Author Topic: Star Citizen Media Musings  (Read 299062 times)

Motto

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #165 on: September 01, 2017, 07:49:21 AM »
I can guarantee that CIG are neither registered for nor paying Australian GST to anyone.

https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/about-us/contact-us/report-fraud,-scams,-tax-evasion-or-a-tax-planning-scheme/  :smuggo:

Maybe the Aussie government can manage to open some books and get some financial details out in the open  :D

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #166 on: September 01, 2017, 03:19:00 PM »
Wow, I wonder what people will make of this article which has popped up on GamaSutra:

Star Citizen Has a Huge Development Cost Problem

Star Citizen: A Close Look at the Cash - PT-II

Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

StanTheMan

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #167 on: September 01, 2017, 05:29:47 PM »
Wow, I wonder what people will make of this article which has popped up on GamaSutra:

Star Citizen Has a Huge Development Cost Problem

Star Citizen: A Close Look at the Cash - PT-II

Why do you think he ramped up employee headcount so much ?

Hubris ?




Spunky Munkee

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #168 on: September 01, 2017, 07:17:42 PM »
I think it's like playing poker. Last bets before ya show em. If this collapses so does his entire life. No job, No career, who knows maybe no wife. So he throws all his reserves at it trying to get 3.0out and that it will increase consumer confidence and save the operation through a reemergence in citizen spending. I have no doubt that the shift in the mood of the rank and file backers has hit Roberts interests hard. It seems as if his scope of work was predicated upon continued levels of backer funding. Somehow he seems befuddled as to why people are withholding support.

I don't understand it, He always said that the backers are effectively the publishers and you guys will tell me when to stop (scope creep). It looks like they are telling him pretty loud and clear. Yes the chart shows a bump in funding but we don't know  if it's true, and we always expect a big bump in funding after conventions, plus he sold a new pixel dream bauble for sale.

So in short this is like Hitler's Battle of the Bulge, throw everything at it and try and save the project. So goes my theory. Once again, If Roberts had not unilaterally stripped the backers, his partners, of the financial transparency he had promised, everybody would know where things stand. Regardless of whether he was trying to conceal a weak financial position, or he was covering up something much worse, he undeniably had his motives for stripping backers rights and reneging on his end of the bargain. Too bad backers did not realize that this was not going to be the last deal Roberts would break with his backers.

 Who knows, I would not mind seeing a poll to see why backers are slowing down with their pledges, is it the missed deliveries, his breaking trust by reversing his previous promises or something else? Time will tell.

I hope Derek does a tell all forensic investigation book called of the"Death of a Starman" doing a blow by blow on the rise and fall of the largest crowd funded game ever.  Nobody could possibly do a better job telling the story than Derek.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 09:02:58 PM by Spunky Munkee »

Backer42

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #169 on: September 01, 2017, 08:49:57 PM »
I think it's like playing poker. Last bets before ya show em. If this collapses so does his entire life. No job, No career, who knows maybe no wife.
They don't need a job anymore, thanks to "crowdfunding" the couple amassed quite a bit of wealth. They already sold the Star Citizen IP with all assets off to a bank for a loan, so the golden parachute is ready, too. Really, you don't have to pity the people at the top, they are more well than ever.

ecg

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #170 on: September 01, 2017, 09:12:55 PM »
New article on PCInvasion:
https://www.pcinvasion.com/star-citizen-3-0-bugs-continue-gamescom

They end the article with a nice bit of sarcasm -
"Star Citizen development continues to chug along and CIG is still pushing their ship sales to bring in the cash. Nothing changes. 3.0 is now expected in October but donít hold your breath, itís looking a little ropey at the moment. 3.0 for 2018 perhaps? We urge you to throw as much cash at this as possible. Clear your bank out and sell the house. They desperately need the money to make this a functional game because 158 million is not enough."


Complete with delusional comments:
"This is perfectly normal. Big testing events will always increase the bug list. This is good. It means 3.0 will be polished and stable. They are still on track time-wise, no one that knows how game development works did expected 3.0 before 2018 any way."

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #171 on: September 02, 2017, 04:31:26 AM »
I think it's like playing poker. Last bets before ya show em. If this collapses so does his entire life. No job, No career, who knows maybe no wife. So he throws all his reserves at it trying to get 3.0out and that it will increase consumer confidence and save the operation through a reemergence in citizen spending. I have no doubt that the shift in the mood of the rank and file backers has hit Roberts interests hard. It seems as if his scope of work was predicated upon continued levels of backer funding. Somehow he seems befuddled as to why people are withholding support.

I don't understand it, He always said that the backers are effectively the publishers and you guys will tell me when to stop (scope creep). It looks like they are telling him pretty loud and clear. Yes the chart shows a bump in funding but we don't know  if it's true, and we always expect a big bump in funding after conventions, plus he sold a new pixel dream bauble for sale.

So in short this is like Hitler's Battle of the Bulge, throw everything at it and try and save the project. So goes my theory. Once again, If Roberts had not unilaterally stripped the backers, his partners, of the financial transparency he had promised, everybody would know where things stand. Regardless of whether he was trying to conceal a weak financial position, or he was covering up something much worse, he undeniably had his motives for stripping backers rights and reneging on his end of the bargain. Too bad backers did not realize that this was not going to be the last deal Roberts would break with his backers.

 Who knows, I would not mind seeing a poll to see why backers are slowing down with their pledges, is it the missed deliveries, his breaking trust by reversing his previous promises or something else? Time will tell.

I hope Derek does a tell all forensic investigation book called of the"Death of a Starman" doing a blow by blow on the rise and fall of the largest crowd funded game ever.  Nobody could possibly do a better job telling the story than Derek.

 :five: :five: :five:

As I have always said, regardless of my personal feelings and bias (which only ignited when they came after me for writing a blog voicing my own opinions), I have no reason to believe that Chris set out to defraud anyone. When money is involved, lies big and small, tend to happen. People looking for money from investors tend to lie, cajole, misrepresent, fake it till you make it etc. It happens more often than not.

I believe that once the money started rolling in, he got careless, overconfident, and all the same mistakes he made with previous ventures (ALL of which failed btw) started to happen again.

What some people forget is that Chris was done making games. He really just wanted to make movies after the Wing Commander bug hit. That's why, unlike other industry people who have stuck around through failure after failure, he left for over a decade. Went to Hollywood, failed there, then came back.

What most people are forgetting here is that in his attempts to get backers to give him money, just like he would to an investor, he made all kinds of promises to backers. He put some of those promises (e.g. refunds, won't treat you like a publisher, financial disclosure etc) in writing. Then, four years later after I raised the points in my blog that he was headed for trouble, and then pointed out all backer rights, they made a drastic June 2016 change. What should have been a huge Red flag, was shouted down by Shitizens. And that was barely a year ago. Look where the project is today. Imagine if backers had stopped giving him money, held him to those promises, accountability etc.

I don't care what anyone says, the failure of the project is imminent and there is nothing they can do build the game promised, let alone complete the project. Everything is just noise now.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #172 on: September 02, 2017, 04:34:35 AM »
New article on PCInvasion:
https://www.pcinvasion.com/star-citizen-3-0-bugs-continue-gamescom

They end the article with a nice bit of sarcasm -
"Star Citizen development continues to chug along and CIG is still pushing their ship sales to bring in the cash. Nothing changes. 3.0 is now expected in October but donít hold your breath, itís looking a little ropey at the moment. 3.0 for 2018 perhaps? We urge you to throw as much cash at this as possible. Clear your bank out and sell the house. They desperately need the money to make this a functional game because 158 million is not enough."


Complete with delusional comments:
"This is perfectly normal. Big testing events will always increase the bug list. This is good. It means 3.0 will be polished and stable. They are still on track time-wise, no one that knows how game development works did expected 3.0 before 2018 any way."

Yeah, I saw that last night and was going to link it this morning. Those guys are literally the only ones left writing about the project in a critical but fair manner. All others like PC Gamer, GameStar.de are just shilling the project, while ignoring the problems. Of course we have the blatant articles by whatever reputation management company they hired as well.

I posted earlier this week that during GC2017, a huge event, Star Citizen barely made the news. That's terrible for the most crowd-funded project in history. Nobody wants to touch it anymore because they know what's coming, and they don't want to be on the wrong side of it.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #173 on: September 02, 2017, 07:13:46 AM »
Wow, I wonder what people will make of this article which has popped up on GamaSutra:

Star Citizen Has a Huge Development Cost Problem

Star Citizen: A Close Look at the Cash - PT-II

There is a single hilarious comment in the article. See below.

Quote
It's very speculative, you only know the public crowd funded money and nothing else (and yes subscriptions and some other things are not reflected in that number). I find very likely CIG does have private investment in the back, it's rather logical if you look at Elite Dangerous, Dual Universe, Ashes of Creation and others all crowd funded yet most of their funds did come from investors.

One massive miss in your entire analogy is that companies can scale development, and unlike other companies where they have a set budget and once that runs out it falls into bankruptcy, CIG has one constant revenue generation from its ongoing crowdfund, so unlike other companies in said situation where mass layoffs lead to bankruptcy, CIG here can simply scale down the company to their income and continue development

So even if CIG runs out of money today, they can just adjust their operating costs to around 2 million a month, and the ongoing crowdfund would maintain their operations, this analysis (1) shows that steady income:

(1) https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tMAP0fg-AKScI3S3VjrDW3OaLO4zgBA1RSYoQOQoNSI

Another flaw of yours is that CIG already admitted that there is a dependency on the money they keep crowd funding and they already made statements that if they weren't to get any more money, they would be able to finish SQ42 and the completion of Star Citizen would depend on the sales of the SP Campaign game, as well statements that they scale the number of people that work in CIG based on their monthly income. While they have cash reserves they do have one crowdfund and they will focus on that and only use the reserves if they don't crowdfund enough to cover their costs.

My response was posted elsewhere, as I opted not to post it there, and have Shitizens descend on the guy's blog post.



Quote
I have now read both parts of that article, which does indeed paint a very bleak picture, however the lone (as of right now) comment below Part 2 raises some points that Iím curious about. Instead of re-phrasing his points, Iíll just quote him here. I have not been following this debacle enough to know the answers, but I know that you have been.

You can just discard the comment out of hand because it's all rubbish, no doubt written by one of the zealots.

Quote
you only know the public crowd funded money and nothing else (and yes subscriptions and some other things are not reflected in that number). I find very likely CIG does have private investment in the back,

I knew two investors, one pulled out last year and wrote a public post about it. That's not speculation - it's a fact. And that investment money, according to sources, was long since spent of course. These guys are acting as if CIG has a well full of Gold coins. This despite the fact that they continue to have these JPEG (one going on right now) sales, amid other flash (two going on right now) sales.

Quote
One massive miss in your entire analogy is that companies can scale development, and unlike other companies where they have a set budget and once that runs out it falls into bankruptcy, CIG has one constant revenue generation from its ongoing crowdfund, so unlike other companies in said situation where mass layoffs lead to bankruptcy, CIG here can simply scale down the company to their income and continue development

This is pure nonsense. Of course they can scale; that's a given. However, the way CIG has the 5 studios structured around the world, pretty much guarantees a catastrophic collapse if they scale to the point of leaving a skeleton crew at any specific studio. e.g. the engine guys are in F42-GER, sysops and PU crew at in CIG-TX, while F42-UK (which is Chris's $75M gift to his brother) is where SQ42 and other things are supposedly being developed. And a 5th studio also in the UK (Derby) is a bunch of guys working on, get this, facial tech.

Yes, they will be forced to scale down, and they have been doing that since last year and an a fashion that won't cause panic. This is also a fact because well, those of us in the biz, know everybody. The trouble they are faced with in this regard is that when key people leave, they have to hire new people who have to then have to get up to speed on such a complex and mismanagement project. That ends up in delays, and all the crap we're seeing unfolding atm.

When you look at the F42-UK financials (the only public one), it's easy to see that they've been bleeding/wasting money consistently since the very beginning. And the most they've scaled up, the more money they've raised and subsequently spent. It's that expenditure that's causing them to continue using all kinds of tactics to raise money from the 2K or so whales still giving them money.

The funding chart, which doesn't take into account refunds, investments, loans etc, is bullshit. What we don't know is, to what extent. I know with absolutely certainty (and challenged CIG to prove me wrong) that they used it to show interest in the project. Then it got out of hand. It's like that thief who keeps going to the same place because he gets away with it. It's the same thing that causes anything to do with metrics, to be speculative. e.g. Facebook can claim 1 billion users, regardless of duplicates. So too can CIG when they claim 1.5m citizens, when in fact, according to metrics scrubbed from their own file stats, there are barely 500K backers with various amounts.

And if you look at that funding chart, it never goes below a certain amount. In fact, they would have you believe that a bunch of gamers are CONSISTENTLY putting money into a tech demo. Gamers don't do that. So it stands to reason that the monthly subscriptions are probably part of that, hence the consistent bottom line number. If that funding chart were to suddenly be a low levels, it would send a clear message that the funding has slowed down.

And for a project in which lies, obfuscation, and misdirection are everything, that would shake the faith of the few. So CIG has to no option but to continue padding it. And it's perfectly legal too, as long as they don't use it raise money. e.g. a gamer looking at a website , has no legal recourse to say that he backed the game because of a funding chart. That's a quick candidate to get tossed out of arbitration. However, if an investor or banker gets financials from CIG that shows numbers which match the funding chart, and later is found to be false, that's fraud - and jail time.

Quote
So even if CIG runs out of money today, they can just adjust their operating costs to around 2 million a month, and the ongoing crowdfund would maintain their operations, this analysis (1) shows that steady income:

It's hilarious that this commentator thinks that merely scaling down will yield desirable results. It won't. Simply because, 6 years, $160M, and 500 people (off and on) in, they have yet to build even 15% of the game promised. So how exactly are they going to finish the rest of the game with less money and less people?

Quote
Another flaw of yours is that CIG already admitted that there is a dependency on the money they keep crowd funding and they already made statements that if they werenít to get any more money, they would be able to finish SQ42 and the completion of Star Citizen would depend on the sales of the SP Campaign game, as well statements that they scale the number of people that work in CIG based on their monthly income. While they have cash reserves they do have one crowdfund and they will focus on that and only use the reserves if they donít crowdfund enough to cover their costs.

He calls it a "flaw" because he doesn't know shit.

The fact that Chris went on the record and said that if money stopped coming in, they could still finish Star Citizen from sales of SQ42, should be a huge Red flag for a lot of reasons. One of them being, after $160M, not only do they NOT have either game in any Beta state, but SQ42 hasn't been seen since Dec 2015. And to think that sales of a SPACE GAME which most of us believe will be disastrous if it ever gets released, is ever going to generate the $3M or so it takes to run all 5 studios, is hilarious AF. Not to mention that you can buy SQ for $45, and get SQ42 for an additional $15, for a total of $60 package. And to think they can sell SQ42 by itself for more than $29.99 to new buyers, especially since most of those who are entitled to it, already HAVE it, is the most hilarious thing ever.

"Long ago I stopped looking at this game the way I did when I worked for a publisher who gave me a fixed budget to make a retail game. I now look at our monthly fundraising and use that to set the amount of resources being used to develop this game. We keep a healthy cash reserve so that if funding stopped tomorrow we would still be able to deliver Star Citizen (not quite to the current level of ambition, but well above what was planned in Oct 2012)." Chris Roberts, Sept 2014 after raising $54M.

"First of all, we always have a decent amount of money in reserve, so if all support would collapse, we would not suddenly be incapacitated. We plan the scope of the development based on what arrives monthly by the people to support. Iím not worried, because even if no money came in, we would have sufficient funds to complete Squadron 42. The revenue from this could in-turn be used for the completion of Star Citizen." Chris Roberts, Jan 2017 after raising $141M

These are statements from the guy who raised $65M in Nov 2014 and which was all he said he needed to build the over scoped project. And after raising double that - even with the funding chart discrepancies - is talking about contingency plans if money stopped coming in. Because yeah, that's totally normally and not at all disturbing.

It's all so hilarious really. But wait for what comes next. It truly is hilarious. Can't say more about that for now.

ps: If you haven't yet, you should read my The Fidelity Of Failure blog
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #174 on: September 03, 2017, 07:39:21 AM »
Matt has made a three post response to that guy's ludicrously uninformed comment.

Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

MattBrady

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #175 on: September 03, 2017, 06:03:59 PM »
Thanks for the mention Derek. Good to see some like minds on this. The frustrating thing is, I want Star Citizen to succeed, even though I'm not a backer. If it fails, the repercussions for game crowdfunding could be quite severe. I'd hate to see crowdfunding slow for games as a result of all of this. Seems like gamers have been burnt quite a few times lately from all sides. AAAs like Mass Effect Andromeda, to No Man's Sky to Star Citizen.

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #176 on: September 03, 2017, 06:38:41 PM »
The fact that Chris went on the record and said that if money stopped coming in, they could still finish Star Citizen from sales of SQ42, should be a huge Red flag for a lot of reasons. One of them being, after $160M, not only do they NOT have either game in any Beta state, but SQ42 hasn't been seen since Dec 2015. And to think that sales of a SPACE GAME which most of us believe will be disastrous if it ever gets released, is ever going to generate the $3M or so it takes to run all 5 studios, is hilarious AF. Not to mention that you can buy SQ for $45, and get SQ42 for an additional $15, for a total of $60 package. And to think they can sell SQ42 by itself for more than $29.99 to new buyers, especially since most of those who are entitled to it, already HAVE it, is the most hilarious thing ever.

"Long ago I stopped looking at this game the way I did when I worked for a publisher who gave me a fixed budget to make a retail game. I now look at our monthly fundraising and use that to set the amount of resources being used to develop this game. We keep a healthy cash reserve so that if funding stopped tomorrow we would still be able to deliver Star Citizen (not quite to the current level of ambition, but well above what was planned in Oct 2012)." Chris Roberts, Sept 2014 after raising $54M.

"First of all, we always have a decent amount of money in reserve, so if all support would collapse, we would not suddenly be incapacitated. We plan the scope of the development based on what arrives monthly by the people to support. Iím not worried, because even if no money came in, we would have sufficient funds to complete Squadron 42. The revenue from this could in-turn be used for the completion of Star Citizen." Chris Roberts, Jan 2017 after raising $141M

These are statements from the guy who raised $65M in Nov 2014 and which was all he said he needed to build the over scoped project. And after raising double that - even with the funding chart discrepancies - is talking about contingency plans if money stopped coming in. Because yeah, that's totally normally and not at all disturbing.

The goalposts continue to shift. It started with the "we have all the money we need to build this huge project in a few years." Now it's "we can cover dev costs with forward sales;" or even "we have investors and potentially other revenue sources and can scale back operations to lower the burn rate." I have to wonder about SQ 42 as well. A lot of the systems and mechanics necessary for SQ42 are still being perfected in the Alpha. Chris let his imagination get way ahead of him on this and completely lost touch with what it would actually take to fulfill his promises.

MattBrady

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #177 on: September 03, 2017, 06:50:06 PM »
They end the article with a nice bit of sarcasm -
"Star Citizen development continues to chug along and CIG is still pushing their ship sales to bring in the cash. Nothing changes. 3.0 is now expected in October but donít hold your breath, itís looking a little ropey at the moment. 3.0 for 2018 perhaps? We urge you to throw as much cash at this as possible. Clear your bank out and sell the house. They desperately need the money to make this a functional game because 158 million is not enough."


I've seen a couple reddit threads questioning the constant stream of new ship development, but they haven't put it together yet. It defies all logic to continue to dedicate resources to develop new assets when the existing ones aren't complete. It defies logic to run so many sales and discounts years before release. These things defy logic, unless this is an ongoing attempt to stimulate sales and keep cash flowing in. So has Chris lost his mind, or are they running every play to keep this thing afloat?

But even if they can manage a release, will it be as promised? Will they be able to afford any significant ad buys to promote the release? Will the community be able to avoid implosion before release? Backer reactions after the latest Alpha delay and gamescomm demo were surprisingly negative. I think many are beginning to turn against them. for a crowdfunded project that relies heavily on it's backers for Word-of-mouth advertising, that would be disastrous.

Backer42

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #178 on: September 03, 2017, 08:02:01 PM »
Thanks for the mention Derek. Good to see some like minds on this. The frustrating thing is, I want Star Citizen to succeed, even though I'm not a backer. If it fails, the repercussions for game crowdfunding could be quite severe. I'd hate to see crowdfunding slow for games as a result of all of this. Seems like gamers have been burnt quite a few times lately from all sides. AAAs like Mass Effect Andromeda, to No Man's Sky to Star Citizen.
Crowdfunding never was viable for video games and Star Citizen proved this.

Spunky Munkee

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #179 on: September 03, 2017, 09:45:03 PM »
Yep, so long as you keep handing Robert your cash he will continue dicking the dog and wasting your money. Backers cant figure this one out. All they see it We must continue to support the project until its complete. Round and round it goes.

These backers are almost begging to be abused. No I don't think it's right but I have given up on helping them, now I just want to ridicule them. They are like battered wives who keep going back for more, ya cant fix stupid.

 

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