Cloud Imperium Games' Star Citizen is a game that's known for making a colossal amount of money from crowdfunding, $242 million USD in fact (most of the $288 million raised in total), and now a new report from Forbes has talked of a troubled development for the game, which has been in development since 2011.
This report provides a close focus on studio founder Chris Roberts, and after talking to 20 former employees, the report describes him "micromanager and poor steward of resources". Speaking of resources, $30 million was spent on salaries alone in 2017, the largest expense that the company has, going to 537 workers at five offices.
As for the micromanaging claims, the Forbes report alleges that Roberts focuses on small details at the expense of bigger picture features, with one former lead character artist saying it took them 17 months to create five characters due to changing decisions. Other employees also claim they worked for weeks making demos to sell more spaceships to raise money.
Speaking of money, perhaps the biggest part of the report is the bit where we hear that the money has allegedly almost been depleted, with Roberts reportedly having $14 million by the end of 2018. Considering none of the 100 star systems promised have been completed though, and with 87 of the 135 total models of spaceships being completed in the recent alpha, this has left fans concerned.
This concern has manifested itself in 129 complaints submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with refund requests coming in from players who have spent thousands of dollars on the game. "The game they promised us can't even barely run. The performance is terrible and it's still in an 'Alpha' state," said a Florida player who claimed last year to have spent $1,000. "I want out. They lied to us."
Have you had the chance to try the alpha?