Derek Smart Profile picture
May 3, 2019 44 tweets 9 min read
PSA: There's a Star Citizen Free Fly event going on atm, PLEASE - for the children - go check it out for yourself. Don't listen to ANY of us FUDsters who think it's a $300M train-wreck and an on-going scam that's making Chris and his family & friends rich…
And if you like it, this guy is selling his $800 (cheap!) package on eBay because, you know, it's not as if he can get a refund. 😂…
So it's Friday, and I'm off today. I will be surveying the carnage left in the wake of the Forbes article on Star Citizen.

I started off with the official game forums, which aren't any fun because mods keep deleting any/all threads about it.

Now I'm off to Reddit. Pray for me.
Well, my first stop over at /r/pcgaming was a rather hilarious one. ALL the usual suspects are in attendance. And as expected, it all went sideways fairly quickly.

Shitizen cultists tend to not stray far from home base, and it's no different now.…
Star Citizen threads on Reddit tend to be a battleground of hilarity & self-owns; and things tend to escalate rather quickly when Goons (from SA) show up. Then it becomes a multi-faceted free for all beat-down where you'd die from lols in the first 10 mins

I wasn't disappointed.
What's strange this time around is that this highly controversial article has thus far only garnered 85 upvotes, with 640 comments. This usually means that both sides are frantically hammering the up/down vote buttons
I mean, take this exchange for example; it's how war breaks out in short order. :)
The tribe usually can't get away with half the crap they pull over at the /r/starcitizen homebase.
Most truth bombs revolve around the shocking reality that a $300M+ project, after 8 yrs, is still in pre-Alpha and not even 40% (being generous) completed. And cultists tend to fallback to the "it's a complex game, progress is being made" position. Which just elicits more lols
The thing about Ponzi schemes is you eventually have to pay someone, something. In Star Citizen, the scheme revolves around adding new promises to detract from old ones; while selling new things to pay for previous ones for which money was already taken. It's rather brilliant.
This is why, throughout the years even as each release schedule was blown, even as Chris Roberts continued to add new things to hype and sell, those caught up in the rush, kept paying for new things; all the while not realizing how close the project was to collapsing.
Even though in 2018 when the financials were released, and which showed that the project was insolvent, most of the people paying into the social club, didn't bat an eyelid because they truly "believe" that Chris can (he can't) pull it off.
So the endless back and forth between both sides of the farce simply revolves around which side is dumb enough to believe that a $300M project in the hands of a fraudster & con man just out to enrich himself, actually stands a snowball in hell chance of completion.
And despite ALL the evidence to the contrary, the notion that "they are building a game" is ever present. It's almost as if all the companies and projects shut down around the world for fraud, mismanagement etc, didn't actually exist, even with massive offices, staff etc.
And that has always been the core argument, and to the extent that if you can't "believe" that there is a "game" which you can play, and that they have offices around the world with 500+ people, you're just a hater. Seriously - it's nuts.
Chris has basically tapped into the broken-brained caste in gaming culture. Not even those stuck in the throes of the Great Man Myth, but who are as religious to the cause as the congregant who can't make rent, but can give a preacher money every week to fund his lavish lifestyle
I remember back in 2015 when I said the game could never be made because it was over-scoped and Chris couldn't be trusted to stick to the plan. A bunch of nutcases were up in arms and hoping that in time & with money he would prove me wrong. I haven't even stopped laughing.
That realization that they not only made the wrong bet, but also trusted the wrong person, is the Red pill that continues to drive the on-going conflict. And all the bad memories come rushing back when articles like this pop-up - even though most of what's in it isn't new
Take this for example. For YEARS I had said that at the end of the day, it was going to be down to money. I had estimated $150M to build Chris's nightmare. At that 2015 time line, they were only $85M in. Nobody envisioned that 4 yrs + $250M later, the project would be INSOLVENT.
So when in Dec 2018 they finally revealed the financials and a $46M investor bailout (May 2018) and we saw the state of the financials, most of us who fund and build games were aghast in astonishment. Our cultist counterparts? Not so much.
It's not enough that for YEARS I had written that several sources had stated that right off the bat, Chris and co had siphoned backer money off the top. I stand by those reports because I've been hearing them again these past few days, and from very credible people.
When Chris moved out of his 2BR apt and into an estimated $16K per month Pacific Palisades house, complete with cook + maid, and I wrote about it, not only was I threatened with lawsuits, but I was incessantly attacked for "doxing" (seriously).
These people never once thought that if you're getting money from the public to build a project, that you have to use the money for the project, while keeping your own personal expenses within established guidelines. It's the same with investor money - which can get you sued.
So when Chris kept writing that money is used in dev, and sources are saying yeah, but he's still skimming; it's the sort of thing you write about, while attracting lawsuits which, if nothing else, will force the discovery of financials.
This comment from the Forbes article is telling - if you've been paying attention. Just ponder on that for a bit.

"many players view Star Citizen as a hobby they spend money on, like golf."
If a church preacher is soliciting funds from his congregation to fund his lifestyle, they're literally paying for their faith because all believers know that God doesn't listen to anyone outside of a church building. He's a total snob like that, you see.
To that end, even if the church is using the money to do great things for the community, even as the preacher drives around in a Ferrari, lives in a multi-million Dollar house - and wants a private jet - somehow the congregation feel that's OK.
That, my friends, is the concept and evolution of Star Citizen. Except it's not a church; according to Chris it's a hobby - like golf. And if he's raising $45M a year, and a disproportionate amount is going to his family & friends, that's perfectly OK to him.
Most of you know that I've raised Red flags over the money for years. e.g. He used backer money to build his brother a studio (F42). Then they turned around and sold it back to themselves, thus taking money OUT of the project.
And then hiked his brother's salary to over $300K a year. The highest paid exec in the ENTIRE region. And he hasn't shipped a SINGLE game. At his previous job, according to sources, he was making less than $100K a year.

I am not going to waste time going through all the Red flags, as they are well documented in my blogs and supplemental articles, but it's crazy how in the same month/year they revealed the project was insolvent, they're buying a $4.7M house.…
If after you have raised $200M and you only have $17M left in the bank, with a burn rate of $45M per year - and a project NOWHERE near completion - who wouldn't be asking how much went to family and friends, and which contributed to the project's insolvency?
Contrary to ignorant beliefs, fraud doesn't have a high bar. It can be as simple as taking money for goods promised, then not delivering on them. And any prosecutor could generate a page of charges (including wire fraud) from that simple act.
While there is no evidence to suggest garden variety fraud, the accusations of "fraudulent conversion" stem from every single thing that's wrong with this project. And you just can't sweep them under the "mismanagement and incompetence" rug. It's not that easy.
It's why the FTC and AGs have prosecuted and closed companies and execs for less. Even those with buildings, employees, a product (!) etc. That you're still building a product isn't going to cut it when the govt comes looking.
I have always maintained that as a publicly funded project, Star Citizen is a unique entity that I am 100% confident is going to see one or more people go to prison for. It is inevitable. And it's the sort of fiasco that the govt saw coming and tried to curb with new regulations.
Their attempts to check off as many boxes as possible before they reach another insolvency point, is the impetus for what's going on atm whereby they just keep releasing shoddy work, with zero regard for performance or usability.
It's why most of us just loled when Chris was saying that the $46M investor bail out money was totally not needed for dev, and that it was all for SQ42 marketing. Yeah right.
While the Forbes article didn't tell most of us anything we didn't already know, aside from all the irrelevant personal stuff in it, what it did do was shine a spotlight on all the Red flags that we've been clamoring about for years.
Once again, I have to remind everyone that most of the people involved in this Star Citizen scam, were also involved in the massive Gizmondo fiasco several years ago. I wrote about that too - back in 2015.…
Star Citizen is an absolute scam that goes far beyond mismanagement and incompetence. They squandered and misused backer money in the most egregious displays of unjust enrichment possible.
Relegating such injustice to mismanagement and incompetence does a disservice to the many talented & hardworking people who day in and day out, bust their asses to deliver "something" to backers so that it's not a total loss (it WILL be).
No doubt Chris was convinced he was going to totally build his pipe dream; but somewhere along the line, making money took precedence over building a product and delivering on promises.

He's heading for prison over it. Mark my words.


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More from @dsmart

Oct 10, 2020
Well don't look now, but SQ42 no longer has a release date. Wait till you see Chris's response in an AMA on the game's 8th (it's actually 9, but whose counting?) anniversary.…
As Star Citizen turns eight years old, the single-player campaign still sounds a long way off…
But wait! Are you old enough to remember this 2014 interview?…
Read 7 tweets
Oct 8, 2020
So there's a new Star Citizen controversy brewing and which various parties are diving into. I haven't done much digging, so I will just provide some of my own thoughts.

First of all, I want to make this clear - again...
Star Citizen devolved into an absolute scam years ago. The basis for the scam is that the creators and primaries were busy focused on unjust enrichment by taking money out of the project, rather than putting money into it. This has gone on for years now.
To the extent that not only have they done shady financial things like building a corp with backer money, then selling back that corp to themselves, but also taking out large sums from the venture, even as they run out of money year after year.
Read 28 tweets
Sep 29, 2020
For context, you'd have to do some catching up on my tweets since this fiasco started. To be clear, as a veteran game dev for 30+ yrs, as I see it, this battle was a long-time in the making, and needed to be waged.
Though some of my peers & colleagues in the biz are hesitant to publicly opine given the parties involved, my view is that with all the confusion as to the merits of the matter and what it means to gamers and game devs, this discussion is worth having cuz feelz aren't relevant.
To get started, this is what I said on 08/13 when news of the lawsuit went public, and which goes back to what I just stated in the first tweet of this thread.

Read 46 tweets
Sep 25, 2020
This is a very big deal indeed.

Amazon’s Luna game streaming service is powered by Windows and Nvidia GPUs…
When Google decided to do Stadia, maybe they thought that because most of the leading game engines supported Linux - and thus Vulcan api for graphics - that devs would rush on board.
Thing is, like OGL, Vulcan hasn't exactly lit our collective butts on fire because it's new (to those not keeping up to date), and it's a major hassle to implement in a graphics pipeline. Forget about porting from DX to Vulcan; it makes grown men wheep.
Read 9 tweets
Sep 21, 2020
If you thought Chris couldn't be any more, what's the word - dismissive? Well, he told the community that he's so busy that he can't answer their [important] questions. However, he will answer a SINGLE question. I swear I'm not making this up:…
"Tony’s goal (goal != promise) is to have elements of the Dynamic Universe start to come online next year, likely towards the back half of the year, where player’s actions can impact both the Dynamic Economy and other players."
Read 6 tweets
Sep 16, 2020
Epic Games lawsuit is just a publicity stunt, says Apple… via @benlovejoy
lmao! I doubt that very much. Despite my misgivings about how Epic went about this lawsuit and which was only revealed via Apple's filings (emails), Epic could have more publicity impact by putting money for these legal bills into worthy causes - or even marketing.
Generally, a company that has traditionally supported devs the way Epic has over the years, aren't likely to put those same devs at risk by engaging in a protracted publicity stunt like this and which has severe consequences.
Read 13 tweets

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