While my main interest has been in medieval fantasy, I also enjoy some good space scifi/fantasy: Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, etc. Both the wife and I are also pretty big gamers, my interest specifically being in MMOs. I started with Ultima Online back in the day and also slogged out a few years in WoW. Although I have been burned many, MANY times I still haven’t lost my love for the MMO concept. The debacle that was Age of Conan came close, but when I heard about Star Citizen, it didn’t take much to get me on board as a backer.
As I’m likely preaching to the choir, I won’t go into the details of Star Citizen, suffice it to say that it has been billed as THE MMO space game. So far I have been impressed with what they have accomplished. There have been delays, but given the nature of game development and the added features since the success of the crowdfunding they were nothing I felt overly concerned about.
This success does seem to have attracted some negative attention. After some recent high level turnover put the targeting reticle squarely on Star Citizen, gaming dev Derek Smart started a firestorm by leveling some serious accusations at the founder of Star Citizen and calling for a Federal investigation of his business practices. While I have not been a fan of the ship concept sales that Star Citizen has been running, they haven’t struck me as dishonest or illegal. They are upfront about their nature and I don’t think backers are being tricked into funding them. The motives of Mr. Smart, on the other-hand, do smell a little fishy. He has a competing game out there which he plugs repeatedly in his article criticizing Star Citizen.
The one thing I do agree with Mr. Smart about is that as a backer, he had the right to request more information, and that more transparency is needed. There was too much silence around the delayed FPS module and the development process around it. However, I support CIG’s decision to refund Mr. Smart and deactivate his account. He states at the beginning of his article that he does not intend to be “professional, politically correct, or anything of the sort” which, combined with his call for Federal involvement, stinks of showmanship rather than an honest request for information.
We, as backers, are joining a professional venture. If you have a serious concern about that venture, I think you have every right to speak up… in a professional manner. I believe it is unethical to call for a government investigation- a very serious step- while at the same time claiming the right to be dramatic and hyperbolic for one’s own “excitement and exhilaration”.