Derek Smart Profile picture
8 Oct, 28 tweets, 8 min read
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.
In fact, it wasn't until later 2019, after several months of rumors, that they released financial brochures (they weren't audited, have no P&L etc) for 2012-17 that showed that - shockingly - the $300M+ project was OUT OF MONEY just months prior.
As I wrote in this blog, we found out that they were in such dire straits that they had to go out and get $46M from an outside investor, who installed a director (who left after 1 yr was up) . That was Summer 2018.…
In fact, it wasn't until several months later that Forbes did an article in which it was then made public that the husband and wife scam team of Chris & Sandi, had bought a $4.6M house - apparently from those proceeds.…
At the time of the financial disclosure, Chris then stated that they had a $46M investment - which was for "marketing SQ42" which was totally coming right about now. He wrote a whole blog about it. That was 12/20/2018.…
You can't find that link anymore; know why? Because after it was clear that it was complete lies (as per SQ42), they did what they always do. They deleted it. The last version was captured back 10/07/2019…
It's now Q4/20 and SQ42 is but a passing memory.

Of course that "marketing" money is long gone because barely months later, they got another $17.25M from the same investment group. That news is still up - and doesn't say anything about SQ42 this time.
For years now there's been lots of speculation that the funding chart is just pure and utter nonsense; and just contained whatever it is they wanted to stuff it with. It supposedly tracks funding from game + MT sales + subscriptions.
A few days ago, a keen-eyed backer noticed that the tracker lost over $1.5M within a 24hr span.……
Some [hilariously] speculated that it had to do with the changes to the store chart. Most of us knew that was nonsense of course - but we just played along.…
Imagine the shock and horror when the store updates later concluded...and the money in the tracker was still short.
Some speculated further that the discrepancy was due to recent UK filings that showed them - again - taking money out of an INSOLVENT project - to pay dividends. I kid you not.…
The guys over at @GuardFreq ran their own numbers to explain what was going on with that.

FF to 44:15…
Some more additional context about what's going on with that.
The speculation was that this latest financial shenanigans is linked to the funding numbers in the tracker being off.

I disagree. Why?

Because that would imply that they've been updating the tracking with their internal P&L accounting, as well as investment numbers.
I checked. When they got the $46M and $17.25M, they were not reflected in the funding tracker. Those were the only two known source of external rev that us backers know about because those details are - by law - public in the UK. We don't know anything about the US side.
Also, in the 2012-2017, and then the 2018 financials, there were no entries for external funding. Which is precisely why nobody puts much stock into them. Especially since they're neither audited nor have any P&L guidance. All we know is that the project was insolvent.
Want to see what "clean" financials statements look like? Here is a thread on Frontier's - another UK game dev.

Why would a $400M+ project be insolvent? Because, in between the incompetence and the greed, the primaries are taking money OUT of it. Money that's need to complete and release the two games which were due out back in Nov 2014.
So now, aside from the financial statement on SQ42 coming out in 2020, and the $46M totally being for "marketing", disappearing (much like the premise of both games), they're still taking money out of the project to pay dividends to their buddies, and to buddy own corp entities.
The connection to the companies in the latest UK filings is very interesting because it - once again - involves buddies from Chris's past ventures. Let me explain...
A fellow named Graem Anker is the CEO and founder (2014) of Fabrik Games.
Eric Elms, the father of Elms bros who are in this venture with Chris, worked with Graem - who also just happens to own IceSprite Ltd which was formed in Oct 2017.

Then there's Firesprite Ltd where Graem is also an officer.

Basically, the £1.6m seen in the CIG financials as going out, was sent (loaned?) to a corp, which then used it to pay out £1m in dividends. All from a corp that's otherwise INSOLVENT.

As far we know, NONE of these companies have anything to do with the dev of these games.
As one of the lead investors who bailed them out in 2018, maybe @keithcalder knows what is going on because we sure as hell don't.


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More from @dsmart

10 Oct
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 5 tweets
29 Sep
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
25 Sep
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
21 Sep
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
16 Sep
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
15 Sep
His latest missive is no different from similar ones which he penned back in the day when he was - again - facing a backer backlash. If you want a refresher on that, @nichegamer just did one.…
It's not odd that he showed up - out of the Blue - even as backer posts asking where he was kept being deleted and backers banned for daring to ask where the grifter they gave $300M+ disappeared to. And it wasn't to explain wtf is going on with the project or the money.
No, it was to address some inconsequential bs that he - once again - littered with the same lies culled directly from the well curated dreams.txt and then just regurgitated it in a bid to "prove" that he was still around - or something.
Read 14 tweets

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