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Do you think buying into Star Citizen is wise? - Page 4

post #31 of 41
What I would like to see on this thread are reasoned responses to the points I've made. If you disagree with them, fine, and you're free to express why. But don't think that something has changed recently which has made it valid to counter someone's perspective by insulting them personally, exaggerating what they're saying, or by essentially telling them not to express their views at the moment ("wait for the game to come out").
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post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
you say this to somebody:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

You know what makes your points less convincing? The fact that they start off with personal attacks about me; a transparent and fallacious approach to making an argument. Perhaps in pursuing your degree in Message Board Psychology you neglected to study basic informal logic, so let me clarify something for you



As for the rest of your points, they were already addressed in the post to which you responded. I already explained why crowd-funders are investors in every sense but how they are currently compensated. It should also be noted that crowd-funders serve to replace traditional investors, which is the entire point. Instead of having to depend on traditional investors like a large publisher to provide development funds, crowd-funders instead fill that role ... the only difference is that they are not financially compensated. If you want to argue that the money invested / spent / donated / given by crowd-funders to these projects are serving the same purpose that traditional investorment funds do (i.e., provide the initial funds necessary for a project to be developed), go ahead.

And you're also wrong in that this is a simple exchange of goods for capital. Crowd-funders are investing in the POSSIBILITY of a product. The product does not exist yet in its promised form, and may not ever be developed. If the Kickstarter project is not developed (which does happen), they do not get reimbursed, and this is considered part of the arrangement up front. This risk is also characteristic of an investment, rather than a purchase.

and then you say this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

I think you're being very melodramatic ... this was a relatively respectful discussion about crowd-funding and how it is being implemented in Star Citizen ... and is consistent with the OP about buying into games early like this, sales tactics, and social pressure resulting from the sort of $40,000,000 crowd-funded "movement" that has become the development of Star Citizen.

So how is this a respectful discussion again?

And yes, I know what I said in the OP. You don't have to tell me.

And investors and crowdfunders are the same thing. They are both investing in the POSSIBILITY of the product. So yeah...
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post #33 of 41
As Facebook pays $2,000,000,000 (2 billion) dollars for a company that got its start from crowd-funding, we see an example of the problems that arise when the people who invested in the founding of a company hold no voice in its conduct after it no longer has a need for its original funders.

If the people who paid for Oculus' start had the same rights and input as traditional investors, they would not only be getting rich (or at least making a significant return on their original investment), but would also have a voice in the direction the company takes.

Instead, Oculus made some nice ads and pledged itself to a promising mission, and received $2.4 million in essentially free venture capital from crowd-funders who believed in their claims and wanted to support their vision, which many believe they have now gone back on.

Quote:


Adding to the unhappiness of donors, Palmer Luckey, the company’s co-founder, as recently as last month said he had no intention of selling the company.

“I don’t think there’s a reasonable number that would make me say, ‘You know I was going to change the world with VR and try to change humanity forever but here’s a number,’ ” Mr. Luckey told GamesIndustry International, a gaming industry website, last month.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/technology/crowdfunders-of-the-maker-of-oculus-rift-denounce-a-facebook-buyout.html


In my opinion, as I've stated on this thread, crowd-funding is a positive trend, but in its current form does not provide sufficient benefits to those who provide the initial capital for these companies.

I think that "the masses" are being taken advantage of, and are providing a source of free venture capital funds to companies which may simply decide to do whatever they want once they have gotten past the initial startup phases and no longer need the support of those who originally believed in and funded them.


It's more general than Chris Roberts and Star Citizen, but some of his behavior is questionable (at best) to me, and bordering on egregious at worst (such as accepting money to make "10 Questions for the Chairman" videos).


I could drink the Koolaid I suppose and speak in warm tones about how he has created such good games in the past, and he's a competent developer, and Star Citizen is going to be a wonderful game, and it's fun to just be involved in the project, and just generally that he can do no wrong that remind me in a wry sense a little of this film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIiOXff8A5Y

But I think anyone who acts in the way I've discussed here should be questioned more than he is about why he needs so much money to do some of the things he is.

That many of you seem content to just follow him like some oracle of game development without asking more questions about where all the money is going is not wise to me, and illustrative IMO of the larger phenomenon of the general public being taken advantage of by charismatic leaders, whether in game development or other arenas. It's not a new thing, and I think you guys should question more and expect more for the money you're spending.
Edited by Robertdt - 3/26/14 at 11:36pm
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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

snip

Well said.
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post #35 of 41
To address your recent post, Thready, I did not call into question you as a person (i.e., call you a "very very negative person.") I just said I thought your behavior was melodramatic. It's a subtle but distinct difference between criticizing a person's behavior and making a general statement about them as a person. And I don't think the post was that disrespectful, either. I think if people want to respond to what I have said, they need to do so in a way that addresses my specific points ... not criticize me as a person, not tell me to "just wait till the game comes out" [and don't object further] ... not to over-state what is happening here as I think you did.




And a few quotes from Oculus Rift funders that illustrate what happens when the company you crowd-funded decides to sell out on its original ideals:


Quote:

I feel used. So frustrated right now. That is uncalled for...

Quote:

I think I would have rather bought a few shares of Oculus rather than my now worthless $300 obsolete VR headset. What's two billion dollars amongst 9,522 friends? I'd be happy with my $300 back.

Quote:

So Oculus, I backed the original Kickstarter for $10...

I'd like my $8200 (.00041%) of that 2$ billion Facebook deal now, please. I backed a VR project for games, not a massive social media company's fairly obvious attempt to stay relevant in the face of a waning Facebook and make more money in the long run.

I'm a game developer/artist struggling to even find a job in the face of frequent studio layoffs. Shareholder stake in something I believed in would have helped a LOT right about now, but screw the little people, right? Thanks for that...


Quote:

This is disheartening news.
I will never contribute on Kickstarter again. This is not how crowd funding should work.

Quote:

Oculus should not be about the money, it's about an idea, the future of VR. We supported your idea with our money and our heart. You earned your success, but this?
With facebook, its only about money. Now we are not the customer, we are the product.
So:

Since you now have ~400M$ in cash, it should'nt be that hard to pay your disappointed backers back their $2,437,429.
Thats 0.6% of your cash.
Or only 0.1% of the total 2 B$.
You won't feel it, but we will.

Maybe even let your kickstarters get a bigger share? Double it? 0.2%.
Quote:

I am truly, truly disappointed. I had high hopes and they've been replaced with cynicism. Funny how I backed a product designed to free me from reality's shackles only to find that the product will be corrupted by those shackles long before a product makes it to mass distribution. You had investors, guys. I read that your investors could give you as much money as Facebook offered. You could have been THE virtual reality company. Now you're just a corporate asset that's going to put out products I cannot trust.

Your enthusiasm and vision convinced me to back you. Nothing you say now can convince me that my money was well spent. I am really, really heartbroken.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game/comments
Edited by Robertdt - 3/26/14 at 11:45pm
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post #36 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

To address your recent post, Thready, I did not call into question you as a person (i.e., call you a "very very negative person.") I just said I thought your behavior was melodramatic. It's a subtle but distinct difference between criticizing a person's behavior and making a general statement about them as a person. And I don't think the post was that disrespectful, either. I think if people want to respond to what I have said, they need to do so in a way that addresses my specific points ... not criticize me as a person, not tell me to "just wait till the game comes out" [and don't object further] ... not to over-state what is happening here as I think you did.




And a few quotes from Oculus Rift funders that illustrate what happens when the company you crowd-funded decides to sell out on its original ideals:





https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game/comments

Is this still about Star Citizen?
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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

It's more general than Chris Roberts and Star Citizen, but some of his behavior is questionable (at best) to me, and bordering on egregious at worst (such as accepting money to make "10 Questions for the Chairman" videos).

Misinformation.

"10 For the Chairman" is produced as a way of giving back to subscribers. Subscribers came about because people kept emailing support and asking for ways to continue donating on a monthly basis. They were unable to because they already had the ships they wanted. They started putting out Jump Point magazine early, a hardbound jump point at cost, extra concept art/ingame shots, other goodies, and now the 10FTC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

But I think anyone who acts in the way I've discussed here should be questioned more than he is about why he needs so much money to do some of the things he is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

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.

Once the game hit fully funded status(~$23 million) he ran a poll and asked the community if he should stop taking money. 88% of the 20,000+ who voted asked for him to continue taking money and providing stretch goals. The actual people who are funding this game spoke.
As for your "actively hoovering" comment....no. Show me where he has actively asked for more money after the initial crowd-funding campaign. All he is been doing is announcing stretch goals. He's already said he has more than enough money to make a great game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertdt View Post

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?

Really? This is one of those cases where you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. If every million dollar stretch goal past the original funding was some big massive thing, people would complain about feature creep. Too small and people gripe and moan about them being pointless. What you don't choose to understand, is that each million isn't going just into a single stretch goal. The stretch goal is just a perk. The money goes to a myriad of things including more hires, further fleshing out already announced features, speeding up the process. In nearly every Letter announcing a new stretch goal hit, it has this at the bottom:

"Remember that our stretch goals are examples, ways of showing you how we are improving the game with the additional funding and ways to thank you for your early support. The full impact of each additional dollar is actually felt across the board: the project currently employs over 200 people. As a result, every dollar allows us to support this large team and helps improve Star Citizen in both scope and scale."

Also, Chris has stated that he doesn't want big stretch goals anymore because it would push the release of the game out too far. Some of the big ones he has offered after the game was fully funded, he has said won't be ready until sometime after the game is released.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomnlac View Post

Misinformation.

"10 For the Chairman" is produced as a way of giving back to subscribers. Subscribers came about because people kept emailing support and asking for ways to continue donating on a monthly basis. They were unable to because they already had the ships they wanted. They started putting out Jump Point magazine early, a hardbound jump point at cost, extra concept art/ingame shots, other goodies, and now the 10FTC.


Are you calling my post misinformation or are you introducing your own post? I don't see what the difference is between what you are saying here and what I said originally. Chris Roberts is accepting additional money from his community to produce a video called "10 Questions for the Chairman." I find it questionable behavior at best, regardless of whether people asked if they could send in money. He still has a choice about whether he accepts their money for things like this. Personally, I would think after $40,000,000 he might do these things without additional funding as a way of thanking his community.

I think he has created a sort-of cult-like following among many of his contributors and is freely taking their money without much if any restraint. Again, it doesn't take that long to make a "10 Questions" video, and as for the other materials, well, perhaps the interest on whatever is left of that $40,000,000 could go towards that. Interest on $40,000,000 is about 1.6 million per year.







Quote:

Once the game hit fully funded status(~$23 million) he ran a poll and asked the community if he should stop taking money. 88% of the 20,000+ who voted asked for him to continue taking money and providing stretch goals. The actual people who are funding this game spoke.
As for your "actively hoovering" comment....no. Show me where he has actively asked for more money after the initial crowd-funding campaign. All he is been doing is announcing stretch goals. He's already said he has more than enough money to make a great game.
Really? This is one of those cases where you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. If every million dollar stretch goal past the original funding was some big massive thing, people would complain about feature creep. Too small and people gripe and moan about them being pointless. What you don't choose to understand, is that each million isn't going just into a single stretch goal. The stretch goal is just a perk. The money goes to a myriad of things including more hires, further fleshing out already announced features, speeding up the process. In nearly every Letter announcing a new stretch goal hit, it has this at the bottom:

"Remember that our stretch goals are examples, ways of showing you how we are improving the game with the additional funding and ways to thank you for your early support. The full impact of each additional dollar is actually felt across the board: the project currently employs over 200 people. As a result, every dollar allows us to support this large team and helps improve Star Citizen in both scope and scale."

Also, Chris has stated that he doesn't want big stretch goals anymore because it would push the release of the game out too far. Some of the big ones he has offered after the game was fully funded, he has said won't be ready until sometime after the game is released.


I think you are misunderstanding or misstating the purpose of the poll, which is not about whether or not to continue to accept money, but whether or not to continue to display a counter showing funds raised. Here is the title of the poll:

Quote:
What should we do with the crowdfunding counter after we reach our goal?

Here is what he says in the letter introducing the poll:
Quote:

Some Citizens have asked if $21 million will mark the end of the funding campaign and the stretch goal unlocks. The answer is no: For a couple of key reasons

...

Finally there is one very important element – the more funds we can raise in the pre-launch phase, the more we can invest in additional content (more ships, characters etc.) and perhaps more importantly we can apply greater number of resources to the various tasks to ensure we deliver the full functionality sooner rather than later.

Star Citizen Packages will remain available as we continue to spread the word and build this community. A bigger community means a healthier universe population when the persistent universe goes live.


The poll is about continuing to display the counter, not whether to continue to accept money. He openly states in the letter preceding the poll that they will continue to accept money.

As for "actively hoovering" up additional funds, I consider actively promoting buying packages and buying into stretch goals to be actively taking additional funds.




My points about this are the following:


- I question his tactics in generating a following of contributors with their own identity "Star Citizens" ... I think it's a manipulative tactic that isn't new to crowd-funding

- I think accepting money without apparent restraint is irresponsible

- And more generally:

- I think crowd-funders deserve more than just a digital copy of a product for providing the start-up capital for a project that, like in the case of Oculus Rift, may well end up making a billion dollars or some other huge amount of money

- I think crowd-funders should have more of the same rights as investors, and should at a minimum be given disclosure documents that detail where their money is being spent and how

- As clearly indicated in the case of Oculus Rift, I think crowd-funders should be asking many more questions about how their money is being spent, rather than just blithely supporting something, and should expect more for the enormous contribution they are making towards enriching a group of people ... as was the case in Oculus Rift, and as will likely be the case in Star Citizen.
Edited by Robertdt - 3/29/14 at 12:32pm
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post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
what does any of this have to do with hyped up concepts and waiting to buy the game after purchase? I am not calling the game maker a criminal. I am saying that super hyped concepts have a funny way of disappointing.
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post #40 of 41
While I have a great deal of respect for Chris Roberts and the work he has done in the past, this game has enough red flags for me that I am holding off investing right now.

When I first heard of this game I was reminded of another game many years ago that made similar claims to what it was going to be Battlecruiser 3000AD. Now I am not saying that Chris Roberts should be compared to Derek Smart but I have some concerns about a game that has been so hyped. With so many game companies failing to deliver even a small percentage of what they promise, this game has the potential to be a massive failure and so I am not willing to jump in.

I hope it is all they are claiming, but until there is a game with real playability I am holding onto my money.
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