This is so 90s marketing ....
Yes. It's the oldest scam in the book
As to the 428 employee/contractor claim...
A well placed source and I were on a call yesterday; and he tells me that those numbers are somewhat close; and do in fact include all the third-party teams & companies. Those external third-parties are paid varying monthly (in some cases) fees. While he couldn't testify to the veracity of the 428 number due to not knowing how many people at the third-parties are working on the project, he tells me that he knows with certainty that as of last week, there were a little over 300 people (btw this slide showing 363
is from Aug 2016) working at the four primary studios (CA, TX, GER, UK). He also says that they still have a difficult time hiring quality people who want nothing to do with this train-wreck; and that most of the studios are a revolving door of talent which are replaced by under-qualified people who need to be brought up to speed on a five year project.
The pace of the development is attributed to all the R&D, issues with the engine etc. Notice how they have made little to no progress on the content side either.
And as of last week, they were still struggling with LumberYard because it's now become clear that merging their custom work with it, has proven to be more laborious than expected - and that it would take the better part of 2017 and well into the middle of 2018 to do what they want to do. There has been talk of completely scuttling their Star Engine, but some of the custom work is integral to the game design, and that work isn't implemented in LumberYard in any form. Nobody knows what that is; but my guess would be the scene sizes, and possibly some editor customization.
In 2016, aside from the dud that is Star Marine, they only released GrimHex, and some ships. The art pipeline itself is slow because key artist/modelers keep leaving; to be replaced by people who have to be brought up to speed all over again. I mean, they lost an entire team of 20+ content creators when Behavior Interactive exited the project in Dec.
They are spending most of their resources on visuals (ship concepts, models, commercials, R&D vertical slices etc); and in doing so, the key and more important areas such as Star Citizen and SQ42 suffer in part.
Note also that since he went from indie to a full blown triple-A production, those 300+ people are probably still insufficient; compared to the fact that most triple-A studios have over 500 people working on a single
Triple-A project; let alone two in tandem.
This particular source doesn't share much, but each time he does, he has been 100% on the money. So I am inclined to believe him when he tells me that they have over 300 people working at these studios, thus pegging their burn rate between $3m - $4m per month.
It should also be noted that from the 2015 financials, F42-UK alone burned through over $20 million
- while reporting a loss (!). We won't have the 2016 numbers until later this year, seeing as they routinely file late. From those numbers, it's very easy to extrapolate the burn rate across the other three studios; especially since most of the highly paid execs on the US side are in CA and TX.
All of this adds up to the recent fund-raising shenanigans, the latest newsletter (which puts the onus on backers, instead of CIG) etc.
The project is never - ever - going to see the light of day. And the whales who still keep propping it up are in for a rude awakening before long. I haven't seen anything that would make me change my opinion on this. In fact, all signs point to a project that's going to be scuttled in the short-term. And it is highly unlikely that SQ42 as promised, will ever see the light of day.
As I mentioned in my earlier missive
, this is all kinds of bad news.