Star Citizen Scraps CitizenCon Keynote Stream Fee

Star Citizen backers are generally pretty understanding about Cloud Imperium Gaming's ongoing crowdfunding efforts, and many of them own hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of virtual ships for CIG's upcoming space game(s). An effort to raise more funds for CitizenCon has met with outrage, however, as fans balked at an effort to charge to watch a livestream of the keynote for the convention. After considerable backlash on Reddit, the developer has relented and made the stream free once again (thanks theyarecomingforyou). Chris Roberts' post about all this outlines initial reasoning that sounds similar to what's happened with development of the game itself, saying more money was sought because the scope of the convention has expanded beyond their initial plans:
This year's CitizenCon is much bigger than last years, with two separate stages and tracks. We did this because we felt the format we tested last year was a success and because of this we wanted to expand it to allow more people to attend and provide more opportunities to hear from and interact with the devs.

With a venue and planned attendance three times the CitizenCon in Frankfurt, with more panels (so more devs needing to travel) , more food and drink options for everyone the proposed budget for this year's CitizenCon was almost double last years. And this was without any video coverage, let alone streaming of the second stage, and a plan to just stream the opening keynote from the main stage.

Yes, you read that right, the original plan didn't have any plan for streaming anything beyond the opening keynote. There was not even video archiving of the second stage due the additional costs of getting a second video crew for that stage. Even then there was some debate as to whether it was truly worth it to spend a chunk of change to stream the opening keynote for 90 minutes when we're always in a foot race to compress it as a high-quality video and post to YouTube as quickly as possible after the demo so people can enjoy a HD Video as opposed to a crappy re-post of a Twitch Stream.
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18.
 
Re: Star Citizen Scraps CitizenCon Keynote Stream Fee
Sep 1, 2018, 06:25
18.
Re: Star Citizen Scraps CitizenCon Keynote Stream Fee Sep 1, 2018, 06:25
Sep 1, 2018, 06:25
 
I'm really astonished at the lack of thought that went into this idea. CitizenCon has always been about showing off the game to backers and the general public, of celebrating together. Hiring a professional video crew charging over $100,000 and then forcing those most loyal to the game to pay for it is completely out of touch, even if it was going to be uploaded later to YouTube for free.

The issue for me wasn't what it would cost for me personally, as I'm already a subscriber and am a concierge level backer (those backing over $1,000) so wouldn't have had to pay. What I resent is that those who can't afford the digital streaming pass or those who choose not to buy it were being treated like second-class citizens. Chris Roberts even talked about how he doesn't like paywalls in games yet that apparently doesn't extend to community events that have historically been free.

The backlash was immense and justified but I still have a lot of friends who have defended the original decision to charge for a pass and even hoped it would continue going forward. They saw the fuss as backers being entitled and demanding things for free.

CIG may have backed down on this one but it's still damaged the reputation of the game at a time when content was starting to take priority and they're pushing out regular quarterly releases, with a public roadmap of future updates. It was a poorly thought through cash grab to compete with Blizzard, a publisher that has put out countless games and actively supports them beyond release. And now CIG has an excuse as if there are any streaming issues they'll just blame them on the cutbacks.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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