Derek Smart provides a detailed, and devastating, summary of the current state of the troubled project:
The exodus of key talent from the four studios around the world has also been an on-going event this past year. To the extent that the project is so toxic, that at this point, anyone working on it has basically earned themselves a Black mark on their resume. Ridicule aside. But, in an unprecedented move, that hasn’t stopped two (John Dadley, Darian Vorlick) recent departures from immediately taking to social media to stress that the sky isn’t falling. Because, you know, it’s perfectly normal to bail on such a high profile project just as the general outlook is that it’s all falling apart, gamers are being screwed etc. A project which, as of this writing, has over 60 positions that it can’t fill. And this month alone, there are rumored to be at least four more high profile people looking to leave. But everything’s fine though. That’s just normal game development turnover you know. The thing about this industry is that we never – ever – forget.
Meanwhile, Sandi Gardiner, wife of Chris Roberts and “head of marketing” (<— lol!) was recently posting pictures of staff at the LA and UK studios on social media. Funny thing, some people (including the two aforementioned people) in those pictures are actually gone. And at least four are on their way out. I guess the teams over in Frankfurt and Austin, for all the hype they get for being key parts of the game’s development, don’t get their pictures taken.
Also in the past year, most of the media hype around the project has all but died down, as most (even those gamestar.de Shillizens over in Germany are heading South with their narrative) have started hedging their bets since all of this – sadly – has all boiled down to a “Derek Smart v Chris Roberts” narrative this past year. Even as they completely ignore the plight of gamers who unwittingly put their money into this crowd-funded project, and who previously had the security of refunds and financial accountability. Heck, even with the unprecedented ToS change that happened last month, very few in the media even wrote about that. And as a media contact said to me, simply put, nobody wants to deal with Shitizens descending on their sites and turning it into a war zone. Which to me begs the question: what about when the final collapse comes?
CIG/RSI has fermented so much ill will toward most of its very own backers, that when the Feds finally come calling, it won’t be because of anything that anyone has written, but from the many complaints that are being filed with various consumer protection agencies here and in various countries (Australians have it easy, nobody messes with consumers over there – get a refund!) where backers are frantically trying to get refunds.
And if your warning alarms haven’t started going off yet, recently in a new refund rejection letter template to backers, they have started saying that CIG is no longer the entity that should be reported to agencies regarding this project and/or refunds. They’re saying that RSI – a shell company before the past month – is now the one carrying the liability. This despite the fact that almost every single backer prior to the new ToS of June 1st, 2016, has a receipt for goods sold to them by CIG or one of the other many shell companies associated with this project.
There is more. There is considerably more. The upshot is that Derek and other skeptics were right to conclude, one year ago, that Star Citizen was not going to ship as advertised, and that the project is likely to end in a debacle of proportions that will make famous game industry failures of the past, including Battlecruiser 3000 AD, look like nothing more than modest appetizers to a royal feast.
The project has gradually morphed from overly ambitious project to troubled production to what appears to be an open pyramid scheme. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended in recriminations, lawsuits, and criminal charges.