Star Citizen's Chris Roberts has taken to the game's official page to speak out against recent allegations against Roberts Space Industries coming from several quarters. Most notably, Roberts addresses the company's handling of finances raised through KickStarter and employee issues stemming from anonymous 'insiders' over the past couple of weeks.
The article, published on the Star Citizen site, is a direct response to an earlier article from The Escapist. The latter piece is packed with quotes and allegations made by former employees, insiders and anonymous sources and seems to be based on similar accusations made by Derek Smart on his personal blog.
Roberts begins with looking at possible motives behind the article and then moves on to Mr. Smart before taking on the main points of the article and rebutting each.
We are a very public project and rely on the goodwill of gamers to exist. Having a negative article that includes the views or comments of a small number of disgruntled ex-employees with their own opinions on whether things were run well or not, especially when they will be shielded behind anonymity, could give people an impression of the project and company that is 100% false, especially if we are not part of the story. This would be far more damaging to us than a normal developer or publisher. I know that this kind of material is great for clicks but you also have to remember that we are talking about the jobs of 261 people and numerous contractors. Every time a game studio shuts down every outlet and commenter is quick to lament the state of the game industry. Every time a big public company pushes out a game quickly to make the holiday season everyone laments about lack of ambition and taking the audience for granted. Here you have a 100% gamer funded project on the PC, a platform that almost every publisher ignored or pushed crappy console ports to and you have a game in a genre that everyone said was dead to a level that no publisher would dare to – and you want to harm it? Shouldn’t the press be cheering on these kinds of games? The gamers spoke. They wanted something as big and ambitious as Star Citizen. I will deliver it – I have never in my life worked this hard – including when I was 20 and making Wing Commander. There is a huge group of very talented game developers who all share this vision, who are all working as hard as possible to deliver a game that will make all the backers happy. So I implore you to think twice about going for something that while it may be fun to see Rome burn…isn’t in the best interests of the game, the employees of CIG or the 987,217 members of our community. You may say that if it isn’t true what is the harm but we both know in today’s world that’s not how it works, the truth will be lost behind the click bait headlines and the damage will be done.
Read the full letter, including the entire communication string between RSI and The Escapist on the Star Citizen site.
In short? The drama between Smart and RSI is likely far from over. But it's really nice to finally see Chris Roberts putting out his own comment. We here at MMORPG.com want just one thing from all of this: a complete and playable Star Citizen when all is said and done. That, above all the noise, should be everyone's chief concern.