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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Star Citizen: Commoditizing the Development Process

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55 posts found
  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1070

1/04/14 7:29:14 PM#21

Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

 

Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

 

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3732

RIP City of Heroes!

1/04/14 8:22:20 PM#22
Originally posted by Ramonski7
Originally posted by Vayman
Originally posted by Ramonski7
I did my initial backing for the aurora ship and that's all they're getting from me. Same thing with SoTA. If people are blindingly adding packages, perks and addons from their initial pledge then before they know it the total balance could be fast approaching several hundreds if dollars. It's like layaway for a feeakin game. And when it does release backers would have paid ten times the amount a normal person would for the game.

I'm like you in that I pledged for what I thought was good for me, and now am eagerly waiting. I am not giving any more; I don't think they need it! haha. But people will spend their money as they see fit. They're not interested in spending more, less or the same as the final retail version. They want what's offered now to backers. That benefits you and I since that money is apparently used to further enhance the game that we're already getting. Not a bad deal!

Yeah I understand where you're coming from but when is enough enough? Further "enthusiasm" on the part of spend thrift supporters starts to effect the line of thinking in the developers.

 

"Well if we hit 30 million so easily and so quickly we have to brain storm a new goal since money is still flowing in." instead of "Ok we hit 30 million, let's meet some of our original goals as well as set some new ones since enthusiasm is not tapering off."

 

My problem is twofold:

  1. They are continuously moving the field post
  2. They are primarily displaying a need for more funding instead of delivering more substance.
And they'll continue to operate this way as long as the players (hell you can't even call them that yet) keep giving them money without blinking. Now they're offering subscriptions.... $20 a month to video chat......

As long as people keep giving them money why not?   If you feel they are not releasing a product, well that could happen without asking for another penny.

  Ramonski7

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/21/03
Posts: 2693

"A wise man has something to say, but a fool just has to say something."

1/04/14 9:37:59 PM#23
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Ramonski7
Originally posted by Vayman
Originally posted by Ramonski7
I did my initial backing for the aurora ship and that's all they're getting from me. Same thing with SoTA. If people are blindingly adding packages, perks and addons from their initial pledge then before they know it the total balance could be fast approaching several hundreds if dollars. It's like layaway for a feeakin game. And when it does release backers would have paid ten times the amount a normal person would for the game.

I'm like you in that I pledged for what I thought was good for me, and now am eagerly waiting. I am not giving any more; I don't think they need it! haha. But people will spend their money as they see fit. They're not interested in spending more, less or the same as the final retail version. They want what's offered now to backers. That benefits you and I since that money is apparently used to further enhance the game that we're already getting. Not a bad deal!

Yeah I understand where you're coming from but when is enough enough? Further "enthusiasm" on the part of spend thrift supporters starts to effect the line of thinking in the developers.

 

"Well if we hit 30 million so easily and so quickly we have to brain storm a new goal since money is still flowing in." instead of "Ok we hit 30 million, let's meet some of our original goals as well as set some new ones since enthusiasm is not tapering off."

 

My problem is twofold:

  1. They are continuously moving the field post
  2. They are primarily displaying a need for more funding instead of delivering more substance.
And they'll continue to operate this way as long as the players (hell you can't even call them that yet) keep giving them money without blinking. Now they're offering subscriptions.... $20 a month to video chat......

As long as people keep giving them money why not?   If you feel they are not releasing a product, well that could happen without asking for another penny.

Why not you say? How about like I said, as long as money is coming in up front, nothing will get finished. Why stop raising money by releasing a product? Right? What kind of thinking is that? At the very onset of this endeavor the release date could have very will have been 2014. I mean just look at these dates:

  • Development started in 2011
  • Star Citizen KS goal reached on Nov 19 2012 (6 million+ so far)
  • First non Kickstarter stretch goal announced April 26, 2013 for 9 million
  • SG 9 million (reached April 29, 2013)
  • New website launched May 2013 (they have 9 million+ so far)
  • SG 10 million (reached June 10, 2013)
  • SG 11 million (reached June 28, 2013)
  • SG 12 million (reached July 1, 2013)
  • SG 13 million (reached July 5, 2013)
  • SG 14 million (reached July 7, 2013)
  • SG 15 million (reached Aug 1, 2013)
  • SG 16 millin (reached Aug 24, 2013)
  • Hangar mod released (for Gamescom)---August 29, 2013 (they have 16 million+ so far)
  • SG 17 million (reached Aug 31, 2013)
  • SG 18 million (reached Sept 6, 2013)
  • SG 19 million (reached Sept 16, 2013)
  • SG 20 million (reached Sept 26, 2013)
  • SG 21 million (reached Oct 8, 2013) (fully funded**)
  • SG 22 million (reached Oct 12, 2013)
  • SG 23 million (reached Oct 17, 2013)
  • SG 24 million (reached Oct 23, 2013)
  • SG 25 million (reached Oct 26, 2013)
  • SG 26 million (reached Nov 3, 2013)
  • SG 27 million (reached Nov 11, 2013)
  • SG 28 million (not announced)
  • SG 29 million (not announced)
  • SG 30 million (not announced)
  • SG 31 million (not announced)
  • SG 32 million (not announced)
  • SG 33 million (reached Nov 26, 2013)
  • Dog Fighting Mod---Dec 2013 (pushed back to April 2014) (announced in May 2013)
  • Social/Planetside Mod---Mar/April 2014 (announced in Jan 2013)
  • FPS/Ship Boarding Mod---August 2014 (announced 2013)
  • PU Mod/Beta---End of 2014 (announced in May 2013)
  • SC/Squad 42 released---Early 2015
Now take a look at that timeline and note anything in orange is what they set after reaching their KS goal, anything in blue is what they have actually released and anything in green is extra after getting SC fully funded (their words not mine. But to be fair some of the money after 20m will be used to pay for KS and Paypal services) Now pay close attention to when they announced features and how they failed to release the next mod as the cash kept coming in. Notice a pattern? They've been busy doing nothing but designing ships to sell? That's what it seems like to me.


"Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  LydarSynn

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/03
Posts: 165

1/04/14 11:03:01 PM#24

I have bought some alpha games to support small developers. I might play this game and then again I might not. However, I certainly wouldn't be forking over large amounts of cash to be 'in' on the development process. The only control you have over any product as a consumer is by voting for it with your money. Paying early essentially casts your vote before you have seen anything and to me that is plain stupid.

I wouldn't say this is a scam but if the game turns out to suck then the early adopters will get completely burned without any recourse. Hell, this guy could retire with this type of cash rolling in and not do another day's work on the game. I don't blame him though. If people are this desperate for this kind of entertainment, then he is the smartest guy in the room. Anyone paying a sub for a video feed is literally crazy though.

  exile01

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/27/13
Posts: 147

1/05/14 8:22:56 AM#25
OWhy not you say? How about like I said, as long as money is coming in up front, nothing will get finished. Why stop raising money by releasing a product? Right? What kind of thinking is that? At the very onset of this endeavor the release date could have very will have been 2014. I mean just look at these dates:
  • Development started in 2011
  • Star Citizen KS goal reached on Nov 19 2012 (6 million+ so far)
  • First non Kickstarter stretch goal announced April 26, 2013 for 9 million
  • SG 9 million (reached April 29, 2013)
  • New website launched May 2013 (they have 9 million+ so far)
  • SG 10 million (reached June 10, 2013)
  • SG 11 million (reached June 28, 2013)
  • SG 12 million (reached July 1, 2013)
  • SG 13 million (reached July 5, 2013)
  • SG 14 million (reached July 7, 2013)
  • SG 15 million (reached Aug 1, 2013)
  • SG 16 millin (reached Aug 24, 2013)
  • Hangar mod released (for Gamescom)---August 29, 2013 (they have 16 million+ so far)
  • SG 17 million (reached Aug 31, 2013)
  • SG 18 million (reached Sept 6, 2013)
  • SG 19 million (reached Sept 16, 2013)
  • SG 20 million (reached Sept 26, 2013)
  • SG 21 million (reached Oct 8, 2013) (fully funded**)
  • SG 22 million (reached Oct 12, 2013)
  • SG 23 million (reached Oct 17, 2013)
  • SG 24 million (reached Oct 23, 2013)
  • SG 25 million (reached Oct 26, 2013)
  • SG 26 million (reached Nov 3, 2013)
  • SG 27 million (reached Nov 11, 2013)
  • SG 28 million (not announced)
  • SG 29 million (not announced)
  • SG 30 million (not announced)
  • SG 31 million (not announced)
  • SG 32 million (not announced)
  • SG 33 million (reached Nov 26, 2013)
  • Dog Fighting Mod---Dec 2013 (pushed back to April 2014) (announced in May 2013)
  • Social/Planetside Mod---Mar/April 2014 (announced in Jan 2013)
  • FPS/Ship Boarding Mod---August 2014 (announced 2013)
  • PU Mod/Beta---End of 2014 (announced in May 2013)
  • SC/Squad 42 released---Early 2015
Now take a look at that timeline and note anything in orange is what they set after reaching their KS goal, anything in blue is what they have actually released and anything in green is extra after getting SC fully funded (their words not mine. But to be fair some of the money after 20m will be used to pay for KS and Paypal services) Now pay close attention to when they announced features and how they failed to release the next mod as the cash kept coming in. Notice a pattern? They've been busy doing nothing but designing ships to sell? That's what it seems like to me.

 

Actually this business model with new ships resembles exactly Riots business Idea.

They also sell new Heroes and skins. The same goes with those Battleships.

Nothing new here. THe only difference that the game wont be in final even 2015, because the thing they make money with is peoples "hope"  for  a better game.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3542

Hipster

1/05/14 9:48:58 AM#26
Originally posted by PauheGunor
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by PauheGunor
Originally posted by RefMinor

....and get the promised and now delayed dogfighting module actually built.

 

....so its technically not delayed just pushed back ....

It's delayed however you look at it, they even had to explain why.

It's not delayed its only in Pre-Alpha as we speak...

Yes, it's still pre-alpha, according to the developers released timetable it should now be in Alpha.

therefore it is delayed.

 

  winter

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/08/03
Posts: 2236

1/05/14 10:03:00 AM#27

 Yep why ever actually release the game if one can keep making millions hand over foot for promises and some design effort? If anything releasing the game will kill the cash cow as then the game may not bring in as much money and actually has to stand or fall on its own against player  expectations (many of which tend to be unrealistic and hyped).

   I generally like the kickstarter idea but gamers maybe setting themselves up for failure here. The star citizen Devs have to be smart enough to know that currently the best thing they can do is keep milking the cash cow by setting new goals and cautiously and slowly developing the game. After all they can always tell players they are delaying because they want to make the game better and players that are heavily invested will generally eat it up hook line and sinker.

  Hell if Chris Robert invested even half of what they've gotten so far from kickstarted and continued to while milking stretch goals for say 3-4 more years they'd have a self funding game that with luck could pay their bills for forever (Barring economic collapses etc)

  Faulkner

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/09/07
Posts: 104

“The wise speak only of what they know.”J.R.R. Tolkien

1/05/14 10:08:26 AM#28

I hope everyone realizes the scope of this game and the fact they want to do it right!!!

They are making not only developing a Single Player Game (ON the lines of what a normal Xbox, PS3/4 Game would be, and then on top of that a persistent universe.

They also just opened a new studio in England and littarally just moved their Austin Offices over the Holiday.  They have about 4 main offices working on the various parts of the game and many sub offices.  If anyone watches the weekly podcast video, they go to the different offices and show what they are working on.

Please read this for why they decided to delay dogfighting:  https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13432-Letter-From-The-Chairman-On-Dogfighting

Also, it needs to be repeated,  folks are voluntarily giving them money, as many of us believe and are wanting a Decent Space Sim/MMORPG

It puts them in a position like Blizzard or Square Enix, where they can dictate when things are released, not rushed, no investors telling them what to do!!

 

There is my 2 Cents.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

  LydarSynn

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/03
Posts: 165

1/05/14 11:43:12 AM#29
Originally posted by Arglebargle

Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

 

Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

 

I totally agree. This is a brilliant and legal scheme. The fact that it is legal is best part. You are 100% correct about Roberts though. I never heard of him in connection with film. Apparently, he flopped at it. Like many people who try to make their own movies with their own money, he was probably nearly broke when he decided to call it quits. Of course, it is a smart move to go back to what you are known for and now he is now clearly not broke even though no one has played this game.

It is unlikely the game can possibly live up to expectations but really what does Roberts care? He has already made a small fortune.

 
 
 
  FoeHammerJT

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 149

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

1/05/14 2:23:58 PM#30
Originally posted by LydarSynn
Originally posted by Arglebargle

Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

 

Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

 

I totally agree. This is a brilliant and legal scheme. The fact that it is legal is best part. You are 100% correct about Roberts though. I never heard of him in connection with film. Apparently, he flopped at it. Like many people who try to make their own movies with their own money, he was probably nearly broke when he decided to call it quits. Of course, it is a smart move to go back to what you are known for and now he is now clearly not broke even though no one has played this game.

It is unlikely the game can possibly live up to expectations but really what does Roberts care? He has already made a small fortune.

 
 
 

I don't think people and gamers fully understand the potential to get robbed. There is no legal liability for this.

In most scams, Ponzi investment schemes and other confidence games, the victims "willingly" part with their money. They still end up being illegal. This much money will bring the tricksters eventually. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the next 18-24 months. I fully believe by the end of 2015 we will have a verdict on Kickstarter, either revolutionizing the gaming industry or becoming one of its biggest embarrassments.

  screecwe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/28/13
Posts: 48

1/05/14 3:34:08 PM#31
Originally posted by Arglebargle

Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

 

Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

 

Erm...his movies were pretty good. Lord of War, Lucky Number Slevin, The Jacket, Punisher.

  Jakdstripper

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2108

1/05/14 4:23:02 PM#32

there is just too much of this game that is still very very vague.

Yes, so Roberts did a few good single player games 10 years ago....that doesn't make him an mmo expert. He is very vague about the game, but very clear about how you can spend your money.....I just don't like it.

call me suspicious, but I like to know what I'm buying. Until I get a clear idea of what Roberts is making, my wallet doesn't come out of my pants.

 

 
  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1070

1/05/14 8:12:01 PM#33
Originally posted by screecwe
Originally posted by Arglebargle

Running a Cash Shop years in advance of the  game, with a Hollywood style PR campaign!   Selling the fantasy!  Brilliant!

 

Sadly, Roberts is not the genius he and his cult of personality present him to be.  But the whole Star Citizen funding thing will be a boost to space gaming and the space genre.  You are being played, though.  Hope the game ends up better than his track record in film.

 

Erm...his movies were pretty good. Lord of War, Lucky Number Slevin, The Jacket, Punisher.

Sorry, this means I am not going to take movie suggestions from you.... ;)    Good luck organizing the Chris Roberts film festival.

 

What's worse (for Hollywood) is that his films pretty much did not make a profit.

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  Sybnal

Elite Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 260

1/05/14 8:41:12 PM#34

Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

 

  FoeHammerJT

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 149

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

1/06/14 1:23:41 AM#35
Originally posted by Sybnal

Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

 

The issue for me isn't Chris Roberts cutting and running. Its the fact that we're seeing so much of the content chopped up and monetized. Game developers and others will notice this success and take heed.

 

Why make a whole game and only get 60 bucks for it?

 

When you could chop it up into pieces and sell each of the 100 pieces for 10 bucks. That way someone that wants the whole enchilada ponied up 1,000 dollars, and they feel like they got "exclusives" and "special awards". So now not only did they spend a bunch more, they are ENJOYED IT.

 

Its genius, it will catch on, and it will slowly but inexorably creep into many other game designs down the road.

 

In 10 years I fully believe people will regret letting this happen..( And I contributed to the game initially because I liked its promise. Now I'm left looking at a bunch of ships I'd like to earn in game, but cant, because instead they cost more of my hard earned cash instead...)

  FoeHammerJT

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 149

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

1/06/14 1:26:19 AM#36
Originally posted by Sybnal

Seems like a decent deal to me.  You get alpha,beta access and the game for less than it will cost when it's done. Unless I'm misunderstanding something.   It's not as if RSI is going to take the money and run. A game will be made.  I liked all the other games he's done and I've spent money on worse things I'm sure.

For the people that don't want to back it there is always the option of uhh..not backing it.  Wait for it to come out, watch all the reviews and let's plays, then buy it or not...easy. 

 

The issue for me isn't Chris Roberts cutting and running. Its the fact that we're seeing so much of the content chopped up and monetized. Game developers and others will notice this success and take heed.

 

Why make a whole game and only get 60 bucks for it?

 

When you could chop it up into pieces and sell each of the 100 pieces for 10 bucks. That way someone that wants the whole enchilada ponied up 1,000 dollars, and they feel like they got "exclusives" and "special awards". So now not only did they spend a bunch more, they are ENJOYED IT.

 

Its genius, it will catch on, and it will slowly but inexorably creep into many other game designs down the road.

 

In 10 years I fully believe people will regret letting this happen..( And I contributed to the game initially because I liked its promise. Now I'm left looking at a bunch of ships I'd like to earn in game, but cant, because instead they cost more of my hard earned cash instead...)

  Shoko_Lied

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/07
Posts: 2110

SWG Publish 4 Jedi:Flurry: TKM unlock

1/06/14 1:32:55 AM#37
Gonna be the first AAA game from kickstarter most likely. Unless something goes terribly wrong.
  Asm0deus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/06/10
Posts: 797

1/06/14 1:44:07 AM#38
Originally posted by denshing
............. Unless something goes terribly wrong.

Hmm will it live up to the hype...cause most mmo do right? especially of late.

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  PieMonster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/04/09
Posts: 3

1/06/14 9:17:12 AM#39

I've backed SC to the tune of about £150, but regret it. Wont spend a penny more there now.

Not because of SC per se, but because its triggered every man and his dog to pre-release games at pre-alpha, most of which will never see light of day as a quality game. And the message it gives every developer is imo not good for the industry.

After all, as a developer if you get much of your money up front why spend most of that cash at the back end of the production cycle.. easy to double margins without all the costs and risks of longevity. Sucks for end game potential eh?

Any gamer starved this Xmas for a good new AAA title probably bought a few alpha titles via Steam or so (loads of zombie survival games!). I'd bet most won't reach full production and wouldn't even have got onto the radar otherwise. Many are charging MORE than they plan to charge retail.

In this case it will be interesting to see just how much Chris Roberts puts back into the game, and how much he puts in his pockets.... once funded, its his call - not the gamers who are paying for it.

I think we need to remember that development companies are a business, and they are not there for the 'Love of the Game', even if some of the programmers who work there are.

  rygard49

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/11
Posts: 985

1/06/14 11:19:27 AM#40

This "kickstart" campaign crossed the line from honest desire to make a great game, to honest desire to make as much money as they can from their supporters. People have actually paid for in game insurance on virtual ships that don't yet exist.

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