(Parody) Cloud Imperium Games Pivots With Star Citizen

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BRG

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Edited By BRG
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With Star Citizen recently hitting the $400 million mark in crowdfunding, Cloud Imperium Games announced a shift of plans in regards to the development of their two games.

In a video on their official Youtube channel, the studio announced various Star Citizen-themed strategies and products. Some of the announcements include NFTs of Mark Hamill, clothing collaborations with Supreme and Nike, Funko Pops, and mystery boxes filled with random physical goods. The biggest announcement from them are supporter packages, which is a digital product that allows users to actually make money by selling more packages to their friend.

Chris Roberts, director of Star Citizen and spokesman in the video, showed a lot of excitement with these new ideas.

“I’m really eager to see fans with our supporter packages. We wanted to find a way to give back to our community, and by using a complex system of fan recruitment and kickbacks, we found a way of both spreading the word about our games as well as allowing our fans to make a little extra dough,” he said.

Like many other announcement videos, Cloud Imperium Games ended their video with one last announcement: both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are canceled. Roberts explained that the reason for cancelling the two games is due to development costs taking up too much of their budget.

“With how much time and money we put into developing these titles, we had to stop and re-analyze our strategy going forward. We found that the best way to not disappoint fans and backers after a decade of development and delays is to cancel our two games altogether and instead focus on our new strategy for the future. As for the crowdfunding campaign, we decided to keep it open because we are going to need all the support we can get going forward,” he said.

When asked about what is inside the supporter packages or mystery boxes, Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games declined to comment.

(for legal reasons, this is a joke)

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judaspete

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You had me for a second there :)

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deer

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You had me until cancelled. CR is too arrogant to just say it's cancelled. He'd call it evolution. Also, no Metaverse?

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BRG

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@deer: I would love to see this company try to sell people a pyramid scheme and see how fans react. Also, no metaverse.

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deer

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Loading Video...

The Eve Online devs have the Metaverse figured out already anyway.

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TurtleFish

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I suppose the most damning thing about the saga that Star Citizen and CIG has become is that until I got to the disclaimer, all of it seemed plausible in my brain. You could have included launching crypto and relocation to Cyprus for tax haven status and I wouldn’t have blinked.

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Eribuster

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As someone who is bought in to Star Citizen and Squadron 42 and is just anxiously waiting for Squadron 42 to come out, you made my mind depress and my heart skip a beat when I read this.

Bravo!

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deactivated-6357e03f55494

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What's sad is this sounded 1000% true....until literally the last line.

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BRG

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@turtlefish: I was tempted to include a crypto joke in there, but I thought the whole "x company now making their own crypto" joke would be a bit dated. Then again, I did say they were doing a pyramid scheme and mystery boxes, so...

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BRG

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@eribuster: Well, seems like I did my job right then. In my opinion, the most believable satire is the best satire.

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deer

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I actually bought into SC in 2015 and stuck with it for about a year, mindlessly buying several ships and spending over 500$. I did get almost all of that out when I requested a refund in 2019 and every few months I wonder if SC will ever come out - but I don't think it has to if the hardcore fans are to be believed. it's an elite club with very pretty, expensive ships and they like it that way.

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Onemanarmyy

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#11  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Thinking about it, It's only a matter of time for Star Citizen to 'go on the blockchain' and have NFT's right? That entire game is about digital ownership of expensive ships. Surely you'll end up with someone spending a million $ at some point just so they can have a truly unique ship of which their ownership is verified through the blockchain.

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BRG

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@deer: I've heard about its expensive ships and whatnot. That's a dangerous game to play because while your audience is rich, it's growth is small. Unless the devs do a wipe (which won't happen because how much long-time players have invested into the title), I can see a lot of newcomers enter the game when (if) it does finally release and will be immediately turned off when they realize it's a rich kids club.

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BRG

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@onemanarmyy: I have heard of game companies toying around with the idea of in-game items being on the blockchain. I could definitely see this game adding ships to the blockchain, which I think will make the in-game marketplace (if there is one) boom.

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bigsocrates

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@brg: “It’s a dangerous game to play.”

Bro. They have pulled in almost half a billion dollars for digital items in a barely playable alpha. I bet there are literally thousands of developers who would like to play a dangerous game like that. I don’t think they are too worried that the game might not be a huge hit. It’s already a massive financial success.

You think with half a billion dollars they’re worried that maybe it won’t have a huge player base if it is ever released?

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TheRealTurk

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Star Citizen: The Original NFT.

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BRG

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@bigsocrates: I do think it is a dangerous game to play as they are probably burning through cash with both the development of these two games as well as paying for the star power they paid for. Plus, a lot of backers and companies are backing this thing for when it comes out for mass public consumption, not for its current state, so if it's dead in the water then it could be a huge blow to the company. Look at what happened to Cyberpunk. If Star Citizen launches in a crappy state with these huge in-game ship costs, then it could tarnish their reputation in such a way that could cost heavily, both financially and with trustworthiness, and that is something that could affect future endeavors.

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bigsocrates

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@brg: There is no company. It’s just a production shell to make these games. They aren’t likely to have other products. After 10 years they don’t have any products.

They may be “burning through cash” in development but they are also still raking it in. The people running it are also likely paying themselves hefty salaries.

You’re acting like this is a normal developer making one game and then moving on to other projects but it isn’t. This is what they do. It’s still massively successful as is so they don’t have to worry (they might be able to sell expensive digital goods to rich people forever whether the game comes out or not). They don’t need some other influx of capital once the game comes out if it comes out.

If it comes out it will either continue to be an expensive toy for a small but loyal crowd and recruit more members or it will pivot and make things cheaper to draw in a new audience. If that pisses off the old audience, oh well, they already got the money.

This thing isn’t a scam exactly but it also isn’t traditional game dev. They do not need a big broad hit game to be successful. See above about them already having made $400,000,000.

They have made $400,000,000 and you’re worried that they won’t be successful?

The assumption that they have already spent all this money and didn’t get a bunch personally or save a bunch in a bunch in a war chest seems unlikely to me.

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BRG

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@bigsocrates: It's not a matter of success, it's a matter of delivering a good-enough product that won't be taken to court or publicly shamed to the point of stock valuation dropping. The longer they take to develop and the more money they rake in, the bigger a target they put on their back if the release goes sideways. Even if this is the only game they develop, poor choices could still hurt them financially in the long run even with all the money they have.

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bigsocrates

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#19  Edited By bigsocrates

@brg: Taken to court over what? The game’s not good enough? Not successful enough? There is no case there. It’s not a publicly traded company so there is no stock price to drop.

You seem to think this is a normal company operating with normal incentives and that is wrong. It is a company with one product (and a spin off from that product) and will probably only ever have one regardless of whether they pull it off or not. It is already making a lot of money. This is not a Kickstarter where they are getting some seed funds to launch the company. The company is launched and is almost stupidly profitable already. Their business model is ongoing and successful. They sell virtual ships to a game that may or may not ever fully come out: That is the business:

Saying that one day they may be less successful in another business (selling games or trying to mass market virtual ships instead of selling a smaller number of vary expensive ships) has nothing to do with it.

That is like saying that Hermes better make its accessories cheaper or it won’t sell many of them: it doesn’t need to. It sells a few for a lot of money. Many profitable businesses work that way: All Cloud Inperium needs is more customers willing to spend or current customers and liking to spend more. If those dry up they can drop prices or close the company and move on, having made hundreds of millions of dollars and personally made quite a lot through salaries etc…

There isn’t actually a problem for them here because there is no reason to think they are in the business you seem to think they are in (making a series of broadly popular video games.)

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TurtleFish

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@brg said:

@bigsocrates: It's not a matter of success, it's a matter of delivering a good-enough product that won't be taken to court or publicly shamed to the point of stock valuation dropping. The longer they take to develop and the more money they rake in, the bigger a target they put on their back if the release goes sideways. Even if this is the only game they develop, poor choices could still hurt them financially in the long run even with all the money they have.

They've already made poor choices. :) The lawsuits are probably the only thing keeping them going, plus the fact that there are (hopefully) still people within CIG who actually still dream the dream.

But, even if Star Citizen turns out to be the most amazing game ever made -- who's going to trust Chris Roberts with money with another project when it might be 10 or 15 years before you see returns?

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bigsocrates

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@turtlefish: If Star Citizen turns out to be a big hit that people love he can just run it until he retires, and maybe do some more spinoffs if he wants. MMOs can last forever. EverQuest and Second Life are still kicking, not to mention WOW.

If Star Citizen eventually crashes and burns then he will never be project manager on a major project going forward but he might find his way to a small studio (since he's still a design legend) or work as a non-lead designer or a consultant on bigger games. That all depends on what his reputation ends up being. If its someone who tried but bit off more than he could chew he'll be okay. If stuff comes out about him intentionally being a scammer that could destroy him forever.

Of course that's all assuming he needs a new gig. If he drew enough money from the $400,000,000 to be able to retire then he can just do that. Let's say he pulled in $10,000,000 through salary and bonuses etc... That's enough to live off of in style forever. And it's not so unreasonable for a major project lead who did it for 10 years.