Author Topic: Star Citizen Media Musings  (Read 298216 times)

Motto

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #180 on: September 03, 2017, 10:53:05 PM »
Crowdfunding never was viable for video games and Star Citizen proved this.

There is nothing wrong with crowdfunding for videogames. People keep on pointing to NMS as an example, but that's not fair. NMS did deliver what they promised. It was the backer community that went wild with speculation and created their own version(s) of the game. Hello Games didn't - and most likey couldn't have - correct those wild visions. Since then, they have continued to build and support the game. They even included some of the elements the backers went wild about in their visions. And how about Frontier's Elite Dangerous? Or look at Dual Universe right now.

You just have to handle and manage it well. Something Chris is unable to do.

GaryII

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #181 on: September 03, 2017, 11:54:11 PM »
People keep on pointing to NMS as an example, but that's not fair. NMS did deliver what they promised.

 Also on NMS people only spend 60$ to pre-order and that's it...that's nothing if you compare to SC chariot prices...for 60$ in SC you can get only starter packages...   

 After all updates NMS is better, but  I doubt that its lived up to hype for all people who pre-ordered it...       

Aya Reiko

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #182 on: September 03, 2017, 11:57:41 PM »
Crowdfunding never was viable for video games and Star Citizen proved this.

There is nothing wrong with crowdfunding for videogames. People keep on pointing to NMS as an example, but that's not fair. NMS did deliver what they promised. It was the backer community that went wild with speculation and created their own version(s) of the game. Hello Games didn't - and most likey couldn't have - correct those wild visions. Since then, they have continued to build and support the game. They even included some of the elements the backers went wild about in their visions. And how about Frontier's Elite Dangerous? Or look at Dual Universe right now.

You just have to handle and manage it well. Something Chris is unable to do.
We're getting a little off-topic here, but...

HG, especially Sean Murray, kinda did over-inflate the hype train by claiming or implying features that weren't there was going to in the game, such as multiplayer, desert worlds, and planetary physics.

One has to wonder what'll happen if SC ever releases. (*snirk* It won't.  :3:)

Motto

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #183 on: September 04, 2017, 02:29:49 AM »
HG, especially Sean Murray, kinda did over-inflate the hype train by claiming or implying features that weren't there was going to in the game, such as multiplayer, desert worlds, and planetary physics.

Actually, he didn't. When NMS was released and didn't meet the expectations of the buyers,they all started to search and prove that features that were promised where lacking. They couldn't find them. It's not that he said they were there, it's more that he didn't correct them when they said they were there. They all assumed it would be mutliplayer but it never was. Sean said that he thought it would be highly unlikeable that people would meet due to the size. Then 2 people met and couldn't interact and all hell broke loose. But Sean never said you could interact since it wasn't a multiplayer to begin with. Things like that.

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #184 on: September 04, 2017, 05:17:51 AM »
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.

We all wanted it to succeed; that's why we backed it. But of course, once things started going sideways and most of us started sounding the alarm bells, we became the enemy.

I have written several times about the repercussions to videogame crowdfunding when (IMO it's no longer a matter if) this project collapses. And a lot of our industry colleagues are well aware of the ramifications. And it's not just Star Citizen, there have been several other videogame projects which either failed completely, or failed to live up to expectations upon release. And Tom over at ICO has been tracking these trends since 2014 when the post-Star Citizen shift started.

Video games declining on Kickstarter - ICO
Crowdfunding for video games was way down in 2016
Kickstarter seeing steep decline in money pledged to video games in 2016, says analysis
State of crowdfunding for games – first half of 2016
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 #185 on: September 04, 2017, 05:37:45 AM »
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. I’m 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."

Yeah. If you look at the key dates in this article (points 3-6) I wrote, the pattern is very easy to spot from 2012 to now. It really isn't brain surgery; these are actual facts.

Quote
In Jan 2017, Chris Roberts made the following statements:

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. I’m 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.” – $141M raised.

In Aug 2016 (at GamesCom), Chris Roberts made the following statements:

..so, it’s our big end of the year release. er so er yeah, so we’re gonna get it out the end of the year; hopefully not on December 19th but, er, like last year….but it is a big one, so, not making er, I got shot for making promises, but er, that’s our goal.” – $118M raised.

In Sept 2014, Chris Roberts made the following statements:

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).” – $54M raised.

In Apr 2013, Chris Roberts made the following statements:

In the old model as a developer I would have captured 20 cents on the dollar,” Roberts said. “Ultimately that means I can make the same game for a fifth of the revenue, a fifth of the sales, and I can be more profitable, and I can exist on lower unit sales. I think that’s good for gamers, because crowdfunding and digital distribution are enabling more nichey stuff to be viable. It’s also allowing gamers to have their voice heard, and have their influence earlier in the process. You don’t really have your input into how Call of Duty’s being made.” – $8.6M raised

In Oct 2012, Chris Roberts made the following statements:

Really it is all about constant iteration from launch. The whole idea is to be constantly updating. It isn’t like the old days where you had to have everything and the kitchen sink in at launch because you weren’t going to come back to it for awhile. We’re already one year in – another two years puts us at 3 total which is ideal. Any more and things would begin to get stale.” – $2.5M raised.

Quote
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.

We haven't seen any working part of SQ42 since the awful Morrow Tour was trotted out in during CitizenCon in Dec 2015. Since that game relies on ALL the tech being built for SC, there is no way that they can release it before those currently incomplete and buggy systems are finished. That's why it is still MIA.


The issue is that they could simply haven't built SQ42 with what they had, and since it didn't have multiplayer, could have expanded on it into Star Citizen after that. But the problem is 1) they won't have made much money of it 2) once they discovered that more money could be made by selling ship assets (JPEG or not), it became more about raising money, than about making a game.


So now they're stuck with two largely incomplete projects, without an engine or features to power them.


The hilarious part is that, SQ42 takes place in the same universe as SC. And six years later, they still haven't built the space world, there is no jumping between systems, there are only three bases etc. So that pretty much tells you all you need to know about the state of SQ42. You can't build a game that has no completed engine tech, no completed world or no completed assets.


In all my games, the engines are always completed first, then the game goes on top. And back in 2007 when we started building an improved engine for use in a smaller game, we built two games (All Aspect Warfare / Angle Of Attack), one a combined arms game, and the other an aerial combat game. Both from the same engine, world, and assets; and both released at the same time. So, I know precisely what they're trying to do, and what they're up against.

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 #186 on: September 04, 2017, 06:03:59 AM »
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 don’t hold your breath, it’s 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.

It defies logic because it's about making money. They've been on the "Fake it til you make it" bandwagon for sometime now. Which is precisely why, when they switched to LumberYard engine - which I wrote about here - didn't disclose it to backers even after claiming to have spent a year on it, then basically lied about how long the integration took, it became obvious that this was going to take a LOT longer, and as a result, they needed to keep raising money.

Every single thing they have done, has been about raising money in order to continue development until they can build something resembling the "games" they promised back in Oct 2012, and which, at $65M, was already 100% funded back in Nov 2014. Those who are ignoring or not understanding this, are either fools, or complicit in these activities.

They even allocate resources to creating elaborate commercials for the ships they are selling. The latest being the 600i luxury ship they just trotted out at GC2017.

Not to mention the Coutts loan, one of two, that they took out in the UK and which I wrote about in this blog.

The one major issue that most are ignoring so far is that when this project eventually collapses, there would be no way for backers to play the game. It is 100% multiplayer, relies on AWS, and there is no way to run it without AWS. Even the dev versions they are running at these events, still need access to AWS, though the clients (and possibly the server itself) are running no a local LAN. So when the project fails, the game - whatever form it's in - goes with it. That's what happens with all MMO and online only games which don't allow gamers to setup their own servers etc.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 06:17:06 AM by dsmart »
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 #187 on: September 04, 2017, 06:04:51 AM »
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.

So how do you explain all the crowd-funded games which have been funded, developed, and released? And there are MANY of them.

The only thing that Star Citizen proves is that throwing money at a problem rarely solves it. Also, don't give money to scam artists and snake oil salesmen.
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 #188 on: September 04, 2017, 06:06:23 AM »
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.

It's Sunk Cost Fallacy. That, and those who are using it to launder money.
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 #189 on: September 04, 2017, 09:21:46 AM »
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.

Orgetorix

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #190 on: September 04, 2017, 09:44:44 AM »
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.

So how do you explain all the crowd-funded games which have been funded, developed, and released? And there are MANY of them.

The only thing that Star Citizen proves is that throwing money at a problem rarely solves it. Also, don't give money to scam artists and snake oil salesmen.

There certainly are many of them, and many are niche games that would never have been made if it wasn't for crowd funding.

On the other hand SC seems to show the limits of what crowdfunding can accomplish. I retract that statement, because on second though it always comes down to project management, always.

helimoth

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #191 on: September 04, 2017, 10:13:54 AM »
Those people that purchased the 18k package must be feeling sick to see all these new ships appearing, making their 2014/2015 ships look old and stale. They assumed they were pre-buying a fleet but I think it's more like buying a load of old dusty books to fill up a bookshelf.

Fool Me Once

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #192 on: September 04, 2017, 10:52:10 AM »
So now they're stuck with two largely incomplete projects, without an engine or features to power them.




This is something I could never understand. Just WHAT were they doing with all those people working for them? Going forward without an engine is like building a house with no foundation, it just won´t work.  I admit, in the early days I was quite ignorant of things, so when the Kickstarter video showed "in engine" I had foolishly assumed they already had an engine that was mostly working and finished. Clearly, it couldn´t be further from the truth.

But ok, lets put that aside. WHY have they not bothered to get an finalized engine before spending so much cash? I can understand they needed to raise as much cash as possible, but as we´ve seen its not like it takes a lot of resources to push out concept sales so why have such a large staff in the first place?

I´m just salty I guess, what a waste this has all been. I know some (used to be more) believe CIG has a giant and growing library of game assets and that´s where the money has gone, but I don´t think so. They would show more if they had more. With the latest lacklustre presentation they really needed to show more than they did,  even lots of static completed assets would serve to reassure the backers.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 10:56:17 AM by Fool Me Once »

Motto

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #193 on: September 04, 2017, 12:34:21 PM »
Game Rebel: Star Citizen: Hype it, or forget it? Spoiler: forget it, but could have been stronger condemned. So I did that for them. Now, let's see...

Your comment is awaiting approval.

It’s much worse than written here. Star Citizen has all the makings of a scam by now and will never see the light of day. For a serious indepth background on Star Citizen, you should read http://dereksmart.com/forums/reply/5685/ and https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/355735-Star-Citizen-Thread-v6?p=5878839&viewfull=1#post5878839


Probably because of the url's I put in. So just 2b sure, I added another comment:

There is a lot of discussion about Star Citizen on the Internet whether or not the game - as originally promised by Chris Roberts - can and will be made at all. Derek Smart is a voice for those who think Star Citizen can't be made. If there is to be a discussion about Star Citizen, this part of the story should be mentioned as well.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 12:56:39 PM by Motto »

Backer42

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Re: Star Citizen Media Articles
« Reply #194 on: September 04, 2017, 02:45:28 PM »
So how do you explain all the crowd-funded games which have been funded, developed, and released? And there are MANY of them.
In the classic funding model, the revenue of the one or two successful video game projects recoup the cost of other 8 or 9 failed ones (including ones canceled behind closed doors). This works well especially for consumers. There are too many failed video game projects, where customers not only ate all financial risk through crowdfunding, but also ended up with no product (game) at all. Giving money risking a 80+ % failure rate with happy accidents here and there is not a viable strategy for consumers. They also see nothing of the revenue if a projects succeeds, so it never evens out for them.

I enjoyed many games, which didn't recoup their development costs and still got finished and released, because some investor took the risk and recouped the cost with the another bestselling blockbuster, which made insane amounts of money instead. That's not possible with crowdfunding when the developer runs out of money and closes shop.

I'm a critic of video game crowdfunding now, because i learned my lesson. What MattBrady is afraid of already happened, at least in my case.

 

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