Forbes has published an explosive new investigatory piece about Chris Roberts, Star Citizen, and about questions that continue to fly about where the $300M raised has gone over the course of the game's development. The article delves into Roberts' past as a game developer and explores the fanbase that supports him in his work with Star Citizen. "This is not fraud -- Roberts really is working on a game -- but it is incompetence and mismanagement on a galactic scale," the piece declares.
The article contains thoughts from as many as twenty former Cloud Imperium employees, "many of whom depict Roberts as a micromanager and a poor steward of resources".
The heedless waste is fueled by easy money raised through crowdfunding, a Wild West territory nearly free of regulators and rules. Creatives are in charge here, not profit-driven bean counters or deadline-enforcing suits. Federal bureaucrats and state lawyers have intervened only in a few egregious situations where there was little effort to make good and a lot of the money was pocketed by the promoters. Many high-profile crowdfunded projects, like the Pebble smartwatch ($43.4 million raised) and the Ouya video game console ($8.6 million), have failed miserably.
Subsequent portions of the article discuss Roberts' constant need to fundraise as the company "burns through money" and about the partial transparency about where money has gone.