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CIG refunds Derek Smart’s Star Citizen Kickstarter pledge following blog post

CIG refunds Derek Smart’s Star Citizen Kickstarter pledge following blog post

If you’ve been following the news this past week then you’ll know there’s been concern over the progress and funding of Star Citizen. Derek Smart of 3000AD has been highly vocal on the situation and talked us through his concerns in last week’s podcast.

In an odd turn of events, Derek received a notice on his Kickstarter account informing him that CIG were processing a refund for his pledge of $250. Derek told PC Invasion this evening that he did not request a refund for his Star Citizen pledge and it came completely out of the blue.

This is a puzzling situation but CIG can refund pledges if they so choose as detailed in Kickstarter’s Terms of Use.

You can refund individual pledges if you want. After your project has been funded, you can cancel and refund a backer’s pledge at any time. If you do, you have no further obligation to that specific backer, and no agreement exists between you.

The reason behind this refund is unknown but there are two scenarios to consider. Either CIG don’t want Smart being involved in the Kickstarter backer discussion and want to keep him locked out, or they want to make sure he’s out the loop should any investigations into the funding and development take place in the future. If he’s not a backer then he can’t complain.

Here’s the notice Derek received from Kickstarter and below another mail directly from CIG.

We’re not sure what prompted the sudden refund but it could be Derek’s latest blog post which has just gone live entitled “Why RSI and all Subsidiaries Need to be investigated– right now!”

In his lengthy update he explains why the Star Citizen project needs to be investigated and lists the following demands that backers should request from CIG.

  1. Disclose the full detailed (private jet travel? we want to see it) P&L accounting (money in off-shore bank accounts? we want to know about them) for every crowd-funded dime that has been raised and spent on this project. Allow an independent forensics accountant, hired by backers, to come and do an audit. This is standard practice in developer-publisher relationships. So you know how that works.
  2. Disclose the true state of the project in terms of what is expected to be delivered, and when. Allow an independentExecutive Producer, hired by backers, to come and do a project review in order to get an accurate picture of the game state, so we know when it is likely to see the light of day – if ever
  3. Disclose the true timeline for the project’s completion. As per the above.
  4. Setup a page offering refunds to all those who REQUEST it. The TOS is going to be the first thing attacked in any lawsuit. It is not likely to survive a legal challenge. Plus, the FTC will trump all that crap anyway, so there is that.
  5. Admit, in no uncertain terms, and apologize that the scope of the project has changed since the original $2.1m kickstarter crowd-funding campaign
  6. Halt all further crowd-funding activities until a sizable part of the game – as originally pitched in 2012 – has been delivered to backers who have paid for it. In other words, STOP selling virtual items and taking money for vaporware
  7. Address the nepotism issues associated with the hiring of unqualified family members to head key parts of this crowd-funded project. In this regard, explain the benefits of a) promoting your brother to an Executive Producer position, as opposed to hiring someone (like the departed Alex Mayberry) who has the experience to match the job. Also what new benefits (pay raise, shares etc) he now has access to, for going into that position b) hiring someone, allegedly your wife, to a position that she is seemingly not qualified to hold. And why a more experienced executive wasn’t put in this position. Especially since that dept has people, with more experience and qualifications to do the job. Instead, they get to answer to her; and naturally, she gets paid more, as per the position.

While not everyone will agree with all these demands there are a few points that some backers would get behind, especially the option of refunds. This latest development could open the floodgates to backers looking for refunds if they are vocal enough.

No doubt we’ll hear more about this in the days ahead.

Update: CIG have since responded and given a reason for the removal of Derek Smart’s account.

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Comments

  • Markus Neibecker

    You really know so little about how companies handle such defamation from one of their customers?
    It was a foreseeable step from CIG and is completely normal.
    And within 1 Million backers you will find always someone supporting your sight. Doesn’t make it right you know? People can vote with their wallets. Don’t buy if you don’t trust a company, simple like that.
    And most of the backers would be glad if the vocal minority would get a refund and be gone for good. Guess what? Most of the doomsayers not even want a refund, they just want to cry all day. And that’s exactly what they do.

    • ThePoetPyronius

      Agreed, this doesn’t say anything about the state of Star Citizen, it was an intelligent and predictable move by CIG. Let me mention that I’m not a backer and feel no vested interest in protecting CIG, and from my perspective Derek Smart’s originally-valid concerns have erupted into a mountain of angry, embittered, illogical calls to action. His heavy-handed commentary reads more like a PR stunt to generate interest in his games than a legitimate urge to become a warrior for social justice. Derek Smart’s over-inflated ego and self-righteous condemnation are palpable throughout, with constant references to ‘i made the battleship games, if I can’t do it none can’, etc. Is there potential concern that CIG might not produce the game they set out to make? Almost definitely, yes. Should backers be concerned yet? I don’t think so, I wouldn’t be. If we don’t see Squadron 42 and the beginnings of the open world by start of next year, then I’d be more concerned. You pulled the trigger too soon, Derek. There was every chance CIG might have dug themselves a hole and you could have buried them and looked like the hero. Instead, you’ve drawn attention to your woeful inadequacies as a game designer and a human. I feel sorry for him.

  • Mahan IR

    Good riddance

  • Gaz Instone

    What you should do is a full and detailed article on Derek Smart and how he is nothing but a a danger to the gaming community – that and he needs serious help from some form of professional 🙂

    I must admit he provides an unlimited amount of entertainment at his own expenses. I’m looking forward to watching him implode and disappear sooner rather than later 😉

    • brascoboy

      spoken like Saul Alinsky. way to go minion. that’ll teach em. for having freedom of speech and using it and asking for more transparency in the cig organization i can already tell that once this game is launched,it’ll be a fascist universe.

      • @braskoboy Haha, sure kiddo…whatever you say.
        Would you like to know more….

      • Gaz Instone

        The guy just rants and raves, the fact all his projects have been buggy pieces of crap that failed to live up to expectations makes all of this all the more ironic 😉

        That and his ranting and raving is clearly just a way to advertise his own crap products – how convenient 😉

        But hey you keep your head firmly wedged between his ass cheeks 😉

      • Thomas E. Lee

        do you understand freedom of speech is an american constitutional freedom and the internet is NOT part of america nor it’s constitution. @brascoboy:disqus durp de dur much?

        • brascoboy

          spoken like the minion you are. hahaha!!! lulz

      • Klaus Reims

        Spoken like Brascoboy! way to go minion. that’ll teach em.

        • ThePoetPyronius

          Spoken like Klaus like Brascoboy! Wait to go minion chicken-face golf club 🙂

  • B_I_T

    LOL he wanted to do a class action and he never asked for a refund … DS is Trolling for attention …

  • Dre’ Reavis

    Line of Defense. Look it up. This comes across like someone upset that CIG is getting way more press than Mr. Smart and his poor man’s Star Citizen. He’s worried his title will be irrelevant (except to his handful of fans).

  • Neoblade

    Derek Smart is the Uwe Boll of the games industry.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqvDt13d–8

    • andrew nuttall

      Sorry I don’t get this unless it’s a video you made to take the micky out of DS ?

  • Dre’ Reavis

    “Too Smart” has never been more applicable. He’ll chalk us as White Knights who are letting CIG get away with murder, while he has the sack to list his “game” on Steam and ask people to pay for that pile of … NO, I haven’t played it. I’m a smarter gamer than that.

    • Thomas E. Lee

      lmao have you seen the crap he’s tried to flush out of his development toilet onto steam, he wants to play a game he likes, i bet it’s NEVER one he makes himself. the guy is a jealous punk. but hey, atleast it’s a turd that was floating in the punchbowl that we’ll never, EVER see in SCPU

  • kazaloo

    Calling Erin Rberts unqualified. lol.
    Cant wait to see Dr. Smart fall flat on his face.

  • Eric Cartman

    anyone who pledged later than Spring 2013 knew the new 2016 timeline. Nothing´s going to happen, And everyone who pledged since then, knew dates have been pushed back due to stretchgoals met. Who cares about the KS campaign, it´s an old hat, and only got 2 million, that´s coin money for CIG at this point.
    even if a handful of Kickstarter backers actually wanted their money back because they didn´t get the full game exactly 8 months ago -well it was an ESTIMATED DELIVERY date. Name one Kickstarter game that was delivered on time, lol. This whole FTC thing doesn´t have a single leg to stand on. His articles are embarrassing and disturbing at best, but thanks for the Star Citizen promo.

    • brascoboy

      it’s not coming out in 2016. maybe and i mean maybe 2017.and this whole thing seems really guarded.wouldn’t u like to know how the money is being spent? really it’s standard stuff. that’s not asking for a lot.

      • Go buy a car and ask the manufacturer for insight in his finances.
        What answer would you get?

      • Darrell Kiely

        Backers are not investors. We donated to CIG, we did not invest in the project.
        Publishers are real investors. They will get a return on their investment in the end, and that’s why they get to audit developers who may be misusing their money.
        As a backer I have no right to demand CIG’s financial reports. It’s their personal information.

        • brascoboy

          so you are fine with them being like this and not knowing anything that’s going on financially. that’s of your opinion but you can’t tell someone they are wrong because they would like to know, especially since progress has been slow and info has been greatly guarded. Backers are Backers and in my opinion should be able to know about financial records. if you want to pretend lawyer me with their legal rights this and legalese that then this isn’t an actual discussion now is it? wait, i’ll get back to you on that after i speak with my attorney.

          • Darrell Kiely

            If you backed the game and want your money back, spam email CIG until it happens, or threaten them with your attorney.
            When you pre-order something they can delay without giving you decent answers as many times as they like. But if you want out any time, you should be able to get a refund. No simple refund option is the only real issue here.

          • Dre’ Reavis

            If you or anyone didn’t trust Chris Roberts why did you pledge? If you or anyone were expecting a triple A game that was of a better “quality” than any game Too Smart ever released, how is a 3 year window anywhere near realistic? I’m glad CIG gave Mr. Smart his $$ back. He needs to invest that money into making his own games better. If he did maybe he wouldn’t feel the need to invest in someone else’s project. Someone he obviously doesn’t trust.

          • Thomas E. Lee

            look at this kid, speaking about something that he really has no idea about. cig is the most informative game development company EVER. cry more brascoboy. get your feelings hurt. but you know what, it’s your CHOICE to not play SC, it’s OUR choice to be fine with it. why dont you go spew your shit onto EA or any other company thats published a game for consoles and/or pc thats not even near finished. dont hear your crusading for them to be sued or shut down. you sound like a jealous hater who is mad because mommy and daddy wont let them back SC. but the rest of us Grownups, we’re happy with what we have and are getting.

          • Markus Neibecker

            But it is just your opinion. Legally spoken: Nope. You can ask EA for insight after you bought a game, heck you can invest in frontier Development, be a shareholder and ask for that type of information. You get an overall picture, but you never the exact numbers and in many countries personal data like salaries are private information and you won’t ever get an info about that. Guess what, human resources is the biggest part of the cake. So try to be a good guy and be patient.

      • merciful

        my 140 bucks don´t make me a shareholder dude, you want a public traded company issueing reports, that´s different. And they only tell you so much as you need to know, look into EA reports for shareholders, that´s the max you can get. And CIG isn´t even on the stock market. Not a single crowdfunding project I know of that gives that kind of info out, why on earth should they even do that, just ends in more entitled people whining about details. Too many cooks spoil the broth

        • brascoboy

          then why don’t you pledge another $140 in it if you are happy with CIG and what they have been doing. Personally. I will not be putting any more money in this game until it is actually in fact a Game. If I’m still alive. lol

          • Darrell Kiely

            Brascoboy > That’s exactly what we want. If you feel it’s worth it, spend more. If you don’t want to spend more because you’re unsure of the risk, then don’t spend any more.
            I pledged $60 and I am also not spending another $. Game could turn out to be utter shit when it releases in 20 years. $60 is enough of a risk for me.
            If it turns out to be amazing, then great.

          • Thomas E. Lee

            i highly doubt you’ve pledged one cent.

          • merciful

            I´ll probably do that, to make up the loss of D.S. incredible amount of 250 bucks, lol

  • DickyDee

    Strange move, I don’t see what good it will do CIG, it’s not as if it’s going to silence his questions is it. I guess they don’t need his money anyway.

    • Eric Cartman

      I wouldn´t want to have this guy as a customer either. Basically a “we reserve our right to refuse service to anybody” term; lol. (Ironically exactly what he is proud of doing all the time himself: banning people, only I doubt he gives refunds):
      http://i.imgur.com/8vLG2sg.png
      Besides, what CIG did was on Kickstarters terms as this is where he pledged, I think it was a perfect move. He´s got his 250 bucks back, lost all early backer rewards including his account, forum posting rights and is no longer entitled to anything. Banned for life, bye bye. 🙂

      • brascoboy

        again, knowing how the money is being spent,being able to refund. not that hard to imagine. pretty standard stuff. why is he wrong to want that? makes sense to me. cig is being really gaurded and that’s never good. They need more transparency.

        • Again: Go buy a car and ask the manufacturer for insight in his finances.
          What answer would you get?

          • Aron Love

            As a publicly traded company almost all automobile manufacturers provide details about their finances in the most transparent means possible, annual reports. You sir are a fucking dumbass.

            • Darrell Kiely

              Replace his ‘public car manufacturer’ with any unlisted company (like CIG) and his point is valid.
              Backers are not investors. We are not shareholders of CIG, and that was stated in bold when we pledged money to them.
              CIG is a private company and the amount of information they give us is far more than is really required. We get a cool title like ‘backer’, but we’re just customers who ordered a product before real development of it had even started.
              We have no right to their financial records. It’s private information to outsiders like us.
              But I definitely agree that there should be a refund option for those who want to abandon ship though.

            • Aron Love

              Oh I get the sentiment I just thought the dude was a dick so I jumped on his use of car manufacturers. While CIG is unlisted and are not obliged to provide financial details I do not think Derek Smart or others sharing his concerns are without merit. I love Chris Roberts and his vision, but damn dude complete something then move on to the next thing.

            • Darrell Kiely

              I liked CR originally, but to me he continually seems more and more douchey as time goes on.
              I’m concerned that the game is going to be a failure, but I spent around $60 so long ago that I don’t really mind. I’m hoping for the best though.

            • Aron Love

              Basically the same boat I am in. I want to believe this will be the Wing Commander of the current generation but they are going overboard with their promises.

            • jcec1874 .

              Right on Point. This is exactly the issue

            • brascoboy

              private company that took 85 million dollars with only a promise. I think they owe us some answers. They didn’t even earn that money. they took it in trade of a promise. the question is, will they deliver? and further,…When?

            • Thomas E. Lee

              said like someone who has no clue wtf they are talking about. i’ve read plenty of development news, i’ve watched plenty of development videos, i’ve seen plenty of fan service question segemnts that are very informative, do i EVER want them to tell me where each and every cents is spent, FUCK NO, why? because as long as im happy with what’s coming out and with the information they give out, that is far more than any other company out there, they can spend it any way they want.

            • 12xspeed

              Refund after there money as been spent?( development of game) Really?
              Maybe a cooling off period of say 2 weeks
              Then money goes into the pot for good

            • Darrell Kiely

              Yeah. I was going to expand that part, but I already wrote too much.
              I think a refund on any non-delivered goods (eg: $500 ship that hasn’t been released, and won’t be very soon) is fair. But if they also pledged for a Hornet and have been playing Arena Commander, that part of their pledge should not be refunded.
              Possibly don’t refund a small percentage of the big unfinished ship just to cover general expenses too.

            • 12xspeed

              Even though the ships not been released is still been to design, concept art and modeling which cost money let alone wages a 2 week cooling off period us better it’s more like statutory rights on goods and shackles in the UK law

            • 12xspeed

              Well your wrong,
              they just say it was spent on R&D biggest money hider ever and if you new the real cost of the build cost of a car you would really want your cash back lol

            • Aron Love

              Oh I get that but at least those companies file reports for the SEC which are also available to the public online.

      • adi

        however the game so far is a big lie .. Many unfulfilled promises, people placed in leadership positions without being competent, etc.

    • Klaus Reims

      Because why have someone in your player base who is bent on destroying it?

  • Jack Pott

    Burned! Let that be a lesson to dissenters.

    • AsteriaHeaven

      Put up and shut up is the lesson me thinks.

      • brascoboy

        so now cig is suppose to be handing out lessons? wtf!? the minions rise

    • brascoboy

      what is this? a tyranny? wake up.

      • Thomas E. Lee

        wow you get dumber with every single comment.

  • Lauresh

    Why are the only two suggestions of what CIG were thinking so nefarious? Why couldn’t it just have been that the dude has been screaming black and blue to everyone that will listen (except CIG) that he wants a refund so CIG saw it and refunded him?

  • jcec1874 .

    I am not a Mr. Smart fan by any means. But with that said he does have some valid points. An independent investigation is in order to protect the investment of the backers.

    • brascoboy

      i totally agree. finally someone who thinks as an individual and not a minion.

      • And yet again: Go buy a car and ask the manufacturer for insight in his finances.
        What answer would you get?

        • Elly Davis

          But you’d have a car.

      • Gaz Instone

        Oh look a Derek Smart Minion 😉

    • Darrell Kiely

      Backers are not investors. That was stated in bold when we pledged money to them. We are not shareholders. We are plainly, customers.
      Customers don’t get to see private companies’ financial records.

      • brascoboy

        A private company that took 85 million dollars with only a promise. I think they owe us some answers. They didn’t even earn that money. they took it in trade of a promise. the question is, will they deliver? and further,…When?

        • Thomas E. Lee

          why do you care, oh is it because you SAY you’re a backer? psh, gtfo. you’re just some pissed off hater who’s crying about something they have no idea about.

      • jcec1874 .

        An excellent point made. But with the Issues brought up by Mr. Smart, regardless of our personal opinions of him I can’t help but feel something is not right. Something is very wrong here and requires an explanation from the company to address the issues/complaints/allegations. Not to respond is to invite suspicion and worst, a lack of further funding if required.

        • Why, exactly, is ‘something very wrong here’? Because you think so or because it is true?

          • jcec1874 .

            Just some things I keep seeing in their updates: They all start by stating everyone is working hard. Then a general statement of how hard the different teams are working. Then some pics of some shinny new ships.
            etc etc. To me this is FILLER and no substance to show. At the point of 85 million dollars and with so many backers and with all the time that has gone by it does not equal what if being shown monthly.
            But that is strictly my personal view.

            • Darrell Kiely

              A lot of what they say is filler. I don’t think games have enough in them or can be built fast enough to be able to show something exciting or new every week, or even month. The ‘Bug Smashers’ show is likely the most representative of an average day at work for a lot of the different teams.
              I think once they release Star Marine everyone will calm down about all of this again. People are just antsy because there hasn’t been a big update in a while.

  • brascoboy

    after reading all these posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that my concern shouldn’t be what cig is doing but what kind of fascist universe star citizen will have. you people seem like a minion and not individuals.

    • brascoboy

      i guess that will make me a member of the rebel alliance against this empire. “Don’t step out of line or you’ll be taught a lesson”!

      • Thomas E. Lee

        yeah because i believe you’ve backed. lmao tell another one, that was funny shit.

    • I say, drop the minion act (They are way funnier than you are) and accept peoples opinions for what they are.

      • brascoboy

        For all those who actually think of little yellow cute characters when they hear or read the word minion, I’ll go ahead and give the actual definition.

        Minion:
        noun
        a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power.

    • Dre’ Reavis

      Have you seen the types of games that are out now in Star Citizen’s genre?
      Elite:Dangerous
      Eve: Online
      Destiny
      …D. Smart’s crappy game that’s on Steam right now.
      Even if Star Citizen lives up to half of what they promise it’ll be a more fulfilling gaming experience than any of those titles. Do either of those 4 titles have a compelling single player campaign? Is there a compelling single player campaign in the works for any of them (including Destiny)? Plus, the persistent universe…with space combat and land movement. Non combat careers….
      Yeah, I’ll donate under the “hope” that this gets done. Otherwise I’m stuck waiting for the next shallow Destiny, Titanfall or COD FW title. Or heaven help us if the likes of LINE of DEFENSE is our only hope for a deep space opera type game.

  • Johannes du Preez

    I’m glad Derek got banned. This is the most prominent next gen games, and WILL be one of the best games ever made. There is no reason for a backer to smear an truly awesome company like this. If they have problems with the project, then DONT BACK IT !!

    • 12xspeed

      Why would you put money into SC if you did not have 110% faith in its makers?
      I put way more into SC then DS did and I still have complete faith because before I put my money into SC I checked out the pedigree of Chris Roberts both in gaming and films, I liked what I saw and pledge my money but as I’m not totally naive I understand that my money is not 100% safe but in life we weigh the odds and take a chance and I like my odds very much.

  • adi

    I agree with you. Criss Roberts should be investigated by criminal authorities for fraud

  • NicolaiLinde

    Do you have some sort of mental health issue? Please seek help.

  • Derek Smart is just a troll and a failed game developer. He has never once released a product that was worthy of any publication to review. They’re pure garbage. The fact that the gaming media is still taking him seriously enough to give his retarded ass publicity says a lot about the publications who cover this nonsense. He’s an amateur game developer and an incompetent one at that. Not worthy of coverage.

  • Thomas E. Lee

    as a backer, i’d like to say i am completely satisfied and love what Chris Roberts and CIG have done. haters gonna hate, jealous people are gonna be jealous. it comes with the territory.

  • Wow you stupid fucktards take Derek Smart seriously and yet call yourself journalists? This is just sad.

    DS has been ranting about suing for a refund, and CIG gives him exactly what he wants, and he complains more? What a dumbass. BTW, there will be no flood gates of backers demanding refunds, because the average gamer has more brain cells than you and can see that SC is not a scam. Derek’s demands are unreasonable, and no company in their right mind would fall for them.

  • GruffDaddy

    I agree. I think they should refund all the whining entitled backers. Too much hate from the vocal minority. The media might love this turmoil but it serves no purpose. I just hope that once they refund the money they ban him from the game servers as well when it comes out.

  • Bigthermal89

    Ugh… Just wikied this guy, a miserable jealous “game-developer”

  • Klaus Reims

    Derek Smart was concerned about his investment in the development of the game and CIG was kind enough to issue a refund which they didn’t need to. /end of story Now DS is acting all butthurt and is throwing a tantrum because now he lost all his rights to complain.

  • unacomn

    Wow, Derek Smart really is pissed they didn’t hire him.

  • John Calvin Hall

    Hey Derek, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  • Brian McQueen

    He was refunded because he was using his rants to promote his Line of Defense game. Surprised Paul Younger hasn’t updated his post to reflect the response from CIG