Star Citizen Backer Gets $2,500 Refund

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Star Citizen Backer Gets $2,500 Refund

star citizen spaceship concept art

The California Attorney General ordered Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games to refund the money after it initially refused.

Crowdfunding is pretty hit-and-miss. Sometimes you get in on the ground floor of something magical, and other times people will literally steal your money, or the product evolves into something you don't want anymore. For many Star Citizen fans, the latter has become true, especially for backer "Streetroller" who dropped over two grand on the project when it first started, but wanted out following the game's change in scope and lengthy delays. Despite being initially refused a refund from the developer, Streetroller dug deep, getting the California Attorney General, the FTC and the DCBA involved in order to get his money back.

The whole exchange, which went down on the Something Awful Forums, details Streetroller's journey to get his $2,560 refund. He first requested a refund from CIG on June 14, stating that Star Citizen "remains unfulfilled and no longer constitutes the product(s) I originally purchased". CIG refused his request, pointing to the following passage in the terms of service:

"For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of [Roberts Space Industry's] good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items."

Streetroller argued that he never agreed to these terms of service, as they have changed from the original terms of service that he agreed to when he first made his pledge. The original TOS says that refunds can only be requested 18 months after the game's estimated delivery date. Star Citizen's initial ETA was November 2014, and eighteen months after that would put us at May, 2016.

Streetroller then reached out to the LA district attorney the FTC and LA Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. The DA immediately contacted CIG, which refunded Streetroller $900 on June 23. But, he wasn't satisfied with that: he wanted all his money back. After a few back-and-forths between these regulatory associations and CIG, he was able to get the vast majority of his refund.

Additionally, The DCBA also told Streetroller they urged others to come forward and file a complaint against CIG regarding refund policy.

So, if you want a Star Citizen refund, get in touch with your local DCBA!

Source: PC Games N

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What's the ETA for the game release nowadays? 2019, 2020? Will HL3 be released before it? Doesn't sound like the craziest thought.

That guy was probably not the smartest dude to put so much money into the game.

That being said, nothing about this game looks interesting or something that will live up to the hype. I'm bored of hearing about this thing. And just like Half life 3, I don't want to hear anything about it until it's released.

This is funny to me for all the reasons.

I have often said this whole game is a scam. People have attacked me over this statement with much vitriol. I keep saying that the game isn't even released yet, and they are already selling DLC for it. That's what we call a scam.

But I don't want a refund... <.<

I'm not a zealot but I still have faith in the game. I have a vast reserve of patience too. I just don't want to see another civil war in here like the last time...

Good thing I only dropped a little over a hundred bucks on this. It may become a finished game but I cannot feel it coming around in any reasonable time-frame. All the same, I am not one of those that sadistically get hard at the idea of this thing crashing and burning, I genuinely want it to finish and am well aware of how the funding system works (get more money to unlock more features to be developed by added staff) but there is this pessimism that I cannot shake. Maybe it is just everyone else's rubbing off onto me but hey. Some are going to pat me on the back for seeing the light while others are going to condemn for not having absolute faith in the project. These threads/news articles tend to go that way.

I am happy with this outcome.
1. It's creating an extra-legal precedent that should hopefully deter future kickstarters from abusing the process of law in the same manner RSI is abusing the process of law. It's looking as if it may create a legal precedent as well.
2. RSI is abusing the process of law in order to obtain an unfair advantage over consumers who, in good faith, backed RSI's project. It's nice to see it get slapped for its behavior.
3. RSI is victim of its own hubris. Its position regarding the kickstarter agreement is contrary to public policy concerning the balance of contracts. A first year law student could tell you that their interpretation of the kickstarter agreement would not likely be persuasive in court.

So, it has begun.
Surprised, I am not.
image

Sounds like the wheels are just starting to fall off the biggest crowdfunding failure of all time.

"Star citizen fans."

How in the blazes can people be fans for something that is not much more than a name? Fuck...humans frustrate me so bloody much with their incessant stupidity! Or maybe I am just too poor to understand wasting money on future masturbatory promises. Whatever makes them feel better.

I'll just sit over there, being glad that my preload counter for No Man's Sky on the PS4 has been updated...

As much as I take to Kickstarter projects with a ton of good faith and am willing to understand that development is an organic process that *can* and does go sideways - this has gone on for quite some time. I keep getting the sense that funds were misappropriated by greedy, inexperienced and arrogant individuals who are too prideful to realize their efforts were poorly directed.

Between this and Flagship Studios, I think there's an important lesson to keep in mind. If your studio's been insanely successful at generating funds, DO NOT expand the project's scale. DO NOT deviate from the initial roadmap. Use those funds to do the best of what the initial roadmap required. Once you have a feature-complete project that's the best of what your funds allowed you to make, *then* consider branching out.

Oh - and ixnay on the lavish office parties, personal privileges and bespoke studio design. Live smart. Live humble. Act as though you were living on peanut shells and pour *everything* into the development cycle. Only miracle stories like Mojang get enough money to consider buying themselves a designer-assembled studio space even *before* being bought out by a corporation or publisher.

I never understood the hype behind it. But I also don't understand how anyone thought that a game this ambitious wouldn't take extremely long to make.

Adam Jensen:
I never understood the hype behind it. But I also don't understand how anyone thought that a game this ambitious wouldn't take extremely long to make.

Well I gave them money back when they barely had their 2 million and weren't all: UUUH FPS UUUH Multi-crew-ships.

UUUH Give us more money to refill our coke buckets.

I've a feeling someone just pulled the first brick out of the Dam. This could get real ugly real quick

So, Star Citizen's defense for not giving Streetroller his money back was essentially:

image

Someone who's got more knowledge about law than me; isn't it illegal to try and hold Streetroller to a TOS that he never signed?

Quellist:
If a feeling someone just pulled the first brick out of the Dam. This could get real ugly real quick

It was gonna get ugly regardless. I think this just started the process earlier then expected. If not now, when the game dropped and all but the most die-hard fans realized that the amount of time and money expended and the product they got didn't seem to match up much.

The die hards will, however, continue to insist that SC is the most perfect game ever and any flaws were meant to be there from the beginning.

Xsjadoblayde:
"Star citizen fans."

How in the blazes can people be fans for something that is not much more than a name? Fuck...humans frustrate me so bloody much with their incessant stupidity! Or maybe I am just too poor to understand wasting money on future masturbatory promises. Whatever makes them feel better.

Some people really like unicorn burgers and figure the more money they throw at a promised one, the more likely they are to get it.

Mangod:
Someone who's got more knowledge about law than me; isn't it illegal to try and hold Streetroller to a TOS that he never signed?

Videogame TOS have pretty much no legal standing to begin with. Even if you agree to it here in Europe your consumer rights override the TOS should the two conflict and in the US many states have similar laws. It's what forced Valve to institute the Steam refunds policy, the European Court was gearing up to prosecute them.

Even the ones that don't all agree that you can only be held to terms you agreed to at the time you signed up, which is why RSI lost this. Whether it's it's illegal in the sense of it being prosecutable I don't know, but it's certainly not enforceable on RSI's part, unless they're trying to get sued at this point.

Mangod:
So, Star Citizen's defense for not giving Streetroller his money back was essentially:

image

Someone who's got more knowledge about law than me; isn't it illegal to try and hold Streetroller to a TOS that he never signed?

But the deal's getting worse all the time. :(

Dalisclock:

Quellist:
If a feeling someone just pulled the first brick out of the Dam. This could get real ugly real quick

It was gonna get ugly regardless. I think this just started the process earlier then expected. If not now, when the game dropped and all but the most die-hard fans realized that the amount of time and money expended and the product they got didn't seem to match up much.

The die hards will, however, continue to insist that SC is the most perfect game ever and any flaws were meant to be there from the beginning.

Well some people insist the Earth is flat...

It's irritating how little actual content they've delivered, but as my total financial outlay on SC has remained $45, I'm not that upset. Really don't understand how people could have dropped thousands on something they knew they weren't going to see for years.

I see it as a dick move by Star citizen to change the TOS but I understood why they did it. at this point they have invested tons of money into the company, studio's, technology help. I am not sure what it takes a month to keep the lights on for this company but its probably ALLOT.

That being said they have no plan to release the game the way they originally planned and the old TOS was going to allow possibly millions of dollars of backer money to be refunded if desired which would put CIG in a pretty awkward situation if they performed a move the community disliked and made them cough up the spent money back.

So I get it, but its still a very negative public move ontop of allot of other criticism which even as a long time backer and fan I think its justified. I think the product will get made but its not the product I supported for and invested in, will this new product be better than that? well thats the rub, the fact is most of the backers was hoping for a complete or nearly complete game after 3 years. here we are rolling way past that and while there is some cool stuff to show for it it is disappointing that its the fans very overwhelming support that ended up blind siding the project which many think is over ambition.

It's kinda hard to disagree with that at this point. But if your a fan you keep the faith and even if your not, its important to get critical so at the very least if you don't change the hearts and minds at CIG other crowd founders don't make the same mistake.

I just don't understand how anyone could sink that much money into it without knowing they'd be in it for the long haul.
I did enough research to know what I was getting before spending a measly 40$.

moosemaimer:
It's irritating how little actual content they've delivered, but as my total financial outlay on SC has remained $45, I'm not that upset. Really don't understand how people could have dropped thousands on something they knew they weren't going to see for years.

If my initial pledge hadn't bounced off their servers like a glancing hit off a photon torpedo, I'd be in the same boat as you.
As things stand, I'm still waiting for a release and genuinely hoping to see a finished product (especially squadron 42 which, frankly, was the main thing that interested me).

This said, I doubt I'd have been seeking a refund.
Kickstarter and similar venues I view as a bet.
Lay down a stake of X in your accepted currency of choice, then if you are right get a game in Y amount of time.
If you are wrong, lose the cash.

I doubt I'd have got caught up in the excitement and 'raised' my bet on star citizen, but I'm a firm believer in no take backsies (Of course, this is unless the other party has demonstrably and with supporting evidence behaved in bad faith).
However, if there was the weight of a few thousand dollars hanging over my head, I can't be fully sure that I wouldn't be clamoring for recompense.

I guess the moral is
image
"Never ask what hot dogs are made of."

Huh.
I was sure it'd be "don't bet more than you're willing to lose."

Kotoriii:
What's the ETA for the game release nowadays? 2019, 2020? Will HL3 be released before it? Doesn't sound like the craziest thought.

As far as I have read, 2017-2018 with the first chapters of SQ42 released 2016-2017.

I have never put any money into this since I am loathe to back anything that doesn't actually exist but I do keep up with the game somewhat. I don't believe the game is a scam but I do believe it will never live up to what the developers really want or the players expect.

Balance issues are a problem in games 1/10th this complicated so I've no clue how post launch development will go. Even if the game comes out really for reals it's not going to end the nightmare.

Smart guy, I hope many more follow in his stead.

STOP BUYING PRODUCTS THAT DON'T EXIST YET.

Wow... So much hate here... I don't know where you people get your information but the game is fairly well on its way. Yes, it takes a long time, but so does every other game. You just don't hear about the other ones until they're halfway done. I'm playing it, I'm having a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the updates.
Legally, yeah, he was in the right. They did promise to refund after 18 months when he backe. Of course I think he's kindof insane for having spent so much in the first place. It's kindof like gambling, if you're not prepared to lose it, don't use it for kickstarter.

Most of what media sites write about Star Citizen is negative, so it's a smart move to update the terms of service for this exact reason. If people get the idea of getting back their money for whatever reason, they might start doing it in large waves, royally fucking over the project.
I haven't backed it by the way, so while I'd love to see it succeed, there's nothing for me to lose.

I'm glad I'm not a dev, especially for Star Citizen - Everyone is out for blood all the time against these guys.

Cold Shiny:
Smart guy, I hope many more follow in his stead.

STOP BUYING PRODUCTS THAT DON'T EXIST YET.

A pledge is not a purchase. It's an investment that doesn't guarantee a satisfying result, or even a result at all.

What ever happened to that lawsuit against the Escapist? There was this big fuss then no one spoke of it again on either front. I get you can't talk about it until after but that seemed like ages ago.

Denamic:

Cold Shiny:
Smart guy, I hope many more follow in his stead.

STOP BUYING PRODUCTS THAT DON'T EXIST YET.

A pledge is not a purchase. It's an investment that doesn't guarantee a satisfying result, or even a result at all.

Both angles are correct; however, as an investment, kickstarter is an incredibly poor investment. What's happening is that backers are not backing a game, they are backing a company. If the company makes a successful product using the backer's funds, then the company becomes viable. This is like selling stock, except with stock the "Backers" have ownership of the company and share in its success, whereas with kickstarter, Backers only get a single product and the founders of the company get a viable business they can continue to own privately. It's not exactly a balanced transaction.

IMO, anyone who kickstarts a company is an idiot.

Cold Shiny:
Smart guy, I hope many more follow in his stead.

STOP BUYING PRODUCTS THAT DON'T EXIST YET.

kickstarter is a donation service not a store.

Most of what media sites write about Star Citizen is negative, so it's a smart move to update the terms of service for this exact reason. If people get the idea of getting back their money for whatever reason, they might start doing it in large waves, royally fucking over the project.

Is it? seems like a bit of a dick move to be honest, you paid for us to release this product in this time frame, we have altered the product by such a margin that it is no longer

a). the product you originally signed up for
b). ever going to release on the agreed upon date

so we're going to change the TOS removing the only thing that gave you any come back and then hold the game you paid for to ransom until you agree to them.

I am wondering if the statement about him not agreeing to those terms is a passing statement, as in when I bought in to this game I never agreed to THOSE terms I agreed to the terms originally posted. I.e he still clicked the I agree button to the new TOS because CIG being total dicks wouldn't let him play his game unless he did. Or if he really did stop playing totally so that he didn't have to click the 'i agree' button because if it's the former then CIG could be truly fucked, anyone who pledged before they updated the TOS could now ask for a refund and be entitled to it weather they agreed to the new TOS or not and I imagine they made a large amount of their cash during that initial period.

kickstarter is a donation service not a store.

and I think we can all agree that what is going on with SC has gone well beyond being a simple Kickstarter donation service.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the same game that the Escapist got into a legal fight with, right? After someone published an article that basically called this game a scam, and then we were flooded with die hard fans who jumped to its defense in ever little forum, right?

So...are they coming back again? Or was that a completely different game? All Kickstarters kind of seem like a bad idea to me, to be honest, which is why I won't back any of them. I have bought finished products from Kickstarters, but that's it.

Laughing Man:

Most of what media sites write about Star Citizen is negative, so it's a smart move to update the terms of service for this exact reason. If people get the idea of getting back their money for whatever reason, they might start doing it in large waves, royally fucking over the project.

Is it? seems like a bit of a dick move to be honest, you paid for us to release this product in this time frame, we have altered the product by such a margin that it is no longer

a). the product you originally signed up for
b). ever going to release on the agreed upon date

so we're going to change the TOS removing the only thing that gave you any come back and then hold the game you paid for to ransom until you agree to them.

I am wondering if the statement about him not agreeing to those terms is a passing statement, as in when I bought in to this game I never agreed to THOSE terms I agreed to the terms originally posted. I.e he still clicked the I agree button to the new TOS because CIG being total dicks wouldn't let him play his game unless he did. Or if he really did stop playing totally so that he didn't have to click the 'i agree' button because if it's the former then CIG could be truly fucked, anyone who pledged before they updated the TOS could now ask for a refund and be entitled to it weather they agreed to the new TOS or not and I imagine they made a large amount of their cash during that initial period.

kickstarter is a donation service not a store.

and I think we can all agree that what is going on with SC has gone well beyond being a simple Kickstarter donation service.

People always seem to forget that when they saw that they were going to WAY overshoot their original target fundraising by a factor of 10, they ASKED backers if they wanted to continue with stretch goals and expand the scope of the game, and the backers overwhelmingly said yes. You can't agree to that and then complain that the game is not reaching the original deadline.

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