Star Citizen 3.0 - Refusing Refunds

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  • CoticCotic Member UncommonPosts: 156
    I sought and received a refund a couple of months ago.

    I had been getting more and more disappointed with the progress of Star Citizen with the continual delays of patch 3.0 as the final trigger. We had been told it would be delivered at the end of 2016 and we would receive quarterly patches after that. None of that happened, instead we were looking at just one patch this year which pushes multiple star systems two or more years down the line.
    When I consider how much more content they need to implement to produce the game they have verbally sold to everyone, I cannot imagine an end date at the rate they are going.

    I am happy to grant companies leeway if they are doing something interesting but there is a limit.

    Zandog
  • VorpalChicken28VorpalChicken28 UKMember UncommonPosts: 344
    Erillion said:
    >>> rampant refund requests >>>

    Interesting .... i am sure you have some data to show us that this claim is true. Or is this just your OPINION ? 


    Have fun 
    A very basic and limited form of data for this (as no company would normally allow this information into the wild as it could badly hurt them) can be found by running some metrics on the Starcitizen_Refunds subreddit. LINK

    It does show an increase in the past year, and while this may be people just interested in the drama, the amount of posts from people getting refunds has increased in recent months.
    “Nevertheless, the human brain, which survives by hoping from one second to another, will always endeavor to put off the moment of truth. Moist” 
    ― Terry PratchettMaking Money
  • CoticCotic Member UncommonPosts: 156
    I frequent the Frontier forum boards where we have a Star Citizen thread and the uptick of requests since Gamescom this year was quite surprising.
    Prior to Gamescom there might have been the occasional refund, one or two in a month perhaps, but after Gamescom there were eight or more in quick succession, all of these were long term backers.

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,943
    edited October 2017
    rpmcmurphy said:
    Making a pledge on the KS website does not necessarily make it a donation.
    Yes, that is precisely what pledging makes of you - a donor. It is an entire principle of fundraising/crowdfunding.

    I am done with this conversation, you are trying so hard it goes beyond stupid...
    Post edited by Gdemami on
    Excessionrpmcmurphy
  • ExcessionExcession NottinghamMember RarePosts: 709
    Gdemami said:
    The TOS doesn't really mean much though, they can write whatever they want but if it attempts to break consumer law then it has no bearing.
    Lucky backers are not consumers then, they are donors.

    Again, whether you are fundraising via Kickstarter or directly through your website makes no difference - you pledge/donate, you are a donor.
    You are funny.

    As stated before, since VAT is added, it is a sale/purchase, which makes backers consumers, not donors.
    Gdemami

    A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not the desire to beat others.

  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy DublinMember EpicPosts: 2,640
    Gdemami said:
    rpmcmurphy said:
    Making a pledge on the KS website does not necessarily make it a donation.
    Yes, that is precisely what pledging makes of you - a donor. It is an entire principle of fundraising/crowdfunding.

    I am done with this conversation, you are trying so hard it goes beyond stupid...

    The only person trying so hard is yourself. You're grasping every which way to redefine a sale as a donation....

    Just because something is labelled fundraising or crowdfunding does not mean it is exempt from consumer law.
    Gdemami
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,943
    edited October 2017
    Excession said:
    You are funny.

    As stated before, since VAT is added, it is a sale/purchase, which makes backers consumers, not donors.
    Yeah Sherlock, VAT is applied to most business acitvites, donations included. 

    You have no idea what you talk about...
    Post edited by Gdemami on
    rpmcmurphyErillionExcessionVrika
  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy DublinMember EpicPosts: 2,640
    edited October 2017
    Out of curiousity, if you purchase something on CIG's website does it say

    "Thank you for your purchase. Your order number is #XXXXXX"
    or does it say
    "Thank you for your donation. Your donor number is #XXXXXX"
    Post edited by rpmcmurphy on
    GdemamiExcession
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 8,530
    edited October 2017
    Erillion said:
    >>> rampant refund requests >>>

    Interesting .... i am sure you have some data to show us that this claim is true. Or is this just your OPINION ? 


    Have fun 
    A very basic and limited form of data for this (as no company would normally allow this information into the wild as it could badly hurt them) can be found by running some metrics on the Starcitizen_Refunds subreddit. LINK

    It does show an increase in the past year, and while this may be people just interested in the drama, the amount of posts from people getting refunds has increased in recent months.
    Thank you.

    Lets put it into perspective. The following numbers are my estimates, please add your estimates if you think other numbers are more accurate.

    We know that about 35 % of the registered Star Citizens are paying backers
    http://massivelyop.com/2016/07/15/star-citizen-has-the-financial-backing-of-500000-fans/
    On 15. July 2016 about 500.000 of 1.411.323 were paying backers.

    Currently we have 1.889.733 Star Citizens.... that would be roughly 670.000 paying backers.

    We have around 1000 people in the refund reddit. Lets triple that number to 3000 to have some safety margin (not everyone that asks for a refund will be a refund reddit member):
    http://redditmetrics.com/r/starcitizen_refunds

    There seems to have been a spike in membership numbers  of refund reddit after the GamesCon in September 2017 (like 200 ish more). But on the other hand, over 12.000 new Star Citzen, or around 4300 new paying backers have joined the Star Citizen project. 21 times more than those 200 wanting a refund. 


    3000 of 670.000 is around 0,45 %. Over a period of 5 years.


    To me this does not exactly sound like "rampant" refund requests.


    Have fun


    Post edited by Erillion on
    GdemamicmacqOrinori
  • OrinoriOrinori Member UncommonPosts: 608
    Latest probably fake refund story is about a 13k refund, big news! 

    Took a quick look at SC funding page

    5th Oct - 65k
    6th Oct - 80k
    7th Oct - 82k
    8th Oct - 70k
    9th Oct - 61k
    10th Oct - 30k
    11th Oct - 30k

    418k this week. That tide turn sure looks funny.


    Excession
  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy DublinMember EpicPosts: 2,640

    Orinori said:
    Latest probably fake refund story is about a 13k refund, big news! 

    Took a quick look at SC funding page

    5th Oct - 65k
    6th Oct - 80k
    7th Oct - 82k
    8th Oct - 70k
    9th Oct - 61k
    10th Oct - 30k
    11th Oct - 30k

    418k this week. That tide turn sure looks funny.


     
    Which looks fine until you look at the rest of it.

    Brian Fargo (of inXile) says $10,000 per employee/month is what he was paying back in 2000.
    He reckons the figure is 20-30% higher, so for 400 employees CIG would need to be bringing in $60 million per year or $1.154 million per week meaning that $418,000 is just 36% of what they need to bring in.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-10-10-rising-game-dev-costs-put-squeeze-on-mid-tier-studios

  • OrinoriOrinori Member UncommonPosts: 608
    edited October 2017

    Orinori said:
    Latest probably fake refund story is about a 13k refund, big news! 

    Took a quick look at SC funding page

    5th Oct - 65k
    6th Oct - 80k
    7th Oct - 82k
    8th Oct - 70k
    9th Oct - 61k
    10th Oct - 30k
    11th Oct - 30k

    418k this week. That tide turn sure looks funny.


     
    Which looks fine until you look at the rest of it.

    Brian Fargo (of inXile) says $10,000 per employee/month is what he was paying back in 2000.
    He reckons the figure is 20-30% higher, so for 400 employees CIG would need to be bringing in $60 million per year or $1.154 million per week meaning that $418,000 is just 36% of what they need to bring in.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-10-10-rising-game-dev-costs-put-squeeze-on-mid-tier-studios

    And you think that is 'looking at the rest of it'?

    Oh well I guess CIG are broke then and they are paying those employees peanuts instead. If only someone there knew how money worked! 
    Post edited by Orinori on
    Excessionrpmcmurphy
  • laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 921
    @Erillion

    I don't think that's a valid estimate. The large majority of people requesting a refund won't be Reddit members, let alone members of the refund sub-Reddit. The number has to be much higher than 3000. That said, the numbers aren't that important.

    Crowdfunded projects are very volatile when it comes to refunds. From watching Kickstarter comments on the projects I backed, there is always a critical mass point. Only the most vocal backers request refunds at first. Once the project really takes too long, the backers lose faith collectively, at which point everyone starts requesting a refund. Once you reach that point, shit really hits the fan. By that point, there is no money to refund though, so it's a moot effort.

    At the moment, most SC refunds will be coming from the vocal members. This means they are refunding sizeable pledges (vocal members would have pledged above the average), but also that it probably won't kill the project. When people with Auroras start refunding, that's when you have to worry.

    I think SC has things going in their favor. First, it's really been in development extremely long. Many people pledging in 2012 (projected release 2014) would have forgotten they even pledged by now. Their response probably is "Oh yes, I pledged that space game a long time ago. Is it still not ready? I'll check again later." They won't refund until everyone else refunds.

    Second, they are releasing incremental updates. Compared to non-game projects, where backers many years in still don't have anything, here they at least have something. Personally, I think the game will take many more years to release (at the feature set originally pitched), but people who don't understand game development probably won't realize that. I backed a pair of jeans on Kickstarter on a 1-year delivery schedule. 3 years in, they are talking about solving factory problems and delivery next year. I don't know anything about textile factories, so I can't form an opinion.

    Third, their marketing is on point. I met more people who talk about SC in general terms "There is this upcoming game with cool spaceships", compared to people who know about the history of the project. I think the people who are informed about the project (whether they have faith or not) are a minority. A good amount of people know little and are pledging for the virtual ships. These people won't refund for a while, if ever.
  • ExcessionExcession NottinghamMember RarePosts: 709
    edited October 2017
    Gdemami said:
    Excession said:
    You are funny.

    As stated before, since VAT is added, it is a sale/purchase, which makes backers consumers, not donors.
    Yeah Sherlock, VAT is applied to most business acitvites, donations included. 

    You have no idea what you talk about...
    Haha, are you for real?

    Donation and grant income is not consideration for a supply and is a non-business activity that falls outside the scope of VAT. This is because this income is freely given with no strings attached.
    Post edited by Excession on
    Gdemami

    A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not the desire to beat others.

  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy DublinMember EpicPosts: 2,640
    Orinori said:
    And you think that is 'looking at the rest of it'?

    Oh well I guess CIG are broke then and they are paying those employees peanuts instead. If only someone there knew how money worked! 

    You know exactly what I mean Mr Hyperbolia.

    No one is saying CIG are broke but only a muppet would think that 418k is fantastic when it's only 36% of what they need each week with their current employee numbers.
    Excession
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 8,530

     
    Which looks fine until you look at the rest of it.

    Brian Fargo (of inXile) says $10,000 per employee/month is what he was paying back in 2000.
    He reckons the figure is 20-30% higher, so for 400 employees CIG would need to be bringing in $60 million per year or $1.154 million per week meaning that $418,000 is just 36% of what they need to bring in.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-10-10-rising-game-dev-costs-put-squeeze-on-mid-tier-studios


    Let me see ....

    161 million ... 13.000 $ per employee per month .... 12384 employee-months ....

    Even with the current full complement of 400 employees that is 2.6 years worth.

    Taking into account that in the first 3.5 years there were much less than 400 employees
    e.g. 268 on 17.June 2014 (yes, that includes contractors)
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-06-17-star-citizen-employs-268-people

    and that it all started with a team of less than 10 people, I am fairly confident that CIG is not exactly broke at the moment.

    Judging from articles and websites like Glassdoor I would think that CIG is paying less than the usual rate in the USA  (and developers in UK and Germany seem to be significantly cheaper than in Austin or LA). So personally i would estimate it to be less than 13.000 $ per employee per month , more like the old number of 10.000 $ per employee per month.  Which would be 3,35 years at full complement of 400 people.

    And all that assumes that NO additional money comes in, which is clearly unlikely (typical is plus 2 million $ per month added, with the upcoming months of November and December typically being in the 3-7.7 Million $ range).


    Have fun


  • MensurMensur CopenhagenMember UncommonPosts: 502
    Cotic said:
    I sought and received a refund a couple of months ago.

    I had been getting more and more disappointed with the progress of Star Citizen with the continual delays of patch 3.0 as the final trigger. We had been told it would be delivered at the end of 2016 and we would receive quarterly patches after that. None of that happened, instead we were looking at just one patch this year which pushes multiple star systems two or more years down the line.
    When I consider how much more content they need to implement to produce the game they have verbally sold to everyone, I cannot imagine an end date at the rate they are going.

    I am happy to grant companies leeway if they are doing something interesting but there is a limit.

    They have been milking the cow for far too long! 
    rpmcmurphy
  • ExcessionExcession NottinghamMember RarePosts: 709
    Erillion said:

     
    Which looks fine until you look at the rest of it.

    Brian Fargo (of inXile) says $10,000 per employee/month is what he was paying back in 2000.
    He reckons the figure is 20-30% higher, so for 400 employees CIG would need to be bringing in $60 million per year or $1.154 million per week meaning that $418,000 is just 36% of what they need to bring in.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-10-10-rising-game-dev-costs-put-squeeze-on-mid-tier-studios


    Let me see ....

    161 million ... 13.000 $ per employee per month .... 12384 employee-months ....

    Even with the current full complement of 400 employees that is 2.6 years worth.

    Taking into account that in the first 3.5 years there were much less than 400 employees
    e.g. 268 on 17.June 2014 (yes, that includes contractors)
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-06-17-star-citizen-employs-268-people

    and that it all started with a team of less than 10 people, I am fairly confident that CIG is not exactly broke at the moment.

    Judging from articles and websites like Glassdoor I would think that CIG is paying less than the usual rate in the USA  (and developers in UK and Germany seem to be significantly cheaper than in Austin or LA). So personally i would estimate it to be less than 13.000 $ per employee per month , more like the old number of 10.000 $ per employee per month.  Which would be 3,35 years at full complement of 400 people.

    And all that assumes that NO additional money comes in, which is clearly unlikely (typical is plus 2 million $ per month added, with the upcoming months of November and December typically being in the 3-7.7 Million $ range).


    Have fun


    That is all well and good, but they do not have 161 million.

    They "might" have raised a total of 161 million, but since they have been spending it as they have been raising it, after 5 years of dev time, how much of that 161 million do they really have left?

    Sure, in the earlier days, they had less employees, so costs were lower, but right now, with 400 employees, do they really have enough to keep going for 2.6 years?

    A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not the desire to beat others.

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,943
    edited October 2017
    Excession said:
    Haha, are you for real?
    Yep, for real, you are that clueless. Do you even understand what VAT is? 

    VAT is tax you pay when you are buying something. The seller than gives the money to gov, unless subjects involved are VAT registered(B2B, simplified), in that case there is no VAT on transaction.

    Whether a transaction will be taxed is a subject to VAT laws and regulation and it makes no difference whether your organization is non-profit or regular business. The only what matters is a nature of the purchase/transaction. 

    Completely unrelated.

    What sets donation apart is that it is an agreement(purchase) with no consideration return - you give money to back the game but for your consideration(money) you are not getting any consideration in return(promise isn't a consideration).

    The only consideration you are getting is pledge rewards, which is what KS and law are indeed enforcing - devs aren't obliged to finish the game but are bound to provide rewards(assuming it is feasible).


    Ignorant nonsense...
    Post edited by Gdemami on
    ShodanasExcession
  • OrinoriOrinori Member UncommonPosts: 608
    edited October 2017
    Orinori said:
    And you think that is 'looking at the rest of it'?

    Oh well I guess CIG are broke then and they are paying those employees peanuts instead. If only someone there knew how money worked! 

    You know exactly what I mean Mr Hyperbolia.

    No one is saying CIG are broke but only a muppet would think that 418k is fantastic when it's only 36% of what they need each week with their current employee numbers.
    hmm on week 34 they brought in 1.4 million! Fantastic! Wait, are you saying they needed 1 million per week for the last 5 years!! or do you mean since they just hired 400 people? shame they don't have any more income from anywhere else as well huh or any future projections of income :/. You know what, I think it's about time they hired an accountant or someone to do the innny outty bits of the business.

    I wonder how many game dev companies out there are looking at that 418k for a single week during the development period and thinking 'damn that sucks!'.
    Post edited by Orinori on
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 8,530
    >>>
    do they really have enough to keep going for 2.6 years?
    >>>


    I think you are reading my numbers the wrong way.

    But to answer your question ... do they have enough to keep going for 2.6 years ?

    Personally i think: YES. 

    But not because they have gathered 161 M$ so far. But because they are still gathering millions per month. Maybe not enough to cover ALL the cost for the 400 employees, but that difference can be paid out of the bank account where all the money that is left from the 161 M$ is located. Which - in my opinion - is still quite a significant amount.

    I also expect a significant influx of cash whenever Squadron 42 comes out and is sold on the open market to non-backers. Which will hopefully happen within the next 2.6 years ,-)


    Have fun

    GdemamiOrinori
  • ExcessionExcession NottinghamMember RarePosts: 709
    edited October 2017
    Gdemami said:
    Excession said:
    Haha, are you for real?
    Yep, for real, you are that clueless.

    Do you even understand what VAT is? 

    VAT is tax you pay when you are buying something. The seller than gives the money to gov, unless subjects involved are VAT registered(B2B), in that case there is no VAT on transaction.

    Completely unrelated.


    Ignorant nonsense...
    If you are going to quote me, then quote the whole post, do not take part of my post and use it out of context.

    But to answer your question, yes, I understand what VAT is.

    You are correct about two things, you are ignorant, and you type nonsense ;P

    *Edit*

    I see you went back and edited your post, you should try again, it still does not refute anything I said in previous posts.

    *Edit*

    Post edited by Excession on
    Gdemami

    A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not the desire to beat others.

  • ExcessionExcession NottinghamMember RarePosts: 709
    Erillion said:

    I think you are reading my numbers the wrong way. 

    But to answer your question ... do they have enough to keep going for 2.6 years ?

    Personally i think: YES. 

    But not because they have gathered 161 M$ so far. But because they are still gathering millions per month. Maybe not enough to cover ALL the cost for the 400 employees, but that difference can be paid out of the bank account where all the money that is left from the 161 M$ is located. Which - in my opinion - is still quite a significant amount.

    I also expect a significant influx of cash whenever Squadron 42 comes out and is sold on the open market to non-backers. Which will hopefully happen within the next 2.6 years ,-)


    Have fun

    I read your numbers as you typed them, you said:

     161 million ... 13.000 $ per employee per month .... 12384 employee-months .... 
    Even with the current full complement of 400 employees that is 2.6 years worth.

    Since, as I said before, they do not have 161 million, can they really afford another 2.6 years with what they have left, and what they raise each month?

    I am not sure, and frankly, as far as SC goes, I do not care, but if they do not manage to release SQ42, I will be pissed.

    A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not the desire to beat others.

  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy DublinMember EpicPosts: 2,640
    edited October 2017
    Orinori said:
    or do you mean since they just hired 400 people?

    I wonder how many game dev companies out there are looking at that 418k for a single week during the development period and thinking 'damn that sucks!'.
    The cost of 400 employees is approximately $1.15 million per week, if they "only" bring in 0.4 million then they have a shortfall.

    The cost to the end of this year was approximated at being $120 million (based on $100,000 per year per employee)
    If you work that out using $12,500 per month per employee it would mean the costs are closer to $180 million.

    It sucks when it is 36% of what is needed, otherwise it's great.
    Post edited by rpmcmurphy on
  • OrinoriOrinori Member UncommonPosts: 608
    The cost to the end of this year was approximated at being $120 million (based on $100,000 per year per employee)
    Why stop there, lets approximate it at 150 million to date and say that its actually $13,250 per month!

    Excession
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