Unhappy Star Citizen Supporters Are Out of Luck
Anyone who backed Star Citizen, which has received an insane amount of crowdfunding, can no longer ask to be refunded by developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG). Although standard means of asking for refunds were removed through the Star Citizen’s June 6, 2016 Terms of Service (TOS) update, CIG stopped issuing them completely in December 2017.
Since December 2017, CIG has been ignoring all refund demands. One backer went so far as to take CIG to court, and apparently lost, claiming that the judge did not want to hear anything about the Terms of Service’s (TOS’s) “conscionability or lack of consideration.”
And according to Derek Smart, an independent game developer, CIG has been revising Star Citizen’s TOS since 2015 to quietly remove all backer rights, removing CIG’s obligation to be held financially accountable for backers. In fact, they don’t even have to deliver a final product.
Going in, I knew that this lawsuit was going to fail. I said so back on Jun 25th.https://t.co/Of6cy6rUYl
— Derek Smart (@dsmart) July 14, 2018
It’s an interesting turn of events, especially considering CIG explicitly promised that they would be financially accountable for their backers during the game’s initial push for funding.
“You know, when Chris [Roberts] set out to make the space sim that is Star Citizen, he had one vision in mind that he wanted to achieve,” Cloud Imperium Games’ Eric Kieron Davis said in a 2017 interview. “And as we’ve continued to get support from our community, our backers, we’ve realized that not only do they want a game that is larger, more immersive, but that’s the game that we want to make.”
“So as we’ve grown, we’ve kind of reevaluated how we can maintain the expectations we set at the beginning, but also how we can establish the larger, more grand vision that is Star Citizen. And as you’d expect, the production schedules and expectations just evolve with that. Generally for the better- cause we’re still making, we’ve made quite a lot of progress, there’s quite a bit of game that’s out there and playable now, that’s given us an immense amount of feedback towards systems and features, where we need to focus, where we should focus less… working with the crowdfunding community is incredible.”