Forbes characterizes Star Citizen’s development as ‘incompetence and mismanagement on a galactic scale’

    
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It's true and you should say it.

If you have only the faintest idea what has gone on with Star Citizen since its initial Kickstarter, a new Forbes piece on the game and its creator Chris Roberts is out today to clue you in, complete with a summary of the game’s long and winding development timeline to date.

It is not, however, a flattering summary. The article in question walks through the process of the game’s nearly $300 million in funding, suggesting the game’s development is struggling along under “incompetence and mismanagement on a galactic scale” while also dishing out quotes from the 20 former CIG employees the authors spoke with, like this one from former contractor (and Wing Commander IV producer) Mark Day:

“As the money rolled in, what I consider to be some of [Roberts’] old bad habits popped up -not being super-focused. It had got out of hand, in my opinion. The promises being made -call it feature creep, call it whatever it is – now we can do this, now we can do that. I was shocked.”

Forbes also looks back at Roberts’ previous projects in both game development and Hollywood while bringing up that the game is both raising money at an astonishing rate and burning through it nearly as quickly while racking up 129 consumer complaints sent to the FTC.

“This is not fraud—Roberts really is working on a game—but it is incompetence and mismanagement on a galactic scale. The heedless waste is fueled by easy money raised through crowdfunding, a Wild West territory nearly free of regulators and rules. Creatives are in charge here, not profit-driven bean counters or deadline-enforcing suits.”

At one point Forbes even digs into Roberts’ private life, posting about his marital dramas and the price of his house, though it notes “Roberts has emphatically said he is not lining his pockets from Cloud Imperium and that the company’s fundraising is ethical.”

Reddit, of course, is having a field day with the article, calling it a “hit piece.” MMO players will recall that mainstream games media has produced several of these deep-dives into and interviews with CIG over the years, and the narrative provided by those who’ve actually worked on the game – that its development is a bit of a mess behind the scenes with Roberts micromanaging it obsessively – has generally stayed consistent throughout; for example, even in 2016, Kotaku’s longform piece characterized the game as an “unwieldy, ever-changing dream project.”

Worth noting is that Star Citizen is currently in the middle of a free-fly period for non-backers to check it out for themselves; we last dipped our toes into the playable alpha last Friday and have video of everything we saw in person:

Source: Forbes; thanks to Cotic and Tazuras for the tip!
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Ashfyn Ninegold

Aaah. Just had to pop in to push this post to 375. Go Warriors.

Veldan
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Veldan

Is there anything special about that number?

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HolyAvengerOne

It’s closer to 420.

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Chosenxeno .

“This is not fraud—Roberts really is working on a game”

“Creatives are in charge here, not profit-driven bean counters or deadline-enforcing suits.”

All that really matters imo lol

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Rumm

I want SC to succeed for no other reason than to see Derek Smart eat shit. Imagine waking up every day and being that filled with jealousy because someone else is doing cooler stuff than you. What an absolute tool.

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Ricardo Baião

“Creatives are in charge here, not profit-driven bean counters or deadline-enforcing suits.”

And this is bad because?…. It’s the other way around that’s the reason why gaming is in a sad state right now….

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NecrococoPlays

Obviously because no one is able to set deadlines or commit to feasible, executable plans. Hence why this has been locked in development for so long it’s become a joke.

What you’re failing to grasp here is that while creatives are integral to great products, you need the “bean counters” and “dead-line enforcers” (project managers, finance managers, logistics/operations staff) to make sure you have something deliverable within a realistic amount of time. You need them to set a roadmap so your project doesn’t get stuck in a quagmire of conflicting whims (HI GEORGE LUCAS) while burning through funding (from backers/players, in this case). Look at major development clusterfucks and you’ll find the root cause in mismanagement and widespread incompetence.

As a producer, your comment is so… so misguided.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Yet the risk-averse, profit-uber-alles suits can and have stifled the genre in so many obvious ways.

Both points are arguable, I think. You need brilliant (Perhaps insane) designers, competent managers to dial them down to something workable, and investors/producers who are willing to see past the next quarter’s balance sheet and take on some risk in a risky business.

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Fervor Bliss

3/8/19 We are shown this hair as the cover piece of a “Around the Verse”
OK where in the Verse is it?

Watcha looking at
Something you can’r have — Kesha

starcitizenhair.jpg
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Ken from Chicago

STAR CITIZEN

Not even close to release. However, an alpha can be played, but being an alpha, it still has bugs, lots and lots of bugs. Nervous about how viable is the game?

If the endless number of SC gameplay videos on YouTube or Twitch aren’t trustworthy to you then you need look no further for news and opinion, IMHO:

I’d trust M.J. Guthrie, Chris Neal, Bree Royce, Justin Olivetti, Eliot Lefebrve, MASSIVELY OP reporters who had hands-on experience playing (or trying to play) the game in question–space warts and all. They provide honest praise when it’s earned. However, they are far from sycophants reprinting CIG’s (or any game studio’s) press releases. They have been more than critical of the game, the company and the management of both, up to and including awarding it the MMO Most Likely To Fail “award” (although I think the following year it was upgraded to “merely” MMO Most Likely To Disappoint–because #BabySteps).

I haven’t always seen eye to eye with specific critiques but respect their opinion and they are will to change their mind when their is new evidence to the contrary:

The Stream Team: Creating a new (lady) Star Citizen

Choose My Adventure: Where Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen meet

Star Citizen patch 3.5 is now playable for all, including playing as a lady

— Ken from Chicago

P.S. As for the Forbes article about CIG mismanagement, compared to what? ANTHEM? DESTINY? MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA? MASS EFFECT 3? How are they doing with management and crunch time vs STAR CITIZEN? But, hey, if you think the game won’t launch, that’s what mmo news articles are for, to alert you when it does and mmo impressions and reviews of them to see if they are worth playing.

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ichi sakari

altho these comments sections get a lot of FUD the staff at MOP have been pretty straightup about SC

I came here from WoWHead and stick around because of that integrity, and because while I’m hopeful for the game I too see some things that make me concerned

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Fervor Bliss

The youtube stuff is edited garbage.

Twitch is live and you can see many crashes. the load screens over and over again. Even in MJ’s twitch and the broken tram that caused 2 or 3 reboots before she just gave up and quit. Sure 20 years ago EQ made a boat you can ride. but CIG cannot make a tram work with today’s software.

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Humble DG

From the Forbes article – “In addition, workers have had to spend weeks on end making demos so that Cloud Imperium can keep selling spaceships—and raising more money.”

That right there is a concern. It means the marketing machine is the important part of the business, not the development. It’s a fantasy and while perhaps not intentional, it has so much scope creep it will never be finished. Something will always come along to change.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I just wanted to be comment #300. My only original post to this thread.

When will there finally be dirt on Ashes of Creation? Anyone who’s paying attention has to be suspicious.

Veldan
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Veldan

Wasn’t there already dirt before the kickstarter even concluded? Something about multi level marketing schemes?

April-Rain
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April-Rain

I’m sure Chris is laid back right now enjoying a cocktail laughing at this thread in his $4.7m home shouting “SUCKERS” to himself, while the wife is out stalking the ex wife and child, making sure they dont feel safe in there 150k home.

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Oleg Chebeneev

maybe he just laughing at your comment

April-Rain
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April-Rain

oh chebby, stalking is pretty serious to go to court over it means the poor women was scared for her life of her and a daughter and her life made miserable by Sandy…… So its a fair comment!

But yep suckers was strong, and no you wont get a refund!

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Serge Schukin

That forbes article is pathetic.

Started with claim SC accumulated $300 Mil instead of the real number tells me they just dream of catching the hype train of huge numbers

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dsmart

2017 financials

https://cloudimperiumgames.com/blog/corporate/cfo-comment-2012-2017-financials

$207M (end of 2017)

+

~ $45M for 2018

+

$46M Calder investment from May 2018

And you’re already at $300M without even taking into account 2019 (Jan-May), loans etc