Long comment incoming!
I had a chance to read Chris' letter. I was most interested to see what he would say and how he would respond. My turn...Roberts: "We weren’t – we strongly believe in free speech and allow many dissenting opinions on our forums as long as they stay within standards of decency."
This is patently false. I have used my free speech to share dissenting opinions on RSI's forums. My reward for doing so? A 24-hour ban and then a 7-day ban. In full disclosure the 24-hour ban was in response to the wave of White Knights attacking me for posting my original dissenting posts. I simply wasn’t prepared for their level of vitriol; so, unfortunately, I returned it in kind... boom, 24-hour ban. I hadn't seen anything like it on any other community forums and I’ve been on many. Up until RSI forums I thought WOW and Guild Wars 2 forums were crazy but RSI forums took crazy to a new level.
The "freedom of speech" point goes to the greater issue that Roberts is a chronic liar. Here's proof.
1. HOW MUCH can you make Star Citizen for?Kickstarter interview, April 30, 2013
“the game on the low side was going to be about 14 million dollars to make and the high side, which is where we are at now, is going to be about 20 million”Forbes Interview, May 17, 2013
“I mean it’s going to cost 20 million dollars plus by the time it’s all finished”
2. HOW LONG is it going to take to complete Star Citizen?Forbes Interview, May 17, 2013
“And then we’ll go live after the beta which I would anticipate would be sometime in early 2015. But essentially from the end of 2014 you should be able to play the full game but it will just be beta because there will still be things to tweak and balance.”
3. What’s the current SCOPE of Star Citizen?Letter from the Chairman: $20 Million!, September 26th, 2013
“There has been some concern about “feature creep” with the additional stretch goals. . . . Typically the stretch goals fall into two categories; The first are goals that involve features we already have planned or have implemented, but we couldn’t create content because of budgetary constraints.”Roberts: "If you refer to the stretch goals you will notice that the base goal was enhanced community content (delivered), alpha dogfighting module (delivered) and Squadron 42 (in progress). That was the base game as described."
Excuse me? He can’t be serious about calling Arena Commander a "delivered" product. How is it "the base game as described"? It's nothing more than a buggy, playable tech demo. I gave Arena Commander 30 hours of my time and gave up when it became clear how much work it needed. It's not done; not even close. Stop calling something that is broken delivered... yet, another lie.Roberts: "Could we have shipped a small scale 30 mission game in the old Wing Commander format in two years? Yes, but that’s not the game the community wants or the game we’re building."
What an asshole. So now he says we COULD HAVE had a small scale 30 mission game in the old Wing Commander format. This is precisely what he pitched in 2012 on Kickstarter. Look at the Kickstarter campaign page
Star Citizen is:
- A rich universe focused on epic space adventure, trading and dogfighting in first person.
- Single Player – Offline or Online(Drop in / Drop out co-op play)
- Persistent Universe (hosted by US)
- Mod-able multiplayer (hosted by YOU)
- No Subscriptions
- No Pay to Win
”Chris Roberts has always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special.”
He specifically references Wing Commander, Privateer, and Freelancer. He only ever made those games the point of what Star Citizen would basically become on Kickstarter.
The persistent universe AKA “the MMO” wasn’t even a thing. The campaign stressed: "Is Star Citizen an MMO? No! Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series."
Here again. Offline, persistent Wing Commander game using the modern CryEngine. So in his letter he's basically blaming the community for Star Citizen’s current state. No Chris Roberts. I do believe it is YOUR fault. It's your game. You made the decisions (and believe me according to sources... he made ALL decisions) on where to steer the bloody ship. Your ship hit an asteroid. Now man up and own your mistake. Don’t blame the gravy train for derailing.Roberts: "I also find the continued attack on Sandi fairly alarming. Why is she being singled out? Because she’s my wife?"
This is literally the first time since Star Citizen's announcement that he's publicly said she is, in fact, his wife.
Great. So now that Sandi is confirmed to be Roberts’ wife can we now move on to the more important question? Does Sandi have the necessary credentials to hold a position of VP of Marketing; a position that requires years of schooling and career experience? His reply conveniently ignores the whole point of why this was made an issue by Derek Smart. It goes to very heart of what nepotism is.
For a moment let’s look at what nepotism is. Politically “Nepotism is a common accusation when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications.” In business “Nepotism can occur when a person is employed due to their familial ties. It is generally seen as unethical, both on the part of the employer and employee.” Combine those together and you have Sandi Gardiner... Sandi Roberts... whatever.
That’s the crux of the issue. Chris runs a company that is funded entirely by the public's trust and money. He has an ethical obligation to insure that their money is spent wisely. This includes hiring VPs of Marketing who actually qualify for the job and have the degrees and career experience to back it up; and will be paid a fair market salary for services rendered. He's disrespecting Backers by employing his wife with zero required credentials and education to such a position.Roberts: "Where does this come from? Has anyone given you examples of “big name” actors or numbers?" in reference to "Accusations of “irresponsible spending” of money, including the use of “big name” Hollywood actors for voice-overs for the commercials"
Two words. Lance Henriksen. I don't know how much money Lance charges for VO work but you know it isn't cheap. As a veteran actor with a very unique voice (I and others were able to identify him in the Freelancer commercial
almost immediately) he was likely paid a 6-figure income for what amounts to about a minute and a half worth of work. To put this in context Chris Roberts said it costs about $100,000 to make a ship (a cost I don’t believe for a moment; it’s likely closer to $500,000 - $1,000,000 per when you factor in revision after revision).Roberts: "Anybody even with minimal knowledge about game development can assess the significant progress by looking at the released modules and the detailed monthly reports from each development studio."
No they can't. This is another lie. Can anyone tell what’s happening with Star Marine from the website and videos? No. It's the same line of bullshit Ortwin Freyermuth used when Derek requested CIG’s financial information.
In this vain, your client is now asking for a “forensic accounting” to be made available to him. . . . Secondly, the ample information provided regularly on our extensive website, including monthly progress reports from each studio, published headcounts and the like, would enable any person familiar with the cost of game development to assess the proper spending of the funds raised.
Basically he’s saying, "You should easily be able to tell how much money we’ve spent on Star Citizen by watching episodes of Around the Verse and Bugsmashers". I challenge anyone to come up financial reports based on that. I challenge anyone to "assess the significant progress" made to Star Citizen from Around the Verse and Bugsmashers.Roberts: "This is time I could have spent working on the game instead of dealing with a Derek Smart instigated drama. And this is really what annoys me – that his silly rantings occasionally gain traction and pull me away from the very thing I prefer to do"
How dare a Backer ask for accountability as it relates to how people's money is being used to build your company and fund your dream project. When the U.S. authorities come a-knocking (and they will eventually) I wonder if this is going to boil Chris' blood too.
Okay I’m done...
* drops mic * This comment was edited on Oct 3, 2015, 03:47.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf