Star Citizen financial report outlines over £1M in paid dividends to investors as of last year

    
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Since CIG is a UK company, the studio is required to share its fiscal filings, and so it has with the Star Citizen developer’s group financial report through December 2020, which has a number of interesting tidbits on the studio’s spending.

A thread on the Star Citizen Refunds subreddit has plucked some of the more outstanding expenditure by the studio, including £1,007,559 in paid dividends to shareholders, £2,064,144 in the purchase of “intangible assets,” and the purchase of a 25% stake in Turbulent Media Inc. totaling £826,657, which readers will recall was made a partner with CIG in November 2020. The full report can be downloaded for your perusal.

In related Star Citizen news, we have something of a follow-up to the story of a UK player who got his refund from CIG. Another Redditor highlights some text from an email he received when he followed the same process to get his refund. The email reads in part:

Star Citizen is a community-funded online video game project which was launched in early development in 2012 and moved into (playable Alpha) Early Access in 2016. Since then, regular patches, for several years now issued quarterly, have improved, and continue to consistently expand and improve the game’s playable environments and functionality.”

This could potentially explain how CIG was able to pay over £1M in dividends to shareholders despite not having formally released a game; recall in September 2017 when Chris Roberts himself called alpha 3.0 the game’s early access release, at least conceptually:

“With 3.0, the game is moving into a phase akin to Early Access. 3.0 is the first time you’ll have some of the basic game loops and mechanics.”

source: gov.uk via Reddit, Reddit (1, 2), cheers Quavers and MothballShow!
Longtime MMORPG gamers will know that Star Citizen was originally Kickstarted for over $2M back in 2012 with a planned launch for 2014. As of 2021, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised around $350M from gamers over years of continuing crowdfunding and sales of in-game ships and other assets. It is currently the highest-crowdfunded video game ever and has endured both indefatigable loyalty from advocates and immense skepticism from critics. A co-developed single-player title, Squadron 42, has also been repeatedly delayed.
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Joe Blobers

Fact: Those having shares of a company, whatever the economic model of such company, do have reward through dividend. This is legal and contractual and do apply when criteria are met.

The question of dividend for a company still under heavy product development can of course be raised, still the law do apply, like consumers law do apply :)

Despite quarterly prophecies of Doom since 2015 together with multiple faked refunds from this very same refund subreddit, a proven never-ending source of totally unbiased Triple-A development and finance expertise (/s), RSI finance does show a positive number!

What a shame really for backers: another year without collapsing :)

First dividend, in 9 years out of roughly 100M$ private investors (estimated) which give 1,5M$/100M$ reward for taking the risk to throw 100M$ in a project in development… a fantastic return on investment of 0.167% per year.

Even by extracting from this count the Calders 65M$ investment, that give a ‘fantastic’ ROI of 1.5% for two years, not even covering inflation of a single year.

Investors do have reward when contractual clause do apply. Backers do have reward through the company delivering over time the product they pledged for.

We got ours (limited) dividend daily in Alpha and get the full reward when done.
As a backer, I hope RSI shareholder dividends rocket sky at release and apparently even during alpha, that is a sign the project is successful.

Dear investors, please receive my 9 years contribution of 0.67$ out of my 45$ starter package pledge and thanks for your current and may be future investments.

Note: No need to reply specially to every single comments around. That the usual CIG is evil and Joe is… whatever hater want him to be Lol…

Meanwhile, more new backers every day… They massively don’t care about either ‘drama’ or legal rules applying to both investors and backers. What do matter are:

– Facts and numbers do show the project is coming to fruition,
– Quarterly patch adding more fix, features, contents and gameplay,
– Several weeks for free so every none backer can test/play the latest build.

About getting news of interest from reddit subs, here is one from R/Star Citizen:

Assets recovery after 30K

This is the most wanted fix requested by backers. I could not find this great news in the refundian subreddit nest beside PTU is broken (lol).
Be warned that no anon sources have been used and that fix can be verified by everyone…

CIG added as well a 30K hotfix. Players was on for nearly 3 hours and not a single 30K… no mention of that either on refundian nest :)

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Hebel

Ok, a shareholder invested $46 Million in the company and gets now $1 Million of his own money back.
What’s the problem in this case?

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mazty

Where’s the game? This stinks of a ponzi scheme where no product will ever be produced, at least not to the goals presented.

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Nosy Gamer

Possibly because dividends are given out to all shareholders, not just an individual investor. According to GamesBeat, after the Calders bought into CIG with their first investment, Chris Roberts still held 75% of the shares. And with a valuation of $496 million, it’s possible the Calders only had a 10% stake in the company in 2018. Since the Calders exercised an option to invest more, they have invested slightly more than $63 million into Star Citizen. That might have pushed the Calders’ stake up to 15%

If after the second investment Roberts still holds 70% of the shares, that means he received a payout in 2020 of over £700,000, or over $960,000 using the year ending GBP to USD conversion rate in 2020. And that discounts the possibility of his wife being a significant shareholder as well.

The problem is that a lot of people have put Chris Roberts on a pedestal and think he’s some sort of saint who’s only mission is to make a great game. He’s not. I also expect him to compensate himself with an appropriate salary. By this time, an appropriate salary over 9 years would have resulted in Roberts receiving over $1 million.

I do have to say it does seem a little tacky to be handing out dividends at this time, but if people are okay with it, he should go for it. Star Citizen/Squadron 42 has the possibility of being the first video game it costs over $1 billion to produce. Why shouldn’t Roberts get some of it?

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Boe_Jlobers

Love that this is such a bad look for CIG that it kept Joe from even showing up to defend it.

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Tee Parsley

Yeah, 20,000 ‘donations’ going out as dividend checks doesn’t have that great a smell. But hey, maybe it’s that moving to England is expensive!

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rePool

lol

I scrolled and only found one comment he liked, but can’t comment because it’s either over his head and or has no idea what it means. He knows it’s a bad look. The optics are beyond parody.

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Simon Cox

So, when is this early access game getting reviewed by the gaming press?

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Roger Melly

Can’t say any surprises me anymore when it comes to CIG and Star Citizen.

Well apart from being surprised if they actually ever release the game in anything approaching a finished form .

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Alberto

So is it the 1700s when 1 million dollars divided among what? 5 to 8 investors is considered “A lot of Money?” Doesn’t this mean they aren’t “going broke and out of business in 90 days tops!” Wondering how many people just read the title then jumped down into the comments without thinking it through?

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Bruno Brito

The point flew so over you that it ended up in the Bahamas.

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Paragon Lost

The crack of the sound barrier being broken as the point roared by was painful. ;)

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Bruno Brito

That’s the ship money buying the best aircraft money can get.

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Neurotic

Actually, it’s closer to USD 1.4m after you convert it from GBP. 😄

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Boe_Jlobers

It’s been 10 years since I asked those contractors to remodel my bathroom. Yeah I’m pooping in the backyard cuz the toilet renovation is Tier 0, but I keep the faith.

Unlike my refundian family who left me years ago. I told them to go enjoy the their Kohler trash, big faucet only does Hot and Cold water, they stopped caring about the water enthusiast years ago. My shower will have 72 different types of water. One day.

Well yeah I could have told you when you turn the water on don’t stand under it at first or you’ll get covered in sewage, it’s a known bug and you learn to work around it.

Sorry I starting rambling, what was your question? Oh why are the contractors having a massive kegger in my front yard if the bathroom remodel is entering year 11? Well you fool, it’s not the 1700’s where beer was expensive, so I think they should treat themselves a little! Begone!

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Well done. I approve!

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Kinda like you just posted without thinking it through?

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Nathan Aldana

Capitalism stans are so fucking weird when they try to pretend like investors in general arent scum.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

YACHTSC.jpg
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Utakata

…whether they’re fungible or non-fungible remains to be seen. >.<

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Boe_Jlobers

Your avatar looking aghast at CR’s new Idris is a nice bonus to this beautiful comment.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Man, I get that the dividends are sure kinda weird/gross on principle and all – because they are – but in context it’s kinda…meh IMO?

For better or worse the game has been in “monetized alpha” for half a decade, both practically and per CIG themselves, so there is a product they can realize revenue for (vs. not having a product to realize revenue) so while I don’t like the idea, it stands to reason that dividend payments to investors would begin.

And given that it appears that they’ve raised at least $65M or so from outside investors (not backers), $1M (yes pounds, whatever) in dividends is pretty small in comparison. I imagine the actual investors have a lot more pull when it comes to asking CIG when the hell they’ll start seeing some kind of returns on their investment.

But it sure puts into context the difference between investing proper or through something like Fig (which…has that ever actually worked for investors and paid out?) vs. simply backing a game and buying some in-game goodies which is functionally no different than a non-charitable donation/very very early preorder.

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wjowski

After 2016 I think I’m starting to understand the kinds of people that keep funneling money into this against all reason and logic.

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Sims Smith

wow, this is quite something. Take money from backer (donation) and pay dividends to late investors. If this is not scam, I don’t know what is.