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Derek Smart @dsmart
, 34 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter

I have some Star Citizen news.

First, in case you missed it yesterday, Chris and Sandi Roberts, for the second time in two weeks, again shamelessly used their very young kids to help promote their on-going scam.

As I wrote in my article (below) two weeks ago back when they surprisingly did it, in 2015 when someone linked to an IMDB profile to prove who they were from the crowd-funding video, Chris cried "doxing" (!) and went on to write a long diatribe about it.…
In a 2015 crowd-funding video, as Chris asks backers to engage their friends & families, the camera cut to where we see Sandi - who backers had no clue was actually married to Chris - sitting with 2 kids.

As far back as 2013, in every single interview, as if they somehow thought nepotism was a bad look, they continued to pretend as if Sandi was just another employee.

This video @ 30:08 was a signal of what was to later come as the scam unfolded.

Despite the events playing out in the background where they're frantically trying to keep the project afloat, even as they keep looking for investors and/or a buyout, it's easy to guess what is going on. I mean, besides seasoned vets who aren't part of the enclave, bailing.
I am not even going to talk about the project, other than to say that it remains a complete disaster.

The 3.2 build last month, which was basically DOA - just like 3.0 and 3.1 before it - is still a $190M, 6 yr tech demo which they're still calling an "alpha"
In fact, as I had predicted (and written about), the mining mechanic - the only new feature - was more hype than functionality.

And it became immediately evident why they implemented it in a half-assed fashion.

To sell $155 mining ship.
If you bought Star Citizen right now, or if you are an existing backer, you can't use the mining mechanic.

So, you pay $45 for the game.

In order to mine rocks on 1 of 4 barren planetoids, you have to spend an additional $155 to buy a Prospector mining ship.
This is the part where I mention that this whole mining mechanic is part of the project scope creep.

In the stretch goals from 2014, a mining platform (not yet built or in the game!) was a $31M goal.
The feature of being able to obtain items via in-game currency and which is already working, doesn't allow you to buy ships. But you can buy clothes.

They've been promising this feature since 2014. And there is NO plausible reason for them not to enable it unless....
...they don't want to destroy their primary source of income: cash for JPEGs and ships.

They have ZERO incentive to enable this feature because given the number of backers, it will literally tank their funding efforts.
Imagine if a publisher or dev, actually hid a material game play feature behind a paywall.

Here you thought loot boxes were bad.
But none of this even matters any more. They're not making money selling new game packages because in ALL corners of gaming, the project is regarded as a scam, and that it's never coming out as promised. So they make money by milking pre-existing whales through these practices
The backers currently stuck dealing with the train wreck, are now locked in place. They either continue giving them money hoping that by some miracle they end up with some kind of game, or they sit back and watch as the disastrous end result plays out.

Which brings me to...
In my 30 yrs of being in the industry, I have seen, signed, and sued over contracts. I know how they work, what they mean, and how they can be used by people who have NO intentions of performing under the terms of what they signed.

And it happens a LOT in gaming.
In 2015 when I noticed CIG were surreptitiously modifying their EULA & TOS, alarm bells went off in my head.

My wife says I'm on the autism spectrum, so I notice, bitch about, and cling onto little things that very few people care about.

No surprise that I started tracking it.
I created an entire section on my forum dedicated specifically to this effort.

Between 2012 to 2018, the primary changes have been dedicated to a SINGLE goal:

REMOVING the ability for backers to gain accountability (dev & financial) for the project.…
Part of that centers around 3 things:

1) No refunds past 14 days

2) No financial accountability

3) No lawsuit - only arbitration
It wasn't until I started writing & making noise that they were making these changes, that they went on to claim that previous backers were still subject to the EULA/TOS at the time they backed. Then in 2017, they started linking to all previous versions.
So, now that they are well aware that, having front-loaded the project to the tune of almost $190M (excluding investments & loans we don't even know about), they're in major dev debt, they stopped issuing refunds in Dec 2017.

Don't like it? Well tough, sue us.

Oh wait!
Prior to the arbitration clause being retro-fitted, the number of backers seeking refunds since 2016, could very well have filed a class action lawsuit to get their money back, get financial accountability promised etc. Heck, game companies have been sued for less. And LOST.
But by making those changes, and those same gullible backers kept accessing the game, while clicking on "I AGREE" to the changes which stripped them of ALL the 3 material rights, they basically gave Chris Roberts, his family and friends free money with ZERO accountability
Right now, if you go to the Reddit dedicated to refunds, those who were brave enough to make it public, know they're never - ever - getting their money back.

And they have ZERO chance of EVER getting a class action suit going.…
Some have tried the small claims court route, here in the US and in the UK - and still lost.

I wrote about the most recent attempt about 3 weeks ago.

The hearing was yesterday.

As I expected, the judge killed the case, and tossed him to arbitration.

This backer, spent money funding a lawsuit, flew to a court hearing etc.…
Listen, I can be as cynical as the next person, but as a gamer, regardless of the fact that some of these clowns trying to get their money back are the same ones who have been attacking dissenting opinions for YEARS, I am completely outraged.
CIG know that they can never - ever - get any sort of game going, if they continued to issue refunds.

Previously they played the Ponzi-like "rob Peter to pay Paul" shenanigan whereby they used new backer money to refund old backer money.

Then they stopped.
Going in, I knew that this lawsuit was going to fail. I said so back on Jun 25th.

I also said that CIG would have no choice but to respond. And when they do, that it would set a precedent for all similar cases going forward.

And that's precisely what has now happened.

Now we know - on the public record - what their "defensive argument" is.
I recently read about a case where some workers were forced to file arbitration cases instead of a class action suit. So the attorneys simply filed a LOT of them, which cost the employer more money to fight each one, than it would if they only had one lawsuit to respond to.
The reason I don't believe that this will happen with CIG is because that would imply common sense and organization.

Thing is, the average backer with money in the project, amid all evidence to the contrary, was dumb enough to keep paying more than $60 for a game.
I mean, it's not as if, my warnings and writings aside, that it wasn't obvious back in 2016 (when they were giving refunds for a time) that the project was doomed to fail, and that they were now actively running a scam.

Society & capitalism tend not to reward stupidity.
If you have money in the project, you're NEVER getting it back - outside of a 14 day refund window.

If you think you're going to get a finished "game" of any kind - you're a FOOL.

If you are still giving them money, PLEASE continue because the end will be even more hilarious
I conclude this thread with a link to a recent broadcast over on TotalBiscuit (RIP old chap) channel.

The Star Citizen fun starts @ 34:00

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