every bubble bursting left wide spread destruction in its wake so for the sake of everyone lets just hope my fictitious crowd funding campaign never happens in real life.

Reader
Sally Bowls

Why would this game not finishing be any different than any game not finishing?

Because of the recourse. If I bought a $150 pre-release package from Amazon, EA, ATVI,… and they canceled the project, I would get a full refund. Any, not just SC, crowdfunded project would also owe me a refund. It’s just that there would be little to refund, it had been spent on expenses like salaries and equipment and software and rent. Nothing nefarious here; you don’t donate so the money can sit in the bank just in case, it is to be spent. And once spent, it can’t be unspent. For example, if someone causes you millions of dollars of medical expenses and pain and suffering from an accident; their liability to you is the same whether they are rich or poor. But the poor person would probably never pay you anything and it is not even worth the cost to sue them.

Reader
Lethality

It’s clear in a crowdfunding situation that the backers take the place of the financial position a publisher would take. So, in either case, someone would be out money. I don’t think there should be any special consideration wether it’s a backer or a corporation.

There;’s really no way to compare the two models. Post-launch, a success means something different for a publisher as well.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

“Why would this game not finishing be any different than any game not finishing?”
=======
A: The amount of promises, bloat and hype vs any game not finishing previously, by Roberts and fans. Most other game producers don’t and haven’t hyped their games as much as Roberts, which in turn has generated millions more. Even if they did, they did it based on their own money, not someone else’s.

If this game didn’t/doesn’t launch the way it was supposed to, it would be the biggest failure of all, even bigger than Project Titan (Overwatch) or EQN. The main reason? They didn’t hype their games anywhere near the level Roberts.

I’ve always said if this game was made as promised, I’ll be the first in line to buy it when it’s launched but until then, I’m not giving one plug nickel due to the way it’s been handled.

Reader
Lethality

I’m sorry, how have they “hyped” it, exactly? They do zero actual marketing and very little PR. All of their news and updates surround the development process of the game.

They continue to raise money because they are a going concern. They have a payroll of over 400, 5 studios, equipment, infrastructure… so the sales you see is because they are operating as a business with revenue targets to meet — just like any other business.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

I’m sorry, how have they “hyped” it, exactly? They do zero actual marketing and very little PR. All of their news and updates surround the development process of the game.”

do you ignore all the social media accounts youtube channel twitch channel convention presentations and booths and press interviews adn exclusive hands on or something? oh and dont forget their influencer focused referal program.

because that is marketting. that is exactly what marketting is. all of that.

other business make revenue from selling products that are ready or near ready to be delivered within the set amount of time prescribed by laws in every state and country in the west for delivering products and services after an order and payment is made.

Reader
Joe Blobers

Quote A Dad Supreme:”this would be the BEST scam ever in the world ever invented”

Do you realize that what you describe apply already and since the very beginning of crowdfunding?

Even better, this is called a fraud in legal language and has been going on for centuries, way before the crowdfunded model was a thing.

Indeed since antiquity with counterfeiter, Middle Age with Roberval balance with tampered weight, or in the present era with Refco financial service scandal.

By your comment you just confirmed CR’s words:” SC would be the worst scam of the history”.

Anybody following the same path would just pick the wrong option because the worst scam of history is not a scam. Exactly like the worst joke of history is not a joke.

SC do not buy resort on Pacific Island but DO spend pledges through pretty normal expenses lines in game development industry.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

“Even better, this is called a fraud in legal language…”
================
I wouldn’t call it fraud.

It’s clear to me that Roberts does want to and is, making a video game. There isn’t any attempt to deceive a backer that his intentions are honest in regards to doing that. That’s where I differ from any other critic of the game thus far I guess.

The only problem I have is by continuing to load more and more things, it’s going far beyond what seems is physically possibly in any reasonable timeframe of a launch. It’s like building a car and while designing suspension saying, “We’re planning on putting in a state of the art sound system” and then putting people on that before you even figure out the problems with the engine. Then your car launches with a four cylinder engine and an AM radio when you promised everyone a V-10 and a killer system, but hey.. it drives and it’s a car so you can’t sue me.

The scam portion would be anyone coming after and realizing that as long as you attempt to make a game, and then keep pushing promises about what you say will be in it (BLOAT), you can collect as much money as you want. If it doesn’t work, you can still push out a game but the things you promised everyone won’t be in there so they’ve basically paid a champagne price for a beer-level game.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

I think people are freaking out simply because they’ve never been allowed to see behind the curtain of game development before and the Dunning-Kruger effect is out in full force.

Personally, I’m looking forward to playing Star Citizen when it finally launches.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

for many many years developers have talked as openly as possible about how clever they think their development nad design is or what went wrong with past projects that didn’t deliver.

ignorance of the business and process of how games are made is a choice. was before star citizen ever did a kickstarter.

Reader
Loopy

That’s a clever way to call everyone an idiot.

Reader
Reselect Name

No, not everyone. Only the ones that troll every SC article with conspiracy theories and hysteria. The rest of us just sit back and let them try to make their game.

April-Rain
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

Star Citizen isn’t a scam per say, it’s a project so out of control and mismanaged that it will be the biggest crowdfunding fail in history that will get many blog posts. books and even films written about it.

But I suspect a vastly stripped down version of the promised game may make it to market but I suspect that will fail due to the massive expectations of the cult that blindly follows it.

Reader
Rhime

Uh, yea…could you point out where there’s mismanagement or the “project is so out of control”. Please enlighten those who might have missed that memo…

Reader
Joe Blobers

Quote April-Rain:” books and even films written about it.”

“It will be the biggest fail getting book, movies”… and one single line after, “it will be stripped down”… Is there a third option that “will happen” ?

The cultist story train wreck is quite entertaining, I guess you made reference to the famous 2000 preachers (ex-whales) that individually pledged +80k$…
There is no cult because CR is not the Messiah for anyone, Backers fanboys included.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

/snicker

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

Star Citizen isn’t a scam nor is it the next coming of the messaih it’s just a game, one with a big budget and still in development, but still just a game.

Like anything some folks will like it others won’t and some will just go meh. All are valid opinions and non of those folk are wrong to think as they do.

Trying to convince someone who isn’t there to be convinced or telling them they have the wrong opinion is just a waste of time and effort. Me I simply accept it as an opinion, regardless of whether I agree with it or not, then get on with my life. Much better for my blood pressure and sanity.

As far as my opinion of SC goes its a game in development with the potential to be something exceptional. I failed fortune telling class at school so I am content to wait for it to launch to see if it meets that potential or not. All the hot air that comes before then is just hot air and won’t be worth sh…..um anything at that point. My opinion take it or leave it as you wish /shrugs.

styopa
Reader
styopa

Hanlon’s razor.
I don’t think CR is a crook, just a shitty manager. In fact, not even that; he may be a great manager, but he’s demonstrably, historically, unable to close a project before he’s distracted by the next cool idea.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

CR finished all the projects he worked on before. And terrible manager wouldnt be able to make over 400 people across several studios work well together. CR is just bad at giving realistic release dates. He hopes to finish everything he wants way earlier then his team is able to

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

tell that to digital anvil. and his last work at origin after selling out to EA.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

I wish that were true but I am pretty sure they had to pull him off Freelancer

taojeff
Reader
taojeff

I believe officially it was “creative differences” which really narrows down the possible reasons.

Retrospectively, it looks like MS wanted to ship it as fast as possible, do a fairly limited production run to recoup their investment (or enough of it that they’d be ok with writing the rest off) and then forget about it because it wasn’t a XBox game.

styopa
Reader
styopa

That’s simply, factually, untrue.
Every project he has had including wc1 was ultimately torn from his grasp because it was ridiculously over budget, over time, or both.
The reality is that ultimately a good creative project manager understands that you have to feature-lock your project or it will never come out because you’re chasing every shiny new idea that happens upon your brain.

Reader
Joe Blobers

Quote Styopa:”that you have to feature-lock your project”

Usage of “torn” adjectif is factually false and does not depicte even remotely the truth. This is the first point.

Second point, shooting evidence like the “need to feature-lock a project” does not imply it was not done.

Strech Goals have been done and stopped commonly with and by Backers+CR. No more Strech Goals since end of 2014.

That is remarkably close from the evidence of a feature-locked project we are talking about.

styopa
Reader
styopa

Ha ha, I knew eventually you would show up.
Joe Blobers = the Star Citizen ‘bad penny’ of MOP forums.
Let’s look at the last few updates – so, “sloshing water” and “a need to poop” were in the feature set laid out for the game in 2014?
Really?

Reader
kidwithknife

To be fair, with several studios working on SC it’s entirely likely that the “poop mechanics” are being worked on by one team while all the other stuff that’s holding up release is being worked on by others. There’s not much point in one studio sitting around doing nothing when they could be working on some fluff features.

Reader
Joe Blobers

Quote Styopa:”Ha ha, I knew eventually you would show up.”

The very same remark than the guys behind the latest fake refund, so much proud of their new prowes, asking “where is Joe, are you okay Joe”… All trolling in the comment section explaining how moron I was to declare”fake Jpges and Video”… dancing with and around their Clown totem…

The last time we heard from them, they were all frenetically back-pedaling or trying to disapear behind others lies/obfuscation smoke screen and deleting their comments… including their LOL in capital letters :)

Fact is that beside individual genuinely doubting about a precise date of release or contents, we will have to deal during a few more quarters with those shooting proven non sense, fabricated, troncated and/or misleading comments.
Your “torn” and “feature-lock” are of the same caliber and quite visible :)

Reader
thirtymil

CR finished all the projects he worked on before.

That’s debatable – Roberts left Digital Anvil before Freelancer was completed, for example. He remained on as a creative consultant but the resulting project had features cut. If I did that at work I wouldn’t claim that was a project I’d personally completed.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

Every game has its detractors, look at Ashes of Creation, Wild West Online, Camelot Unchained etc you don’t see those guys whining to the press about people unfairly picking on them.

If CIG or Star Citizen face criticism it is largely because it’s deserved, no one has taken so much money up front, no one has claimed they will deliver so much and then actually delivered so little. If he wants people to shut up it is down to him to deliver the product, only the game can speak for itself.

Reader
Chris Moss

Exactly! I put $60 down on WWO, cause I am ready for a new type of mmo. The western style has not really been done before. But to hear people attack that game over “early access” packages is insane.

Here you have SC, charging THOUSANDS for ships and vehicles, and everyone is like “but the game needs money to continue being made, so it’s ok!”

Reader
Lethality

Star Citizen costs just $45 to get a ship, get in and play everything right now and in the future.

The rest is optional.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

for $45 you won’t be viable in any part of the game as it stands right now.

Reader
Lethality

So? It’s an alpha test as well.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

So what?

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

DK, but, but, but

You can grind like a slave for anything in game!

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

not until 3.x at the very least. :P

Reader
Joe Blobers

Quote:Chriss Moss: “charging THOUSANDS for ships ”

You probably missed the more important. Starter packages cost 45$. It is stated at least twice on store page and during payment that it is not required to spend more and that game is in development phase.

People at large do whatever they want with their money. Is it more healthy to pay a ticket for a sportive event hundred or thousands? Hundreds for a diner and the list is endless.

Players who subcribed to WOW since the beginning did spend more than a thousand. SC do not have monthly subscription.

If you want to support and participate to the remaining phase of SC development, just do not pledge more than 45$. Pretty simple and quite a bargain indeed.

Reader
Chris Moss

I never said SC didn’t have a base price to get into the game. Just like how I paid $60 to get WWO.

But do they, or do they not, charge several hundred to thousands for ships? I have seen these comment section go crazy over games like WWO, AoC, and CU for charging early access fee.

Reader
Utakata

Why presume it’s a scam when it can be explained by poor planning and/or sheer incompetence? o.O

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

Because many people have an agenda.

And there’s no reason to explain it with incompetence – the project got funded beyond all expectations.

The possibility of using stretch goals in crowdfunding is a partial explanation, but there’s also the simple the fact that when you get this kind of funding success, then why not make the game you and your funders really dream of instead of a more limited game that would be out sooner?

So, perhaps too much ambition, inexperience in handling a project of this magnitude, but incompetence? I don’t think so.

And why do we have to try to insult people who in the end (beyond doing business and trying to profit from it) are trying to produce to us games in a genre we love to play?

Reader
Roger Melly

If they have exceeded their ability to deliver on their ambitions it is the very definition of incompetence

I quote ….

“inability to do something successfully”

Your statement “So, perhaps too much ambition, inexperience in handling a project of this magnitude” actually means you yourself believe their could be possible incompetence on their part .

I don’t think you realised quite how much your comment contradicts itself .

Reader
Utakata

So poor planning then. Good to know.

As for the last question, I don’t know. I wasn’t aware that criticism of a tardy release schedule was considered an ad hominem attack. o.O

Reader
Ket Viliano

I think there is a tendency to get testy and to be a bit too sensitive, especially on the internet, where it is hard to communicate clearly using only words. I know I sometimes infer hostility where none truly exists.

Emotions are running just a bit high.

Reader
Daniel Reasor

On the bright side, Star Citizen isn’t in a position to take an entire state’s economy down with it. Roberts still has a lot of monumental failing to do before he reaches Curt Schilling’s level.

Reader
Armsbend

He would take down kickstarter for gaming though. If he hasn’t already.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Das Everett

mistaken post :(

Reader
ichi sakari

If Chris would take ownership of having hyped and teased us about this game it would probably feed the trolls, but also do wonders for those of us who are legitimately wondering where is 3.0 and how much longer for SQ42. He seems oblivious to his part in this.

Vanduul_scale.png
Reader
Sally Bowls

Squad broken?

Reader
enamel

“Sausage Fans Shocked and Horrified After Getting a Front Row Seat at the Sausage Factory”

Reader
Ket Viliano

“Did you see what he did to the pig?”

Reader
GanonslayerCP .

So Star Citizen can’t even make it as a scam? That is brutal.

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Sally Bowls

I think the management and project management of SC … have considerable opportunities for improvement. But I certainly don’t think it is a scam.

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birini

Fun topic: when Star Citizen fails, what’s the next game everyone talks about until it fails, too. I’ll guess Ashes of Creation.

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Sally Bowls

Pshaw. My guess is Ashes of Creation fails first. An extra $1xx Million gives a certain safety margin.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Neither of them will likely fail during the development process. They may fail after launch, but SC has unparalleled financial resources and probably could raise tens of millions more if the need come, and AoC seems to be secure financially also and (a much more limited) cushion in fans and ownership to more funding if the need arises.

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Armsbend

I am hoping that the entire industry implodes like the 80s to be rebuilt better and stronger.

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Joe Seabreeze

The industry won’t crash until people stop buying crap, and that doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen anytime soon. I mean, people buy games that don’t even exist!

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Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

That would be fantastic!
Can the music industry do the same as well please? :)

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Armsbend

Only if you add hollywood movies. The cycle of movies – a small handful for smart people in winter, movies for geeks, dummies and kids the rest of the year is so very played out.

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Chris Moss

You know, I have never thought of it that way before, but it really makes sense. The industry has gotten lazy. It needs a fresh start.

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Sally Bowls

Everyone can wish as they want and an implosion is certainly possible; perhaps more than possible. OTOH, IMO, YMMV, I find the idea of rebuilt, at least as far as MMOs, to be very unlikely. I would see post-apocalyptic game industry as being ATVI, EA and mostly Asian and mostly mobile. If a company is starting over, PCs and MMOs don’t seem like a first choice.

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Armsbend

Yeah it would probably be worse. But everyone could collectively just get sick and tired of paying piecemeal for games and abandon them. Problem is that so many people have now grown up with this pay method. It is all they know.

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birini

MMOs seem, to me, to be waiting for AI technology to catch up. And that may not be in the lifetime of those of us who played this fun new game called Everquest after we graduated college.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

This isn’t the 80s. The boom and bust then happened to a nascent industry rapidly expanding from zilch – like tends to happen all new branches of industry, starting from the great railway mania in the 1840s.

The ideas that the industry needs some kind of scorched Earth treatment and that from the ashes will naturally emerge something better are – in my opinion – when it comes to the first, misguided, and to the second, unlikely.

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Ket Viliano

How cynical of you.

Not that I am complaining…

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birini

The scam comments seem to confirm that a certain Internet Warlord is getting to Roberts. I don’t think it’s a scam — CSE seems to be burning through money not pocketing it. (I’m sure Mr. Warlord would disagree.) What is true is that Roberts is not a leaders. He needs someone to give him boundaries. To put bathroom breaks into a game this far behind schedule makes less than zero sense. Easy to forget now, but weather in Azeroth was a patch.

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Sally Bowls

Easy to forget now, but weather in Azeroth was a patch.

And it started out a bit smaller than $160M and iterated from there.

http://www.pcgamer.com/mike-morhaime-founded-blizzard-thanks-to-a-15000-loan-from-his-grandmother/

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birini

True. Although as WoW came after SC, D2, and WC3, I’m imagining they had an embarrassingly huge budget for vanilla WoW.

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Sally Bowls

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-06-10-the-very-first-screenshots-of-world-of-warcraft

The original WoW team was 60 people. So certainly smaller than the Wildstar team and almost certainly smaller than the HoT expansion.

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birini

Very cool. I still miss the magic of those first few days in WoW. I thought I’d accomplished so much when I smithed a green sword.

I was hoping I’d have that feeling again with Everquest Next but, no, Smedley had to go bananas and evil Russian businessmen had to buy out SOE.

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Armsbend

You are giving Smart far too much credit. It has never been just Smart questioning this project.

Part of the money burn is salary. Which is the same as pocketing it. What is Robert’s salary? I would expect him to maintain his previous lifestyle – but not much else.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Armsbend:”Part of the money burn is salary. ”

CR salary is not a problem. The big money is coming with release of SQ42 and Star Citizen, cash dividende and stock dividende of millions $ CR said to have invested.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

I’m sure you have the numbers for what the family is pulling in income wise?

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Ket Viliano

From a project management, and expectation management perspective, Star Citizen is an abject failure.

The game may yet release, it may even be fun to play, but the process of getting there has not been well handled. The trouble with crowdfunding being, that customers are even harder to please than investors. The customer has a better idea of what he wants to pay for than the investor ever will, yet has even less patience and forgiveness.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Ket Viliano:”From a project management, and expectation management perspective, Star Citizen is an abject failure.”
From a comment perspective talking how this project grow up and where it is today, your comment “total failure” is at best false.

If you ever hired people with very specific profil, you know this is the most difficult task together with team integration in an extremely moving and challenging environment.

Indeed it was pretty well handled based on the unprecedented success of this project. The key was to place the right person at the right place. Erin and Tony are two example.

Your point about Crowdfunding with customers being harder to please than investors is somehow correct but don’t believe investors are “cool” and they do not have to care about customers Strech Goals :) Problem is that most customers do not have to wait 5 or 6 years for a triple-A, they got it when it is announced 2 months after a Beta (which is mainly a teasing/Pre-order period for Publishers).
3.0 is going to bring a refreshing wind.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Nobody (except, perhaps, the really hardcore trolls) cares about the path to the launch after it, if the game will be a success financially and fun to play.

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Ket Viliano

1: I am not a hard core troll just because I disagree with you. You need to learn to accept that other people have different opinions and different objective perceptions.

2: It’s about the journey, not the destination.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Facts based opinions and opinions based on dislike are quite different thing. Most criticism against SC come from opinions based on dislike, not facts.

Certainly there’s always ground for fact-based criticism, but as you can see, most critics want SC to fail and its something that is typical of much of criticism in MMO genre overall.

At best these dislike-based critics see SC as a symbol of what is wrong in the genre in their opinion and want it to fail because of that, not because anything special to it itself.

With games, it’s always about what exists after the destination is reached – when the game actually launches and gets to be played.

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Ket Viliano

The SC project has attracted quite a few haters, this is obvious from the fake refund posts etc.

There has been quite a lot of missed opportunity to constrain the scope of the project, to draw a line under what shall be done first, and what will be added later, to set expectations at an exciting yet doable in a time-frame level. An audience will never be as patient as well chosen investors, and this must be taken into account when seeking funds from the gaming public.

If an awesome game is released, and many people love it, they won’t care if there was wild drama taking place during development, or at least not many will care much. When the drama takes place in public, it quickly spirals out of control, and when doing “Open Development”, especially of a project prominent in the public eye like a video game, ( as opposed to a software tool like Linux or Blender ), any drama will always be in public view. This is why I really do think that the journey matters so much more for open development of entertainment projects. Just to make a comparison from the pages of this blog, Mark Jacobs is doing a much better job of constraining scope, and setting expectations at a high enough level to spark excitement, while not going too far. I do assert that CU is a better managed project than SC, based on objective facts and observed reality.

That having been said, I do hope SC gets something impressive done, sometime soon.

Peace.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

CU is a game that I am interested of, so I have a somewhat soft spot for it, but it’s a very different kind of game from SC.

It’s RvR with limited – and I don’t say this to criticize – sandbox features. Let’s call it Warbox. The ‘meat’ of the game is in faction-based combat – and, secondarily, in crafting with it made clear that one player character can’t excel in both.

SC is themepark, sandbox, FPS shooter and a spaceflight simulator all thrown together – with Squadron 42 riding as a wingman.

Neither CU or SC is better or worse because it’s different. Managing such a project as CU will naturally be different from managing SC.

Yet we have seen also criticism towards CU for slips in development plans – and a lack of understanding that such things come with the genre.

Some of the criticism has been has been relatively heated and over the top, WAR has been dragged in toit and there have been accusations of personal nature towards Jacobs. Some of it is clearly coming from people who are not dissatisfied with the development of the game but have an ax to grind for altogether other reasons.

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Ket Viliano

Edit: Perhaps you don’t need to learn anything, I should just ask that you consider my comments in the light of opinion and perspective.

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birini

I’m not sure that’s true, but investors have more influence and, as such, it wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Roberts would have been “sent to time out” long ago and told to get a product out the door.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Would you want another Age of Conan or WAR?

Because that’s what happens when developers are told ‘to get a product out the door’.

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birini

WoW, EQ, and City of Heroes were also made under a corporate system where the devs were responsible to people above them who wanted a game released at some point in the foreseeable future. I never said shove it out the door unfinished.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

EQ was a pioneering project in the early days of MMOs. What was people’s expectation that a MMO should look like? Meridian 59? It came out in a completely different stage for the genre.

Diablo 3, a non-MMO that is far more limited in scope than Star Citizen, took 11 years to develop.

Blizzard is obsessive-compulsive when it comes to games and if anything, its game projects never come out in anything we might say a reasonable time – if they come out at all, like Titan, which morphed to Overwatch (an anti-SC if anything, a game that got miniaturize) – as Diablo 3 shows.

WoW got to be developed pretty much in peace after it was announced three years before its launch began, like with EQ, times were different and players expectations were different.

City of Heroes was a new franchise. It has a cult status now – which I, a former CoH player, find a bit odd – but back then there were no great expectations, no eager fan groups waiting it to come out. There was no drama, because there was no stage for the drama to take place.

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birini

So really on EQ and CoH you’re kind of sidestepping my point. You come closest on Blizzard but it’s not as kind to you as you think. The underlying issue here is you’ve made clear in your other posts that you think the development time is totally reasonable. So you will explain away any complaint as being unfair. Thus is unlikely to shift your thinking.

Having said that, Blizzard also cut things to get the game out the door. There are some obvious ones that kind of made it in but were decidedly lacking: the Varian storyline, quests for Paladin and Warlock mounts, PvP, and hunter pet mechanics. (For me, that’s still one of the biggest missed opportunities in the game.) Just above there’s the article about how MC almost didn’t make it into release. Mara and weather effects were added via patch. Things were cut. I’d guess that even more and larger items were cut that we don’t know about. (I have some speculation but I don’t want to turn this into a fight about how wrong I am on my speculation.) But, in short, they didn’t put in all the features they dreamed of to get an (exceptional) playable game out the door.

SC seems to be suffering from feature creep. The “everybody poops” update, while funny, is indicative of a development team completely unable to identify critical features and move forward. One of the real strengths of good investors is they help creative people with that weakness.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Development time is reasonable in my opinion, yes. Because I want to see finished products.

I played Age of Conan, I played WAR. Both would have needed at least a year in development before they would have been ready for launch.

MMOs always break all estimates for development given by developers and publishers. It’s just how it is and it needs to be accepted. In projects the scale of MMOs something unexpected will always, always emerge and push dates back.

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birini

So then at what point would you be worried that the game is not going to appear? Another 3 years? 5? 10?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

I wouldn’t hang on dates. I would be worried if things haven’t significantly progressed in a year. It’s not the dates, its the signs of movement forward.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

well it’s been a year since we’ve actually legitimately and substantially seen progress at all.

(no cherry picked video footage and con demos don’t count as seeing progress, sorry.).

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Armsbend

“It would be the worst scam in the world.”

Accurate statement. But still a scam.

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Ket Viliano

I do not see this as being intended as a scam. Something about not attributing to malice, that which can be attributed to poor management practice. Or, stupidity, whichever.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Ket Viliano:”Or, stupidity, whichever.”

I think you got the point: stupidity.
Those pretending it is a scam do not understand the meaning applied to Crowdfunding and especially SC. Are they doing it on purpose, this is another question mark….

Scam is a fraudulent or deceptive act, to obtain (something, such as money) by a scam.

What is Star Citizen: A crowdfunded project with precise goals including approved Strech Goals.
Pledges have been used to make this project a reality. The differents modules released that will merged together to make SQ42 and SC, the upcoming 3.0 major patch, the +428 team size are proof it has nothing to do with anything related to a scam.

A true and not so improbable scam would have been to deliver in 2014 or 2015 a basic shooter with gross 3 D model with nice textures, no interiors, PG of everything (NMS) costing less than 25M$ total… and run with the remaining +50 M$ cash saying: “working as intented”… I know a few (and precisely one in the gaming industry) that would do it without any remorse…

But no, CR and Backers went the hard way, creating something not done before.

The scam is to let Players believe that ambition and PC games does not match together

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Armsbend

I believe it started innocently enough – when he was looking for a few million dollars for a vision. But then 10s of millions started rolling in and it became something else. And I do not believe he knows what that something else is any longer – but it is very clear he does not want the steady trickle (waterfall really) of money to stop. hence the ship sales – an obvious scam by any rational thinker.

At this point delivering the game is a bad business decision. The game is now firmly in the bad press, angsty poster territory so the odds of it become a huge hit outside of the backers decreases with every day.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Armsbend:”The game is now firmly in the bad press”

You are right. The game is firmly installed in press headlines. But not for the Bad.

Bad press is still press and it has never been focused about a scam but “delays”. The more important is to have positive trend not have everybody saying CR is the new Messiah :)

Beside the fake refund which are hurting more trolls than SC, what do we really have so far: “delays”. Game development is nothing but a long succession of “delays”.

CIG is going to release 3.0 to Evocati anytime soon. Expect 10’s articles. Again when backers will get it.
Then Citizencon, then 3 to 4 patch to be released in 2018. They are going to deliver more contents between now to end of 2018 than ever. Gameplay contents not Jpges.

Number of articles about Star Citizen (English language excluding facebook, youtube, twitter):
– 2014= 66
– 2015= 169
– 2016= 187
– 2017= 274 (end of August… +70%)

More contents… more “positive” articles and less “bad” articles… whatever it means.

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birini

But as you imply, delivering the game is protection against scam lawsuits. When hundreds of millions of dollars are involved, lawyers will be, too.

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Ket Viliano

There is not hundreds of millions of dollars of raw cash, there is hundreds of millions of sunk cost.

Quite a bit of difference there.

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Armsbend

Oh I think before any law got involved he just say it is 1.0 and be done with it. Who wouldn’t? And in KS I’m not sure the law applies in any case.

I just think it’s a scam on a moral level. He is taking money for something I feel he knows he can no longer deliver.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Armsbend:”I feel he knows he can no longer deliver.”

You are feeling… based on what? the Clown ranting? fake refunds? inevitable collapse 90 days top since 3 years? Seamless from space to planet decades away?… :)

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Armsbend

A lack of deliverables or meaningful content. Obviously, your mileage may, and does, vary.

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Totes McGoats

Chris Roberts is becoming increasingly unhinged. I hope he’s ok – it’s going to be ugly when people realize all the money has been wasted and there’s no plan to finish the game.

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Roger Melly

Actually after his recent comments I thought he sounded like he could be on the verge of a breakdown too .

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Joe Blobers

Nice trolling Totes Mcgoats… we missed Shear’s clown echo chamber but you take over the job in due time :)

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Raimo Kangasniemi

People who fill the emptiness in their lives by trolling game developers are ‘unhinged’ – and sadly, there’s no cure for them.

Most of these trolls have been moving from game to game for years. I bet many of those now attacking Star Citizen are of the TORtanic crowd of old…

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goatleaker

I wish I had your optimism and blind faith. I would probably be a lot happier in life, although out quite a bit of money.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

To dismiss hyperbolic claims is not ‘optimism and blind faith’, it’s just a result of having seen these claims many times in different contexts, against other games and other developers.

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wratts

All I hear is him admitting he can’t even scam right

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Raimo Kangasniemi

What I wonder is how many of these accounts on Massively attacking SC and other games like AoC, SoT actually belong to individuals and how many are just the same person under different aliases?

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Raimo, just our regulars calling bullshit when we see it. No conspiracy.

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Armsbend

I’d hope most of us are too lazy to make a bunch of different accounts. I know I am.

Do you really think people care about SC enough to go out of their way to bring it down? That is just one guy as far as I know – Dereck Smart. He is the only guy with his entire ego on the line.

If this game knocks it out of the park I’ll be the first to admit I was simply wrong and walk away or buy the game.

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wratts

My comment was mostly a joke. I backed at the $45 level before SQ42 and SC were split. I have only marginal interest in SC, but was a fan of Wing Commander and would really like to get the single player campaign. I don’t truly think this is a scam, but all facts point to it being an ineptly managed delivery

As for fake account, I’ve been on here and Massively-that-was for many, many years. I don’t have the patience to try to manage fake accounts with that kind of longevity.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The problem in threads like this is that jokes tend to become impossible to differentiate from the mob howling for a pound of flesh.

If you look at some of the accounts involved in the howling, you see for example an overabundance of goats here. ;)

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Utakata

My account has one Gnome and two pigtails! <3

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goatleaker

How dare the people who gave this man $150,000,000 have inquiries as to when they can expect content to release??

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Raimo Kangasniemi

$159 416 020 – and most of the people who are making these questions are not among the 1 877 855 people who have participated in the SC crowdfunding campaign…

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

you’re confusing number of registered accounts which costs nothing with number of accounts with some paid product on them which was disclosed as being less than a year ago of 500k.

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goatleaker

Like the other poster said, they have taken so much, from so many, yet delivered so little in return. And yet, they’re surprised that people are upset and asking questions? That’s $159,416,020 reasons why the backers deserve answers.

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Kickstarter Donor
Phubarrh

Heck, the Tom Cruise version of THE MUMMY cost more than that and was still released before it was finished.

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starbuck1771

It is easier to stand in front of a camera then it is to code a game and it doesn’t take as long. On top of that they are developing new tech as they go.

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