The justice system should always be an option when arbitration fails, and arbitration should take no more than a reasonable time to fail (say, two weeks for this $5000 amount). The whole point of a small claims court is to handle such cases, not offload them to a dodgy corporate lawyer masquerading as a judge.
If the public service of justice is slow and expensive, we need to fix the public service, not replace it with a free market simulacrum. That's always the case with non marketable but essential public goods.
> According to Lord, the terms of service when he made the initial pledge aren’t the same terms of service they are today. The original terms of service, according to RSI’s own records, make no mention of arbitration before February 2015. “These Terms of Service (TOS) do not affect any transactions made before its effective date,” RSI’s terms site said. “All prior transactions are governed by the TOS in effect on the date of such transactions.”
> Lord came to court prepared. He had printed out multiple versions of the terms of service, all records of communication with RSI, and a long document recording the 77 promises RSI hasn’t fulfilled in a timely fashion, including citations showing where and when RSI made those promises. But the case never got that far. He said RSI’s representatives understood that Lord’s pledges weren’t covered by the arbitration clause, and he offered to settle, again, for $3,800. They declined.
> According to Lord, when RSI’s representatives stood before the judge, they tried to argue the arbitration clause of their TOS. “Right off the bat, they assert the arbitration clause applied to everything, even though it plainly didn't,” Lord said. “I had to give the judge a copy of the first terms of services that clearly show that the arbitration clause was not there for the first few transactions.”
> ...According to Lord, the judge decided to apply the current TOS to all of the transactions in dispute. “He said he didn’t want two rulings floating out there,” Lord said. He may have lost this case, but he’s not done fighting. “I’m going to pursue it further. I’m not sure in what direction. I’m going to be speaking with a couple of different attorneys to evaluate my options.”
I mean... what? So even if you do exercise your choice as a consumer to avoid a forced-arbitration clause, companies can simply add it to their ToSes later on and retroactively make it apply to all interactions ever with the company?
3.Sell some more products.
4.Send lawyers to collect diff on product sold in .
The question is, was he made aware, that his previous agreement will be changed when he was giving some more money?
Any new pledge could easily have a little tickbox "I've read and understood the terms & conditions", I'm not sure if Kickstarter has one but I've seen such boxes pop up everywhere.
We also need those contracts to be much simpler. A single page of large font in language simple enough for a grade school graduate to understand what's supposed to happen.
Yes, a few rights are better protected then in the US (at least if you haven't written the EULA in the right way), but I'm pretty sure they are generally legal and enforced.
The other side of this is small claims cases aren't going to get a thorough review like they would traditionally, thus some cases have the wrong ruling made. Since the claim was dismissed without prejudice, it could be refiled iirc.
That's not reasonable
By the way, the hypothetic wandering cat or curious child that were to do so would risk of being liable of perjury :|
The courts are for the wealthy, not for the plebiscite. This is what this ruling shows.
According to several other articles I read this was argued but lost due to the majority of contributed money came _after_ the ToS update which required him accepting the new ToS.
It's still crappy though.
However, here's the other side to this particular claim.
" the vast majority of Lord's 61 pledges came after the arbitration clause was added and that Lord accepted the new terms of service when he added additional funds to his initial pledge. "
My guess, if he was to appeal, the end result would be a ruling saying "The stuff done before the arbitration clause get adjudicated, the stuff after goes to arbitration"
This is what has happened in the past. But in general, you are allowed to give contracts retroactive effect if both parties agree and it's explicit.
This would probably leave Lord with a claim for basically nothing.
The plaintiff can still appeal the case though, and stands a good chance of having the case heard, if the facts are as presented.
The author is making some confusing word choices.
It has an arbitration clause.
Also, are these statements legal in America?
* "YOU UNDERSTAND AND HEREBY AGREE THAT YOU HEREBY WAIVE THE RIGHT TO SUE IN COURT AND HAVE A JURY TRIAL."
* "To the fullest extent permitted by law, (1) no arbitration shall be joined with any other; (2) there is no right or authority for any Dispute to be arbitrated on a class-action basis or to utilize class action procedures"
* "Any arbitration shall be initiated in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America. Any Dispute not subject to arbitration, or where no election to arbitrate has been made, shall be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction within the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America, and you and RSI agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of that court."
So waiving your right to the judicial system, waiving your right to enter into a class action suit, and enforcing a particular jurisdiction location? Seems very anti-consumer and not fair at all.
The whole EULA/TOS nonsense is crazy in general, but RSI isn't doing anything unusual here, and I'm not surprised this is how a judge took it.
The idea that someone could make 61 different purchases over a span of years, and then go back and think that they are entitled to refunds for all of them is a little crazy. And while the game isn't done, it is playable, and he did spend a significant amount of time playing it. It's unfortunate the game isn't developed the way he likes, but that is again, not an RSI-specific problem.
>"Yes your honor, this did not apply at the time of pledge, but we updated the TOS, and he specifically agreed to updated TOS as part of his playing the beta test and here is the timestamp when he did so through his account."
well, that'd still be plenty good reason to discuss how the modern practices of EULAs and TOS clearly circumvent the spirit of contract law, but it wouldn't be a new practice at all either. And it seems like it'd be a pretty straightforward, slam dunk thing to say too.
The article though doesn't make it sound like that was the argument or came up. Which might be because we're getting it 2nd or 3rd hand, so we shouldn't necessarily jump to conclusions. But if the judge arbitrarily decided it applied retroactively rather then "it applies because he agreed it would at a later date" that'd absolutely be pretty scary.
Yeah, as a Star Citizen backer (at an extremely modest level) I think that it just wasn't spelled out in the article. There was a LOT of hubub in the community when they added this new clause to the TOS, because you had to accept it to continue playing the alpha, which in turn meant that you could never get a refund.
Now I do agree that it would be very nice to see that the judge confirmed that the user actually went through with this agreement personally and that his acceptance was not just implied by the fact that the change was made a ways back in the release cycle.
There is an important distinction to be made.
I agree that he should not be entitled to change his mind about wanting a refund, years down the line.
But a corporation should not be entitled to unilaterally declare itself a sovereign entity, where it becomes both the defendant and the judge in lawsuits brought against it!
So sure, right verdict, but based on really terrible legal reasoning that needs to be overturned.
That's not a refund years after one received a product, it's years after he was promised a product that he has not yet received!
The fact that they gave him prototypes of the product in the meanwhile has little relevance (altough if those "prototypes" were explicitly mentioned as part of what you would get in exchange of the funding, they could be regarded as a partial delivery and their assessed value ought to be discounted from the refund).
But I really don't even know the Kickstarter terms, I'm just speculating...
In the US, both laws (other than laws criminalizing conduct or increasing punishment for a crime, where the prohibition on ex post facto laws applies) and contracts can be, and sometimes are, retroactive.
Could you expand upon this a bit? In the US bills of attainder and ex post facto laws were clearly banned for both the Federal and State government from the founding of the country, though I remember reading that despite statements from the founders SCOTUS has been shakier on applying it to civil vs criminal law.
But it's not clear to me how that relates to purely private contracts, unless there is something in California regulating it? Further to your own point:
>A new TOS can force you to cede rights from that point onward.
It seems like that could cover this just fine couldn't it? Ie., two parties could agree that regardless of past or ongoing legal interactions, any future new legal interactions could be governed under different rules. I'm not sure that'd be "retroactive", it doesn't govern anything undertaken under the previous agreement, it modifies it going forward. Are you saying that contracts may never be modified from their original form? That doesn't jive at all with my (admittedly non-lawyer) understanding. It'd be against all sorts of bankruptcy proceedings and private settlements for example, since those often involve modifying previously agreed terms of previously engaged in financial exchanges.
Granted this all puts aside questions of adhesion and whether he even did agree to new TOS at all of course. But assuming during his ongoing play he was presented with a new TOS, agreed to it, and then at a later date filed suit, it doesn't seem novel at least (even if we think certain rights should not be contractable) that their legal interactions after the agreement date would be governed by the new TOS.
Are there records created for small claims cases?
You're forgetting that judges and lawyers are the ones who moonlight as paid arbitrators. They're only acting in their own best interests.
Completely agreed. Prisons are another example of an essential public service that should never be privatized or outsourced.
The NHS also has other private components: it used to run its own logistics division which was scrapped in recent years and replaced with services provided by couriers like DHL.
Could they? I thought the doctor's contract is with the NHS on standard government terms, and the patients are dealing with the NHS terms, the doctors have no direct contract with the patients or ability to impose legal terms on the patients differing from the NHS terms.
Does it? Why? I'm 100% for all of the items you mentioned -- public transportation, public communication, and public food. Arguably we pay for crappier versions of all of those already (Busses, Lifeline Program, SNAP and Bridges or your state's equivalent)
You can be for "public services that should never be privatized or outsourced", and still allow private services to exist too. That's not a conflict in any way.
(I'm aware of the letter ban) but a public USPS for package delivery, doesn't prevent FedEx from also delivering packages too. A public water utility doesn't prevent Nestle from also selling bottled water everywhere. Public elementary schools hasn't prevented private/religious schools from also existing in every state. PBS / BBC hasn't prevented NBC / ABC / CBS / Sky from existing. You can be pro "public utilities for things everyone needs, ban privatization of public services" and that does not have to hurt any private companies in any way.
Government has always been about the legitimatized application of force; the use of law as one of the key components of the legitimization of force is very old, but not essential to the concept government (it's essential to modern, and even many older, norms or models of government, though.)
This is how government ought to be, and has been at least several times in the last 1000 years. The Magna Carta is famous for first codifying the rule of law principle.
It's the fundamental government functions that should never be outsourced.
(If the people's will is that government take care of other matters, no problem. They can choose either way, provided the resulting laws are not unconstitutional.)
There is no option to simply not participate, it is absurd.
The public service (small claims court) was present and used. He just didn't get the result he wanted. It's not like the "public service of justice" was evaded. He got a hearing. The judge (a real judge!) said the arbitration clause was enforceable.
So he lost. In court. Having exercised his constitutional right to petition his government for redress of grievances.
I mean, look: I get that arbitration clauses can be unfair. But that's not an indictment of arbitration, it's an indictment of unfair contracts. For every case like this that makes your blood boil there's one that throws out an arbitration clause that wasn't appropriate.
The system works, basically. It just doesn't get this guy his $4500 back because he made a stupid bet on Kickstarter.
Arbitration is no longer thrown out almost ever, because of ATT Mobility LLC v. Concepcion. An unconscionable contract with arbitration is not an exception to arbitration anymore and state laws no longer apply to arbitration compelled agreements. The arbiter will decide what, if any, laws to follow. The arbiter will decide if the contract is fair. The arbiter will decide if they even want to rule based on the dispute at hand or something arbitrary.
You are behind the times on the sheer power of mandatory binding arbitration.
Then perhaps your ire should be directed at the politicians responsible for appointing judges with more acceptable leanings on civil liberty issues like this, and not at some random local magistrate who failed to rule for the gambling rando who lost $4500 on kickstarter.
I get what you're saying. This isn't a good example of the problem, nor a productive location to whine about it.
Also, "An unconscionable contract with arbitration is not an exception to arbitration anymore" then isn't the problem deceptive business conduct? Can't people form a class and sue for that? (Or is that a process only the FTC can initiate?)
The system did NOT work.
He was denied his right to redress because the judge thought the case wasn't worth enough to be worth his time, wrote a very dismissive ruling and then hoped it wouldn't be appealed so his shitty ruling wouldn't be torn apart.
This isn't a 'the sky is falling' situation. This is a judge cutting a corner to get to cases he views as more important.
This kind of precedent should not be allowed to stand but there is only so much time an individual who has to make a living can devote to these kind of issues.
It's not like a corporation that has legal staff on board and can afford to litigate for years on end without any consequences for anyone involved, and if there is a fine at the end it gets paid.
I can imagine that if they tried to get a refund somewhat close to the change, a judge could be convinced to allow the refund under the old ToS.
If he made one pledge, and then never used or logged into kickstarter and agreed to a new TOS then he would have a case.
The argument is that the justice system is slow and expensive because it is overloaded with cases that don't really belong in the justice system in the first place. Which is not a radical idea; e.g. only some cases merit the attention of a district court, and fewer still merit the SCOTUS.
You can see the "overloading" perspective when you look at the asylum hearing backlog. The demand outstrips the judiciary's ability to run fair hearings practically to the point of absurdity.
Is small claims court slow and expensive? Not to my knowledge.
The ease of which you can go to court can motivate parties to use it as a strategic threat even if they feel they don't have a particularly strong case, and the openness of the court system can make that small chance of success a strong threat against a public person or company.
So arbitration, by definition, can find a mutually acceptable solution with a zero sum, as opposed to the negative sum of a legal war. Society stands to gain if arbitration works - but not in cases such as these, were forced arbitration is employed as a stopgap against any and all claims.
I have seen data to suggest that arbitrators rule often in the favor of the companies, but that could be a result of more people raising bullshit claims since it's significantly easier to do so.
Maybe the other arbitrators went out of business because they ruled on the consumer side.
See: survivorship bias.
Just to be clear, that doesn't mean he wouldn't have lost otherwise, or that forced arbitration wouldn't have worked in his favor. If forced arbitration wasn't a consideration, he might still have lost.
Arbitration is a biased loss for a human up against a corporation in mandatory binding arbitration via a contract of adhesion.
When you as the consumer have nil input into establishing an impartial venue, and the COMPANY has an ongoing business relationship with the Arbiter on which the Arbiter depends it completely undermines the integrity of the proceedings. It's like asking your Mother in Law to preside over divorce proceedings.
How is this so hard to understand?
If a company can force you into that regime, and has all the bargaining power in the transaction, you are not at the table as equals. You are cattle. You are meant to consume and remain silent. Any complaints will be ignored in the order they are received.
You can say that IDEALLY the Arbitration company runs arbitration for many other companies, so is an impartial body in this case. Losing this ONE business wouldn't hurt right?
Except their bills ARE PAID by your opponent. You don't bite the hand that feeds. It's why the public justice system "works". If arbitration is so effective, it should be integrated into the public justice system and funded accordingly. Otherwise, it's your Civil Rights being discarded by corporate contract lawyers.
No, it's not. The point being not whether arbitration is good or not, simply contesting the implication that the only reason lost because of a forced arbitration clause.
The only way you can disagree with that or argue it is to prove otherwise, which you can't.
That's a classic, I'll have to remember that.
What you're really saying is that you want to prevent me from offering a service on the condition that contract disputes are handled by alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
This desire to impose restrictions on other people's free action is immoral, and doesn't become okay due to your anti-free-market ideology.
It’s especially sad to see you trying to spin blocking someone’s ability to exercise their right to use the legal system as a pro-liberty move. At the least you can be honest and acknowledge that it’s about saving money.
But that's a separate issue from the possibility of including arbitration clauses in a contract, which simply expands the range of possible contracts two consenting parties can enter into.
>>Being forced to use a company’s appeals process
No one is being "forced to use a company's appeals process". You choose to accept a company's offer, and agree to the terms, when you sign a contract with them. Given you're not entitled to use their service, and are free to not use it, you are not being forced into anything.
I haven't followed the development with anything more than a casual, occasional glance and accompanying eye-roll. I doubt I'll ever see anything come of it. A shame, not necessarily a surprise.
I'm fully aware and prepared that kickstarting a game confers no guarantee, but the feature creep in this case is staggering. I suspect that if this case were to succeed they'd suddenly find themselves underwater with all the pledges clawed back once the precedent was set.
They delivered the base game in reasonable order and have been iterating and adding content since then.
Whilst the early game was pretty sparse in terms of content, at least it was delivered and reasonably complete.
Star citizen abandoned its MVP (Squadron 42) awhile ago. That's why the combat sucks and there is still no core gameplay loop. A management fiasco that would be impressive to recover from.
Fortnite BR had very little beyond its core gameplay. There were few weapons and only a smattering of locations amidst a largely homogenous small island. But bit by bit, Epic added features, slowly, deliberately. They listened to their fans and made what they wanted as the game and the community progressed.
The result was one of the most successful, popular, and lucrative video games of all time.
Games should produce the base game they promised, and then just add expansion packs or additional levels (free to initial backers) to try and get everything else in until the money runs out.
Maybe even the old shareware style route of releasing Episode 1, 2 and 3 (although in the shareware days, Ep1 was free and 2/3 were commercial .. like 1 was a really long game demo).
At the very beginning Chris Roberts hired some artists to make a visual demo in Cryengine, to raise money. It worked, great! .. This is when they should have scrapped the demo, and hired a really great lead dev to plan out the full game. But, no, they kept building on this amateur Cryengine demo in a disorganized fashion and have been ever since.
If you really followed the development process and watched their "Around the Verse" video series you cannot, by any means, call it a "Cryengine demo".
In late 2013 the scope of the game got totally changed. It turned from a small multiplayer space flight game to an MMORPG. So they literally had to start from zero and nobody has any insights about the game development and organization except the CIG developers themself.
A very weird post from you as "game developer".
We are long past the time when Iwata managed to single handedly refactor Earthbound in a few months with minimum external help. Complex projects carry so much inertia that makes it very hard to correct course once you have momentum in one (wrong) direction.
They call it Object Container Streaming and Network Bind Culling (I'm not a network developer, so I have no idea about the technical side of it). I don't know how far along they are (they postponed the feature to the 3.3 update) but I'm confident in their abilites.
Still, none of this would help to explain why SQ42 was postponed to 2019 and beyond.
You do realise that Lumberyard is just an licensed build of CryEngine with AWS related APIs added on top, right?
And thats why you still have huge network latencys. Wait until they finished their network module and then we can judge.
Still, none of this would help to explain why SQ42 was postponed to 2019 and beyond.
I myself went from a critic to someone shouting "Go ahead!"
Rimworld had a public beta and has been iterating and incorporating feedback and while the end-result might not be as ambitious as someone with $200m might care to dream up (rimworld raised ~$250k) but it's a very fun game which most importantly actually exists.
In fact existing in some form allowed the community to write mods and extensions many of which have ended up patched into the game itself as it nears release.
Elite continues to get better all the time and will likely eventually be a pretty good game, but it’ll never have the audience it would have if they had the budget to release a full and finished product on day 1.
You're thinking of Classic or Pre-Classic. And IIRC, Survival Test (with mining and crafting) was the first thing you had to pay for to play. https://web.archive.org/web/20090904213840/http://www.minecr...
At the moment it seems like they are a content production company for a game that doesn't exist.
If you backed in the first few years you'll have access to both the Star Citizen MMO universe and the Squadron 42 single player game. Both keep getting delayed, but the scope of Squadron 42 isn't as huge so I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be a 2019 release.
The Star Citizen alpha 3.3 release (end of Q3) will be a make or break point for the project's current schedule. That's when the "container streaming" system that lets them seamlessly load parts of the universe in and out is supposed to happen, along with Hurston, the second planet (and Loreville, the first planetside city area). If you have a beefy enough computer that's when I'd recommend coming back and giving it a play.
I am greatly looking forward to diving back in next week, and am treating it basically as a free sequel.
NMS has base building and much better world exploration.
Both games are a grind until you come across a strategy that gives you a bunch of currency and then it's just a sandbox because you can buy everything (NMS less so because you sometimes have to find the thing to buy).
Except it doesn't work that way, the procedural generation engine in the game obviously has too few assets too many constraints to really come up with original planets and biomes, after a few couple of planets everything looks the same and plays the same. You don't have anything worthwhile to do and nothing to look forward to. You don't feel like you're progressing, you don't feel like you can meaningfully interact with the universe.
Since then they've added base building and now multiplayer though, so that probably helps with these issues but I firmly believe that there's something fundamentally broken about NMS, it looks like it's a tech demo before somebody decided to actually implement a game with it.
It still felt a tad bit unfinished in some respects (a flashier 'ending' with multiple possible outcomes would be ideal), but I was able to get a lot of great hours out of it-- enough so that I'm definitely planning to replay from the beginning after this Next patch.
But I am 33 today! My desire to play MMOs has also slowly evaporated.
Happy birthday gp!
At that time all the old guys made "one last game" and failed horribly.
I figured this game will fail too.
Anyway I feel asking for your money back sounds like it would ruin crowd funding. How can the developers spend the money on development if there is a risk they need to refund people en masse? And if they can't spend it, what's even the point? I mean yeah I guess if all the money's gone to luxury resorts and bunga bunga parties then that's not acceptable but if they spent it trying and failing that's just tough shit.
> Along with the game—which originally had a targeted release date of 2014—Lord was supposed to have received numerous bits of physical swag. “So aside from [the game], I'm supposed to get a spaceship USB drive, silver collector’s box, CDs, DVDs, spaceship blueprints, models of the spaceship, a hardback book,” he said. “That's the making of Star Citizen, which—if they end up making this game—might turn into an encyclopedia set.”
This is a clear breach of contract. He should work with a real lawyer and seek punitive damages. Changing what the product is shouldn't be allowed. Hopefully the lawyer includes Kickstarter in the suit, because they also should be able to step in when a product changes fundamentally from what its funders paid for.
MMO means massively multiplayer online. Hundreds, thousands, or more in a single world.
While the two are often hand-in-hand, they don't have to be. A persistent universe that is only open to you and 4 friends wouldn't be an MMO.
SimCity 2013 is often described as an MMO, but I would argue it really isn't, since each region you play has a maximum of 1 player per city in the region (though 1 player can play multiple cities), which each region having only a few cities, and each region is completely independent of other regions. Effectively, each region is its own universe instance played by 1-16 players. Players can make their regions public, allowing cities to be claimed by any other player in the world, but claims are permanent until the player chooses to release their claim.
Do I think it will come out in the next year or two? No, but I think it will. Development is on going and active. Progress is transparent (which is why I don't pay attention- I like the surprise). Milestones have been reached, and expectations have been met. Do I think I've gotten $1k of enjoyment from the game back when I was playing it? Yes.
Not trying to be negative, but this sounds like rationalization. There are better games for much less money.
> There are better games for much less money.
Yeah. And there are better cars out there than a Lamborghini. But I still want a Lamborghini because it's a Lamborghini.
Cloud Imperium Games is just promises at this point.
> Cloud Imperium Games is just promises at this point.
Completely and utterly Wrong. There are alphas. They are doing everything they are saying they are. Delays? Sure, but they are (now) being transparent. You can buy a package, download, and play now.
That's your opinion only, and honestly isn't a very relevant statement. I've spent much more than $1k on Magic: the Gathering and even though I probably could have spent that money elsewhere and still been just as happy or more happy - it doesn't mean that I regret spending that money.
Looking at the original kickstarter from 2012 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen?ref=na... it looks like the original ship date was Nov 2014, so it seems that at least some people's expectations aren't likely to have been met.
And honestly, I'm glad. If they had just stuck to the initial scope, it would be less exciting. I'd rather dream big and be let down versus not have the chance to dream in the first place. I've backed some kickstarter projects that did what I signed up for, and awesome. I've also backed some projects that got widely popular and the people decided to increase the scope of what they were trying to do. Some of them worked, some of them didn't, and some looks like they are going to. I'm not sure which is better, but for me I lean towards "let's try to do awesome."
EDIT. A point I wanted to share is that you also need to quantify enjoyment and wow factor. I've seen things come out of Star Citizen that make me feel like a kid again. They have done some awesome stuff in terms of visuals and engineering. I would still love to have a finished project, but from what I've played and seen already, I would not be overly disappointed if the game disappeared tomorrow.
I've enjoyed the journey, and will continue to enjoy it. That has to count for something. I'm not saying I don't expect a full game to come, I do.
The scope has increased a great deal since then but I feel like the time it's taken to develop is reasonable.
I will say they wasted a year or two at the beginning trying to set up an AAA studio from scratch and mis-partenering with the wrong sub-contractors. And maybe the scope could have been limited with some of the functionality to come later.
Right now backers are testing out space mining mechanics and the game is already pretty fun imo.
Of course, at its core, it's a game about space exploration, so I can understand just how vast that would be at an abstract level, but trying to implement a 1-to-1 of that is just absurd to me.
It's sad someone has to emphasize this. Too bad too much money just makes people lose focus. Maybe the game is out there if they only had $10m.
So I am not sure what's the state of affairs today but certainly in the early days it was pretty well understood that Kickstarter is not a store and every dollar you put in there might just disappear and you are relying on the good faith of the campaign runner.
Personal statistics: 19 kickstarters backed, got a finished product on 9 of them so far, 2 more have builds that show everything is on track. Everything I got was acceptable, with at least 7 being good or above.
Also, ALL of them were late delivering.
Not bad, will crowdfund again. Never $4500 though.
It's not for everyone but if the idea of "Euro Truck Simulator in space" appeals to you, you'll probably enjoy it.
crowdfunding campaign that exceed expectations put the developer in a really tough spot. Star Citizen asked for $2 million but got 6. If they had said they keep everything the same, the schedule would stay sane but everyone would call it a money grab because they take $6 million to develop a $2 million game. The other option is to make use of the additional $4 million, but in almost all cases that will destroy the schedule.
Now if you are like Star Citizen and keep raising money (and get another $180 million) that same principle quickly pushes you deeper and deeper into feature creep.
It's a systematic problem every crowd funding project has to solve. Star Citizen seems to have stabilized their predictions of total money raised to get a fixed feature set, but I can't blame them for not predicting that they would raise over $200 million until release and planning for that.
What? That's not how crowdfunding works. If you crowdfund a bag for $200k and you get $1 mil, you don't turn that into a jetpack - you just ship the bag that you promised.
Most kickstarters define "stretch goals" that are promised at different targets, if funding surpasses the base goal.
These goals may be release for different platforms, additional content, celebrity voice acting, etc...
So assuming that shipping more copies is very cheap once the game is developed, what do you do when you get $6 million in funding for a $2 million game?
That often includes a salary for the creators, but it's hard to justify a multi-million dollar profit (from the crowdfunding itself).
They started with a $500.000 goal then stretched it to $2 million. For the last 6 years, they have been living off the nearly 400x more money that continued to come in, exceeding all expectations or previous games. All while delivering essentially only nice art and, we now learn, slimy legal tricks against the fans no longer willing to bankroll then. Unbelievable.
They're still making 40k-70k per day
That's just insane.
Grey boxing is a step towards a complete game, but it doesn't allow you to collect money the way that a glorious, fully modelled giant spaceship (that people can buy for $250 - years before there is even a game to play it in) does.
It amazes me that people are still being duped by it.
Really all it takes to get slices is coordination among different teams so everything for each slice finishes at the same time.
If you put like $600 in, you're hoping for a return on that investment in 8 months of a product. You might get something amazing, or something okay or nothing at all. Just like any other venture.
Okay, so you might say, "Well I don't want to invest, but I'll buy it once it's build if other people put up the funding." It's successful aaaaaand that's it. No more units.
That's a big issue, because now people with existing units may not even have a repair path. Devices could start getting rare and go on eBay for tons. This might even violate some basic product warrant laws in some country.
This doesn't apply here though, because games can always be purchased and distributed to people later without having to get them made in a factory.
Because sometimes if you don't fund an idea that idea doesn't happen. Of course I'm not suggesting you jizz $4500 into a promise of a game like the guy in the article but throwing ten or twenty bucks behind an idea you wan't to see happen isn't always a bad idea.
If it happens and it's bad? nevermind it was only 10 bucks, nice to see the idea attempted though.
If it happens and it's good? awesome.
If it implodes and I get nothing? meh, never mind it was 10 bucks.
As consumers, it's not our responsibility to support other people's open-ended projects. Let developers (and their actual publishers and investors) take on the risks themselves. It's better that way: with their skin in the game, they'll know when to say "no" to dumb features and actually get to a viable product.
Game theory has a lot of interesting incite into these sorts of decisions.
No single drop of water believes it is to be blamed for the flood.
No but thousands of $10s can.
> As consumers, it's not our responsibility to support other people's open-ended projects.
Why not? Patronage has been a key part of art for thousands of years. The current state of the game dev biz is that innovation and risk has taken a back seat to yearly releases churned out for mass appeal.
Because what is being offered is neither a debt or equity instrument but a defined good or service, just as with other shopping vebues, and because the kind of detailed financial and other information that would be made available to investors for due diligence with normal high-risk investments is not offered or available for most crowdfunded projects.
AAA titles that take a decade or more to develop are usually stuck in some sort of development hell.
>I want the best space sim and I like what RSI is doing.
You like that instead of making the best space sim, they are adding focusing on adding an first person combat? It's clear as day that Roberts and Co. lack any sort of discipline. It's a perfect example why sometimes constraints on creative freedom (usually forced by eviiiil publishers) are a good thing.
I’ve been paying attention to SC because its ambition is fascinating. I’m especially interested in what innovations they’ll bring to AI when it comes to populating a game world. But I would’ve thought by now — especially based on Roberts’ confident prediction of a 2016 release — that the single-player SQ42 would be in beta form by now. But it seems like they don’t have any kind of game loop, or a stable/fun flight model.
Nevermind the never-before done innovations — I think that SC, whenever it releases, is going to have a hell of a time with more mundane things, such as game balancing. I think of how much work Blizzard has to constantly put into Overwatch, a team FPS with very few innovations, to find the right mix of balance with <30 characters in 3 classes. SC has what looks like dozens of ships that have to be designed well for human and AI alike. Some of these ships cost hundreds of dollars and yet have to be tweaked so that SC doesn’t feel like a pay-to-win game, where whales dominate the galaxy with AI-controlled fleets. It’ll be an interesting project to follow over the decade but the challenges seem daunting.
I could go on, not sure though, I think it's a moot comparison.
> nor did they push the limits of graphics cards and whatnot and design it for two generations over.
Having watched Star Citizen for years it is just obvious this whole process suffers from feature creep. They went in with one game and now have what? three?
It reminds me of Battle Cruiser 3000AD at this point, though to be fair they have delivered more content but at the same time not when or what people who got into it expected
Yes but no AAA title has been crowed-funded to the tune of 200m before.
That's fine that you're happy with what they're doing. Other people aren't, and they should be able to get their money back when the direction went somewhere else.
I think that all backers should just feel lucky the project hasn't burned through all their cash and shut down yet.