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Do you think buying into Star Citizen is wise? - Page 2

post #11 of 41
Personally, while I like the games that crowd-funding is allowing to be developed, I actually find the concept of crowd-funding to be problematic in a way.

Right now we see in so many areas how society is becoming more and more stratified, with more and more money being concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.


To me, crowd-funding is another example of a situation in which a large amount of wealth is being transferred from the general public to a very few. In the case of this game, $40,000,000 (forty-million) dollars have been raised from mostly "regular" people for the chance to be "Star Citizens" and purchase digital content on the basis of, at this point, nothing more than advertisements and promises. I won't comment on whether Star Citizen will meet expectations, because I don't know.

However, what I do know is that, usually, when someone invests in the development of a product (i.e., venture capital), they get a return on that investment for having invested. For example, in Silicon Valley, if a venture capital firm invests in a company, and that company goes public / becomes profitable, the VC firm will receive a substantial monetary reward.


In the case of crowd-funding of games like Star Citizen, however, the maximum possible reward to receive for having invested early in the development of a product, is a copy of that product, with bells and whistles that are often, if we are being honest, kind of junky in comparison to the sums involved (invest $300 dollars, get a better ship, collector's manual, making-of video, etc.).


What this amounts to for gaming companies is free venture capital that they do not have to reward later. They create some nice ads, generate hype, manipulatively play on people's need to belong by calling investors "Star Citizens," and get forty-million dollars and climbing, regardless of the actual quality of what is eventually released.

Why shouldn't these early investors be treated as they are, and get a proportional return on their investment once Star Citizen is released and begins generating further profits for Chris Roberts and company?

Essentially, to me, crowd-funding as it is today, while having the benefits of allowing for the development of products that may not otherwise be developed, is also clearly a mechanism for wealth transfer from the many to a few, with different rules than are normally found in investment scenarios, rules that are entirely to the benefit of the owners of these companies. (I think similarly about pre-ordering games as well.)
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post #12 of 41
Additionally, it's quite clear that in the case of Star Citizen, Chris Roberts is actively hoovering up as much money as he possibly can from investors (again, if one can call financially uncompensated funders of the development of a project investors), with what to me are questionable levels of potential benefit in terms of further quality improvement.

Chris Roberts has no problem inviting you, too, to become a Star Citizen https://robertsspaceindustries.com/ (so long as you contribute of course), but what real, meaningful improvement in game quality is going to come from reaching their next stretch goal of $41,000,000. More content? Even better graphics? Cooler voiceovers?

Chris Roberts clearly to me has created an almost evangelist-like situation in which he is inviting you to belong to something (and tell your neighbors and friends), so long as you put money in the plate. It's a little cult-like to me at this point (where as indicated in the OP, gamers are even feeling social pressure to "join"), and what I find bothersome is that he seems perfectly willing to continue taking people's money without anything even delivered at this point (I know a limited module is coming soon), even though I can't see how game quality is really going to be meaningfully improved as forty-million becomes fifty-million, etc.

I mean, if you watch the video on the homepage, here's a guy who has received literally a fortune from his community, but still requires some of them pay extra money to get additional outreach and update content, like "10 Questions for the Chairman." Is that Chairman, or King? I guess his loyal and contributing subjects should feel blessed to pay extra so that he'll bother to answer 10 questions for them.

Anyone seen detailed documents by the way for where all that money is going? Usually, I am pretty sure, investors are made privy to exactly how their money is being spent, I bet not so in this case.
Edited by Robertdt - 3/24/14 at 4:12pm
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhotse View Post

I agree. This game isn't going to be released for...a couple years as I understand it ? and a LOT can happen between then and now. I've been burned on a few pre-orders in the past *cough-X Rebirth-cough* and I've looked at the pre-order ships and I don't see anything that enticing, given the amounts of money they're asking for the different packages.
If it turns out to be great after release and the general consensus is positive, then I'll go out and buy a joystick and throttle control ( You will need one to be competitive in this game) and give it a shot but 2 yrs. for a pre-order is way too long for my money.

The game will be released by the end of this year or early next year depending on how smooth development is. Not a couple years from now.
Also the difference with this versus pre orders is that CIG isn't being controlled by a publisher who will rush a game to meet deadlines and make a quick cash grab. They're being very open about development and is allowing the community to greatly contribute to the game. I mean, we ARE funding it. The team has expressed many times that they want to release a quality game that will blow your mind, wallet, and computer.

I put down $75 in the game to secure my spot in the alpha and beta back in November. I haven't spent a single dime on anything yet. You can put down a minimum of $40 if you want to and still have access to the alpha and beta.

All the ships now will be available in the game at launch. You will have to buy them with ingame currency, which can be bought with real money, but will have a limit on how much and how often you can buy it.
Edited by brootalperry - 3/24/14 at 4:12pm
post #14 of 41
I personally don't do this for games. Crowd-funding isn't a bad idea on paper I just don't trust people enough to behave the way they should when money is involved up front. I'd rather wait and see how it turns out and not be disappointed.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

Anyone seen detailed documents by the way for where all that money is going? Usually, I am pretty sure, investors are made privy to exactly how their money is being spent, I bet not so in this case.

The real problem with your theory is you see the backers as investors. They are not in any way investors, they are paying for ships and alpha access, not making an investment with an expectation of monetary returns.

Some of your points are actually valid concerns though. I don't think they are actually anything to worry about with Star Citizen specifically though- if you do any research into who Chris Roberts is, you will see he has not only made very fun space shooters before, but he has also successfully managed projects with budgets in the $50 million range.

I think the real concern is that what you are afraid of will happen, coming from someone else who sees Star Citizen's success, and tries to build up a similar crowdfunding campaign without having the ability to come through on it.
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post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

The real problem with your theory is you see the backers as investors. They are not in any way investors, they are paying for ships and alpha access, not making an investment with an expectation of monetary returns.

Some of your points are actually valid concerns though. I don't think they are actually anything to worry about with Star Citizen specifically though- if you do any research into who Chris Roberts is, you will see he has not only made very fun space shooters before, but he has also successfully managed projects with budgets in the $50 million range.

I think the real concern is that what you are afraid of will happen, coming from someone else who sees Star Citizen's success, and tries to build up a similar crowdfunding campaign without having the ability to come through on it.

I don't think he was singling out CR. I think he was broad brushing, and many of his points are valid. It's 100% free money. No ROI or dividends required on anything a kickstarter generates.
     
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

The real problem with your theory is you see the backers as investors. They are not in any way investors, they are paying for ships and alpha access, not making an investment with an expectation of monetary returns.

Some of your points are actually valid concerns though. I don't think they are actually anything to worry about with Star Citizen specifically though- if you do any research into who Chris Roberts is, you will see he has not only made very fun space shooters before, but he has also successfully managed projects with budgets in the $50 million range.

I think the real concern is that what you are afraid of will happen, coming from someone else who sees Star Citizen's success, and tries to build up a similar crowdfunding campaign without having the ability to come through on it.


I do see them as investors, because when you remove the compensation aspect (whether monetary or finished product), they are performing exactly the same function as what we would describe as investors. They are contributing money prior to the development of a project in order to see it developed. The only difference is how they are being compensated. Traditional investors receive monetary returns, while crowd-funders only receive the finished product (of whatever quality).

And while I think Chris Roberts is competent, I do find it concerning that he seems to have no limit on how much money he will accept from crowd-funders, and he also does things which, in my view, are cynical and manipulative to drive further investment, such as referring to his investors as "Star Citizens." What is his motivation for continuing to accept money for what (based on my reading) are features that are definitely in the extras category in terms of contributing to game quality? His next stretch goal, requiring an additional $2,000,000 investment, adds enhancements to the game's Wiki-like guide, an in-game OS feature of some sort for contributors only, and another new type of ship. That's not much for $2,000,000 ... I mean, wasn't Kingdom Come Deliverance's (another crowd-funded Cryengine 3 game) initial entire budget around $2-3,000,000 ... where is the money really going? Where are the detailed reports of how it is spent and on what?

I don't see him as a figure beyond reproach either, just because he has made a few good games and seems to have a lot of social (and financial) capital from PC gamers these days ... based entirely on promises, still.

I find it bothersome that he accepts even more money from contributors just to release update videos like "10 Questions for the Chairman" (how long does it take to answer 10 questions on Youtube?). This community has given him, literally, a fortune already ($40,000,000 dollars).

He reminds me a little of evangelists who create a movement of sorts while enriching themselves, or those guys from the soon-to-be-rentable and highly entertaining film Wolf of Wall Street, who sold penny stocks to the masses and made themselves hundreds of millions by this sort of mass-wealth transfer ... in both of the situations I've just mentioned, evangelism and brokerage firms, sales techniques are utilized to convince people to part with their wealth based on promises of future benefit.


And even if he delivers on his promises and creates the best, most complex, most fun, highest quality space game ever made (which would actually be a good thing in many ways in my view), what then? From his most recent video it seems to me as though he would like to have the #1 space sim out there (not surprising) ... but let's say he makes a billion dollars from this game.

What about the people who originally believed in him and funded his project? All they will have gotten is a copy, and some additional digital content.... regardless of whether they are agreeing to this willingly (which is no indication that the arrangement is fair), this does not seem fair or appropriate to me.

I like the idea of Kickstarter and crowd-funding, but I think it is in an early form now and should be modified to provide a more equitable compensation format for crowd-funders, who are, IMO, most certainly investors in every relevant sense.
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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

I do see them as investors, because when you remove the compensation aspect (whether monetary or finished product), they are performing exactly the same function as what we would describe as investors. They are contributing money prior to the development of a project in order to see it developed. The only difference is how they are being compensated. Traditional investors receive monetary returns, while crowd-funders only receive the finished product (of whatever quality).

And while I think Chris Roberts is competent, I do find it concerning that he seems to have no limit on how much money he will accept from crowd-funders, and he also does things which, in my view, are cynical and manipulative to drive further investment, such as referring to his investors as "Star Citizens." What is his motivation for continuing to accept money for what (based on my reading) are features that are definitely in the extras category in terms of contributing to game quality? His next stretch goal, requiring an additional $2,000,000 investment, adds enhancements to the game's Wiki-like guide, an in-game OS feature of some sort for contributors only, and another new type of ship. That's not much for $2,000,000 ... I mean, wasn't Kingdom Come Deliverance's (another crowd-funded Cryengine 3 game) initial entire budget around $2-3,000,000 ... where is the money really going? Where are the detailed reports of how it is spent and on what?

I don't see him as a figure beyond reproach either, just because he has made a few good games and seems to have a lot of social (and financial) capital from PC gamers these days ... based entirely on promises, still.

I find it bothersome that he accepts even more money from contributors just to release update videos like "10 Questions for the Chairman" (how long does it take to answer 10 questions on Youtube?). This community has given him, literally, a fortune already ($40,000,000 dollars).

He reminds me a little of evangelists who create a movement of sorts while enriching themselves, or those guys from the soon-to-be-rentable and highly entertaining film Wolf of Wall Street, who sold penny stocks to the masses and made themselves hundreds of millions by this sort of mass-wealth transfer ... in both of the situations I've just mentioned, evangelism and brokerage firms, sales techniques are utilized to convince people to part with their wealth based on promises of future benefit.


And even if he delivers on his promises and creates the best, most complex, most fun, highest quality space game ever made (which would actually be a good thing in many ways in my view), what then? From his most recent video it seems to me as though he would like to have the #1 space sim out there (not surprising) ... but let's say he makes a billion dollars from this game.

What about the people who originally believed in him and funded his project? All they will have gotten is a copy, and some additional digital content.... regardless of whether they are agreeing to this willingly (which is no indication that the arrangement is fair), this does not seem fair or appropriate to me.

I like the idea of Kickstarter and crowd-funding, but I think it is in an early form now and should be modified to provide a more equitable compensation format for crowd-funders, who are, IMO, most certainly investors in every relevant sense.

You are a very very negative person. Even though you wont admit it I guarantee that if anybody gives you a new idea to ponder the 1st thing you do is look at all the negatives before you even try to think of any positive outcomes. You mentioned that you don't think it's fair if he makes money from the game and the original "investors" just get the game. Well the 1st thing you need to realize is this:

1. It's not your money (unless you decided to fund the project, which it doesn't sound like you did)
2. As somebody who already pointed it out, you calling the people who are helping crowdfund the project as investors is wrong. Just because you try to twist the definition to fit your reasoning doesn't make it right. So you need to get your terminology correct:

invest:
to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

This is not what is happening at Star Citizen, people are not getting stock, people are not purchasing property, people are not expecting financial gain. This is a simple transfer of digital goods. The goods being the video game. That's it. Nothing else. When you're buying food from a restaurant you're purchasing goods, you're not investing in it, when you buy a blu-ray player from Sony, you're not investing in Sony, you're just buying the product. This is exactly what is happening with Star Citizen. You're being offered digital goods, and you're paying for them.

If you're following the project, which you're obviously not, you could see where the money that is still being accrued goes to. Chris has been hiring and will continue to hire more people for his team. He has also hired other companies to help with the development of other aspects of the game as well. Or such that's what Chris Roberts is saying, nobody other than him really knows where this money is going, nobody knows if this game will actually come out, or if he'll "cash out" and run away to some tropical haven with all the cash. The good thing is, that with the way the content is being released we can see the progress happening. Not just some screenshots here and there, or CGI made videos, those of us who have purchased this game get the opportunity to be able to see this game as it progresses through every single step of it's development. That's our return. That's what we're paying for. For people like me I think it's worth it. No other video game company has ever done it, nobody touches the games made by AAA studios like EA, Blizzard, etc. until Alpha or Beta the earliest.

Now as far as you likening this to some kind of cult and comparing Chris Roberts to some evangelical leader......can't help you there. That isn't even the 1st or the 100th thought that would come into my head while watching those segments. Why you can't see that as a simple Q and A session, I just don't know.
post #19 of 41
I for one have many ships, I have spent around 600 USD on a LTI retaliator and other ships.

I bought it because I want to be part of someone who contributes TO a game that will PUSH a PC to its limits. That is what HE is promising, and what SC promises to do!

I bought the ship because I WANT to avoid playing the game to obtain that ship and SPEED up the process so I could get that Idris a 1200 dollar valued ship, (or 3,000 in black market)

I am part of a clan already, Imperium. In it there are many players who INDEED do not know what to expect. Alpha has been pushed/delayed but its because SC launch of alpha wants to MEET the HIGH expectations.

40mil raised is just people buying things like crazy for almost same reasons. I know NOONE who buys packages as an "investment", we buy it cause we are EXCITED at the games concept and prospects.

Chris roberts is doing a fantastic job to INVOLVE players into the lore of the game. He is not creating just a game but actually doing what MOST games fail to do which is TO involve PLAYERS into a fantasy (per say)

I know I sound biased and all, but I am giving the reason WHY I am deep in with $$ into the game.
I am tired of crappy games with no great graphics, or not utilizing all the current tech.

I want to be able to use an oculus rift, want to be able to play optimized 4k, i want ..i want, and I put my money because i WANT to see this ACTUALLY happen and make every gaming company see how much of slackers they really are.
post #20 of 41
I backed the Star Citizen Kickstarter and feel good about it. The game looks like it has insane potential and while we haven't been able to play the game yet, the hangar keeps getting updated with new features that show that development is moving forward.

Of course, I also pre-ordered D3 on a disc and enjoyed it a lot, completely worth my money. And I backed the Planetary Annihilation Kickstarter and my hype is now completely gone (not to mention that I suck at RTS games so it'll never be a game I play a lot) but feel okay about it. And I bought the Pixel Piracy alpha. Basically, I throw money at all game concepts I like so I'm kind of your opposite.
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