June 19th, 2017

Star Citizen loses at least six more staff to departures and firings

Star Citizen loses at least six more staff to departures and firings

It’ll be a busy couple of days for the Human Resources department at Cloud Imperium, as at least six more members of staff have departed, quit or been fired from theĀ Star Citizen project.

There’s rumour aplenty surrounding the circumstances of these people leaving the various Star Citizen studios, but let’s start with some good old verifiable information.

Associate Marketing Producer Alyssa Delhotal and Community Manager James Pugh are no longer with Cloud Imperium. This is confirmed by Pugh and Delhotal’s respective LinkedIn profiles (you need an account at the site to be able to read them, but the confirmation is there).

It is alleged, in information leaked to (who else) Derek Smart that both were fired. While I can’t confirm that, both seem to have received very surprising news on the same day as updating their LinkedIn employment information.


There are further confirmed departures. Senior 3D artist Paul Forgy has left (alleged to have quit on the spot by Smart). Senior Gameplay Programmer Tom Davis and DevOps Engineer Jeffrey Parker have left Cloud Imperium Austin.

Lead Character Artist David Jennison also departed Cloud Imperium Austin, in August.

It is Jennison who is most often named as the person behind the anonymous letter cited in Derek Smart’s recent “Long Con” blog post about Star Citizen; a letter which describes multiple instances of project mismanagement as the reason for the author’s departure from the company. Said letter is no longer linked on Smart’s post (by request, he says, of Jennison), but can still be fairly easily located online.

Smart’s ‘TwitLonger’ post from 24 September draws a direct link between the leaking of that letter and today’s (now confirmed) spate of departures and possible firings. How accurate some of those background circumstances are can’t be confirmed, but it’s worth noting that he listed a number of company departures before they were public knowledge.

The only mentioned departure I haven’t yet seen fully confirmed is that of Producer Lisa Ohanian, who is said to be going to work for Sony.

Other, much more speculative claims, from “sources” that the company is burning through money at an unsustainable rate are beyond my abilities to verify. But the Star Citizen project certainly appears to be burning through staff at a rate of knots.

The next big public demonstration of what the game-in-progress has to offer will come at CitizenCon, on 10 October.

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  • Comments: 14
    • Jack Pott

      Is it finally beginning to unravel?

      Apart from the two people being fired for alleged leaking it’s quite worrying, especially the burn rate of funding.

      • Jon Jones.

        I can’t claim to know what is really going on, but depending on what day of the week it is Smart seems to either the money is almost gone or that Chris is doing nothing but sitting in his lair counting it all. Whatever the truth, the drama continues.Would probably make a good film one day.

        • http://www.zombo.com/ Daigoji

          Lisa Ohanian is leaving, confirmed on recent ATV by Ben.

      • Neoblade

        Its Derek Smart bullshit.
        This is the answer from Ben Lesnick.

        Hey guys,

        I can confirm that James is not with us anymore, but
        that’s all we can say. I know that this seems like great, entertaining
        drama for observers, but the truth is we’re dealing with actual humans’
        lives. I had a great time working with James and he (and anyone else who
        leaves the company, past, present or future) deserves respect and
        privacy and a fair shot at doing more great work in the future instead
        of folks’ speculating wildly without cause.

        • Bel Rick

          What a meaningless post by an obvious fraud of a man totally unwilling to divulge any information to his backers.

          • Raptor Jesus


          • James Brand

            Are you a backer ? and even if you are staff appointments or dismissals are non of your business, CIG does not require our authority or permission to hire of fire somebody.

            Try going to Sony and telling them that because you bought a PS4 they are required to tell you who is hired,who id fired and all the juicy details like what their favorite color is……..

            Watch how they laugh at your moronic ass not that anybody would want to go anywhere near somebody who gets their butthole rimmed by Derek Smart

    • Landon Donavan

      maybe mr. smart should concentrate on his own games which are terrible

      • James Brand

        +42 his Line of Defense started development in 2009 with a release date of 2011/12 and here we are 2015 its in “Early Access” mostly fails to get past the menu looks like some SNES title, spends most of the time crashing back to the desktop or not geting past the menu.

        Even now that its free nobody downloads it and the handful that do are probably his “staff” makes me laugh when this guy says he has made $200 Million from his Career even more laughable is he actually believes he ‘s in a position to offer advice to Chris Roberts lol

        If I recall in the time it took Derek smart to “release” Battlecruiser 3000AD Chris Roberts released 5/6 games that were well reviewed and rated sold incredibly well and actually worked and at least 4 of them were Wing Commander and its sequels lol

        I think we and both any sane person can agree Derek Smart is a joke, no wonder he’s mad at Chris the success of Star Citizen is making him look like the failure he is

        Also looks like the escapist just got a fire lit up under their ass:

    • James Brand

      Shit just got real fellas Escapist and Derek smart are totally utterly fucked


      wouldn’t be surprised if Escapist magazine start backpeddling faster than a reverse ninja in the world 100m Bicycle race finals

      • Elly Davis

        I wonder if the Escapist were concerned they might be pipped on that story and rushed it up without probing their sources more.

        • James Brand

          Possible though from what CIG’s head legal said in the 5 page letter he sent to Escapists managing editor John Keefer CIG has been informed from other publications that they too were offered this story but declined to publish due to lack of evidence of either the allegations or that the “sources” were credible.

          Factor in that the “author” of these pieces is only a contributor with now prior journalistic experience and certainly no qualifications in journalism, and certainly no understanding or familiarity with the Star Citizen project (though the “professionals” she appeared on the escapist podcast episode 199 showed identical ignorance of Star Citizen) one who have to conclude they were either duped,incompetent or complicit in this farce.

          The latter 2 are more likely given the rush to cover their ass especially given that CIG doesn’t use “ID Cards” which the author said was used in source vetting (CIG uses RFID cards that carry neither names of employees or the company logo or any personal details at all)

          CIG has given them till end of business to issue a personal and printed apology to both Sandi and CIG’s HR Department along with a retraction of the offending articles.otherwise litigation will be prepared in both US and UK courts and in UK its almost a slam dunk case in favor of CIG as typical libel defense like fair comment are no longer valid along with many others:


          Liz will be lucky if she ever gets another commission ever again another person Derek Smart has thrown under the bus

    • CleanInternet

      A quick update on the drama, created by the crusade started on July by the master of havoc himself DS (the lone thing in knows by heart).

      A “journalist” that use to twitt regularly with him and share the same view, had the great idea to almost copy-paste DS’s blog ranting and raving about CR + a few so called review from people pretending to be former employee on Glassdoor… ouch big mistake:

    • Em_ptySkin

      What an awesome, albeit speculative, article.