Star Citizen Employees "Speak Out"

An article on The Escapist talks anonymously with some purported current and former employees of Cloud Imperium Games about Star Citizen, the crowdfunded space combat and exploration game. Their sources express doubts about the viability of the project, and guilt over the sale of virtual ships to eager customers. The story was updated after it was posted to add some responses from CIG's Chris Roberts, who suspects "these are the words of a few bitter ex-employees trying to stir trouble," and the included quotes also touch on a toxic work environment and issues with Roberts, his wife, and other management, lending support to his contention. There is also a Chairman's Response to The Escapist post on the Roberts Space Industries website (thanks 88fingers). The article concludes with a quote from one of their sources, and Roberts' contrasting statement of faith in his project and his 261 employees:
"Chris Roberts thinks he's George Lucas. He thinks he's a genius," CS2 asserted. "He's a fraud, pure and simple. If he was just a salesman, or he worked in marketing, or he was answering to a producer, he would do well. But the emperor wears no clothes. Anybody who has worked with him will tell you the same thing. The difference is that lots of people have a dream, but only some can communicate it. I don't think he's sinister, or a bad person. He's Donald Trump. He thinks that if he wants to do something, he can. Because he's Chris Roberts."

"I'll put my 261, their passion and energy against the complaints of a few disgruntled ex-employees any day," Roberts said. "We have backers visit the offices all the time, they all come away with the same impression - that the entire team is dedicated to making the best game possible."
View : : :
73.
 
Re: Star Citizen Employees
Oct 2, 2015, 02:03
Kxmode
 
73.
Re: Star Citizen Employees Oct 2, 2015, 02:03
Oct 2, 2015, 02:03
 Kxmode
 
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
Avatar 18786
Date
Subject
Author
1.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
11.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
2.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
9.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
10.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
14.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
3.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
4.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
8.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
38.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
40.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
5.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
7.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
12.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
15.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
18.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
19.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
20.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
27.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
16.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
21.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
24.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
34.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
42.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
44.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
57.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
88.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
94.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
101.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
105.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
         Re: Star Citizen Employees
112.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
          Re: Star Citizen Employees
113.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
           Re: Star Citizen Employees
114.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
            Re: Star Citizen Employees
115.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
            Re: Star Citizen Employees
117.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
             Re: Star Citizen Employees
118.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
              Re: Star Citizen Employees
120.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
               Re: Star Citizen Employees
122.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                Re: Star Citizen Employees
124.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                 Re: Star Citizen Employees
134.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                  Re: Star Citizen Employees
127.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                 Re: Star Citizen Employees
125.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                Re: Star Citizen Employees
126.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
             Re: Star Citizen Employees
128.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
              Re: Star Citizen Employees
139.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
               Re: Star Citizen Employees
140.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                Re: Star Citizen Employees
141.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                Re: Star Citizen Employees
142.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                 Re: Star Citizen Employees
143.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                  Re: Star Citizen Employees
152.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
                   Re: Star Citizen Employees
144.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
                 Re: Star Citizen Employees
150.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
                Re: Star Citizen Employees
147.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
             Re: Star Citizen Employees
148.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
              Re: Star Citizen Employees
149.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
             Re: Star Citizen Employees
119.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
            Re: Star Citizen Employees
123.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
             Re: Star Citizen Employees
138.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
           Re: Star Citizen Employees
116.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
         Re: Star Citizen Employees
131.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
25.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
22.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
17.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
23.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
37.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
39.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
41.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
46.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
50.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
84.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
130.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
47.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
49.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
54.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
66.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
74.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
26.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
28.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
29.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
30.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
32.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
31.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
33.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
36.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
76.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
43.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
45.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
48.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
51.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
53.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
52.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
55.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
56.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
58.
Oct 1, 2015Oct 1 2015
61.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
64.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
77.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
78.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
79.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
80.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
81.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
96.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
97.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
63.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
65.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
69.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
67.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
68.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
70.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
89.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
111.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
137.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
71.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
72.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
 73.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
Re: Star Citizen Employees
75.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
82.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
83.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
95.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
98.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
121.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
86.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
129.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
87.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
90.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
91.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
132.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
93.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
92.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
99.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
103.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
133.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
100.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
102.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
135.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
104.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
106.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
108.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
109.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
110.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
107.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
136.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
145.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
146.
Oct 2, 2015Oct 2 2015
151.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
153.
Oct 3, 2015Oct 3 2015
154.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
155.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
159.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
160.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
161.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
164.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015
166.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015
165.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015
167.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015
168.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015
156.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
157.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
158.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
162.
Oct 4, 2015Oct 4 2015
163.
Oct 5, 2015Oct 5 2015