Controversial Star Citizen Articles Removed From The Escapist
Star Citizen
(Last Updated On: March 30, 2017)

Back in 2015 The Escapist published two articles about Star Citizen… one of which contained testimonies from former and then current employees of Cloud Imperium Games. Some of the claims consisted of the employees claiming that Star Citizen was a scam, and intimated that some form of embezzlement may have been taking place surrounding the crowd-funded game. Well, the articles are now gone.

This news originally gained traction after it caught the attention of Star Citizen’s biggest critic, Derek Smart. Heat Street followed up on Smart’s astute observations and did a report on the disappearance of both articles, noting that alongside the two pieces – one of which was published on September 25th, 2015 and the other published on October 5th, 2015 – the open-letter that was penned by Roberts Space Industries chairman, Chris Roberts, has also been taken down.

Roberts’ response was published on October 4th, 2015, and attempted to establish grounds of rebuttal to the original piece that was published on September 25th.

All three pieces have been scrubbed, despite the fact that the original Escapist piece actually managed to come in third place on the SPJ’s 2015 Kunkel Awards in the category of “Excellence in News Reporting”.

I did reach out to the original author of the pieces, Liz Finnegan, but I was directed to the Defy Media PR department for the joint statement that they issued along with Cloud Imperium Games in regards to the removal of the pieces. In a statement to Heat Street, the PR rep stated…

“CIG and The Escapist have mutually agreed to delete their comments about each other. We wish each other well and look forward to better relations in 2017.”

One of the backers who notified One Angry Gamer about the removal of the pieces explained that they were informed by CIG/RSI staff that the crowd-funds that were gathered for the game would not be used in any legal battles, either to protect the brand integrity of Star Citizen or to limit damaging material aimed at the project.

The backers of the game apparently expressed that they would “not tolerate” backer funds being used for CIG/RSI to fight legal battles on behalf of protecting Star Citizen. There’s no word on if there was any legal strong-arming from RSI to have all three pieces removed or if it was a mutual agreement made between Defy Media and RSI.

Moreover, apparently the hatchet between Defy Media’s The Escapist and Robert Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games has been buried.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Annah Marie Taylor

    I can understand why The Escapist removed it. However, I fully agree with the spirit of their article.

    People are funneling millions of dollars into a game that will not be released (or released NOWHERE near what folks assume)

    I still cannot believe people are still dumb enough to throw money at Chris Roberts as he laughs his way to the bank.

  • Stan

    Do your homework.

  • Kiloe Young

    You lost credibility when you said “astute Derek smart.” The guy is a shit game developer who turned troll after no one liked his “game.”

    I get that attacking CIG gives you clicks, but at least pretend you are objective.

    • I get that attacking CIG gives you clicks, but at least pretend you are objective.

      I didn’t know that informing people about articles being removed from a website was “attacking CIG”.

      You lost credibility when you said “astute Derek smart.” The guy is a shit game developer who turned troll after no one liked his “game.”

      “Astute” is being used strictly in accordance with its dictionary definition:
      “having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage.”

      • Phasmatis75

        Your piece seemed more pro Star Citizen than anti, so I’m not seeing the bias myself.

        • It’s weird because, on average, we definitely produce more articles that cover the pros of Star Citizen more than the cons. But some fans get a bit rabid even when we get near the cons.

          • Phasmatis75

            People transfer their value onto objects and defend them vigorously. Others sometimes are exposed to to much ignorance and assume that you are just another voice in that chorus without considering what you’re saying.

            It’s sad, but I think you’re doing an okay job.

      • Domaldel

        Are you claiming that Derek has or is showing an ability to accurately access *any* situation?

        • To use it for his advantage? I don’t know… has anything he’s done in relation to this given him a spotlight?

  • MoDMike1981

    the hole thing between DS and CR as been going on for years way back when CR released Freelancer 2003 and DS released Universal Combat 2004 DS like picking fights with anyone who brings games that are sim or close competition to his own games he did this with Elite and No Mans sky say the games was not poseable hell he tryed it with the indie game EVERSPACE and the The Escapist shit was using so called facts that DS said weeks before in a stream which was proven and was sacked for

  • EricBanana

    Look at the big picture. 5 years have passed, they burned through lots of money and what they have to show for it is a mess. Not to mention missed delivery dates, nepotism controversy etc.

    My guess that CGI has no intention/capability to finish the game but as long as people keep on buying thousand dollar ships CIG will act as everything’s on track.

    • Joe_Blober

      SQ42 is coming at worst at mid-2018 and Star Citizen in Beta by end of 2018. No trouble at all. I would say, amazing for a company of 12 with 6M$ end of Nov. 2012… everything is on line. trolls will keep doing their daily job as this entertaining, not because they are right by any mean. 100% of DS prophecies were false:

  • Sandy Wich

    I’d want slander and retardation removed if it was about something amazing I’m working on too.

    Free speech doesn’t encompass hate campaigns. It’s really annoying to see nobodies of society down talk the leaders of man in their particular fields.

    Every JC-Penny employee in North America seems to be a, “informed journalist”, these days…

  • Of course it’s a scam, they’re also working with Behaviour Interactive for Star Citizen and it’s a TERRIBLE studio.

    • Sandy Wich

      Omg you actually believe that… You poor delusional retard.

      God, if you actually knew what a scam was…

    • Joe_Blober

      Yes and Chris Robert is working with Alien Lizard against Humanity… this is a scam to hide a major conspiracy 🙂

      • Phasmatis75

        How’d you figure it out?

  • d0x360

    It’s likely the article was removed because it contained at least some false information and instead of being sued and losing the escapist just removed it altogether.

    If that wasn’t the case I doubt they would have taken it down.

    • Codes

      CIG threw backer money at the problem until it went away.

      • Scott Winterringer

        Source? citation? link? anything? if you cant provide anything to prove it GTFO

      • Domaldel

        You *do* know that Chris got some money on his own that can be spent on a lawsuit if he wish right?
        And if some of the information is false he’d certainly have grounds for a lawsuit.

    • Ebalosus

      Gawker had a much weaker standing in the Hulk Hogan case, yet went down fighting.


  • Zetta

    I don’t like that an unflattering piece of reporting can be strong-armed into non-existence like that. The Escapist’s defence of the article was perfectly acceptable, this just feels like bully tactics from CIG, despite the “mutual sounding” comment from Defy Media.

    • Mtom

      Strong armed is a stupid allegiation coming from DS.
      While its a lot more possible that it was taken down because it was full of baseless assumptions, so they cannot justify holding onto it.

      • d0x360

        Ding ding. The article was full of baseless accusations sourced by someone who absolutely hates Chris Roberts because he is gonna achieve someone else’s dream.

        Lawyers got together and it was either sue for libel or take the article down. If the article was accurate it would still be up

        • Pitchguest

          You mean the one that was nominated for a Kunkel award by the Society of Professional Journalists and ended up in third place? That one? That would have baseless accusations? I wonder who’s really baseless here.

          • Jedensuscg

            Figuring “professional” journalism is nothing but sensational bullshit I don’t trust that award. Journalism is just to make money anyway they can,facts and unbiased reporting be dammed.

          • BubbaHoTep

            Does a Kunkel award even mean anything? And what about the SPJ, is that trustworthy? Genuine question, because getting nominated for an award doesn’t really mean much if the group behind it is just circle-jerking each other.

  • SevTheBear

    Man I really hope they get their SP part out this year. They have been at it since 2012-13 I think

  • Bjørn Sandåker

    Too late, the damage is done and they can’t put the cat back in the sack.

    “Moreover, apparently the hatchet between Defy Media’s The Escapist and
    Robert Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games has been buried.”

    Yeah, right … Stay and watch how many interviews The Escapist will get with Chris Roberts, Sandi Gardiner, or other CIG reps in the future.

    • Jedensuscg

      The damage was only done to dumb conspiracy theorists or people who already hated the game for no reason. REAL people just log into the game and SEE the progress for themselves. And any intelligent person with a hint of reasoning skills can research how long it ACTUALLY takes to develop a game from scratch. Hint: IT IS NOT 3-4 years. Just because a studio announces a game 1-2 years before release does not mean they have not been putting in several more years before that.

      • Sandy Wich

        It’s hard to be tolerant of mental retardation, ignorance and entitlement.

        In the end, just sit back, and enjoy the ride.

        Nobody on this planet can stop Star Citizen. Chris Robert will be legend. Let the kids cry, they just console gamers. And we know why those toys are sold at children’s eye levels across the globe.

      • Bjørn Sandåker

        Of course, I agree.

        What I meant about damage done was that many people actually believe the slander and conspiracy theories, then abstain from backing, then tell their friends why they didn’t back and that they too should not touch the game. It’s a vicous circle with only one loser: the game. The Escapist lose nothing.

        I can’t begin to try and estimate how many people now shying away from “the troubled game” because of hearsay and FUD but I think it’s in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. Few of these will probably ever return, so the damage is irrepairable.

  • Stephen Gilmore

    Simple. It was huge envy on the part of Derek Smart and his other mental conspiracists. It’s 2017 now, and pretty damn clear that this game, when it is complete (and we backers want them to take as long as necessary), will be sensational and groundbreaking. NOT a scam.

    • Alex Barbu

      >when it is complete

      • Jeff


      • d0x360

        A game if this scope should have a average development time of 5-6 years.

        That doesn’t take into account building an entire studio or the fact that they had to essentially start over due to a backer vote AND they are doing things never done before that could push gaming forward in a big way. Inventing new tech isn’t easy.

        let’s also not forget cloud imperium asked the community if they wanted the Kickstarter version delayed to add all this extra stuff and massively increase the scope of the game. over 80% of the backers voted yes

        The wait is easy, just play what’s available now and maybe play the alphas here and there but mostly ignore the game. That way you don’t get overhyped and the wait doesn’t seem long at all.

        • A game if this scope should have a average development time of 5-6 years.

          Try six through ten years. It’s everything from a standard MMO (which on average takes four through five years to complete even when it’s just a tab-targeting clone), but then scaled up in fidelity for a high-end AAA single-player title.

          • EricBanana

            Why not try ten thru twenty years?

          • As an MMO they never really finish. But once the single-player is done that portion of the game would be complete.

            It takes a minimum of two to three years to gut and repurpose a game engine, which is what they had to do with the CryEngine. Thankfully they moved over the multiplayer infrastructure to Amazon’s Lumberyard, which is based on the CryEngine architecture.

            It should make optimizing multiplayer modules a lot easier, since the CryEngine was most certainly not built for the kind of game they’re making.

            I’m impressed that they even managed to finish the PTU, though, because it’s the first game running on the CryEngine to accomplish something of that scale.

          • Joe_Blober

            Stick with Scam, Con and Vaporware… that is more trollish compatible 🙂 Don’t be shy… A word or two about the ressort in Pacific bought by CR with backers money or such nice story? 🙂

          • Scott Winterringer

            why would chris roberts need to spend backer money on anything but the game? He has plenty of past games and movies to cover that. Do you know the definition of vaporware? (I have a version of the game on my SSD RIGHT NOW! so cannot be vapor ware, even if it is not complete. Which I can play at my leisure

          • Joe_Blober

            There are different version of vaporware definition. The one used by troll is not the soft one you sued but this one: “Vaporware is a product which is announced and/or being developed, but never released, nor ever cancelled”
            It is often associated to Con or even Ponzi. In short, it will never be released or in 20 years which is equal to never as nobody will wait a game this long right.

          • d0x360

            I can give it 7, at that point the would need to redo the visuals because other games would look better.

            However in this games case 10 years is fair because what’s learned to make this will give people new ideas and ways to allow quicker development as team members are hired off to help other studios.

            Blazing trails.

      • Alex Barbu

        I love how I basically said nothing, but I’m still getting so many responses. You all are so predictable.
        The truth is, even if we assume the devs are honest, the entire thing is still stuck in development limbo.
        About a year ago I think, they made a big fuss over changing their engine to use DirectX 12. Now they are ditching DirectX entirely from what I hear to move to Vulkan.
        I’m sorry, but if they don’t actually lock down what tech they’re gonna use, they’ll end up fixing bugs that spring up from these changes forever.
        If this was a typical AAA at least I could applaud them for the graphical fidelity, especial on character’s faces. But this isn’t a typical game at all, it’s a much different can of worms, graphics really should have been the last thing to worry about, not the first.
        The more I read about Star Citizen, the more I end up agreeing with Smart (I know you hate that name) that this isn’t a game. This is a personal toy project a few devs use to test things they’d like to work with.
        Will it ever release? Probably, eventually. Even Duke Nukem got it’s release.
        Will it be good on release? Probably not. I’m expecting it to be somewhere around a 7-8 in best case scenario.

        • Domaldel

          Going DX12 or Vulkan isn’t really that different.
          Most of the work required for one is pretty much identical to what’s required for the other.

          Regarding it being in development limbo I don’t really agree given the constant improvements we’re getting.

          Regarding it being a 7-8…
          I’d say 8-9 myself.
          It’s not going to be perfect, and honestly it doesn’t need to be.

    • nopecat

      What does Derek Smart have to do with The Escapist and CIG?

      This is about an article that the Escapist published and a really damaging letter that Chris Roberts wrote making him look like a moron.

      Take your conspiracy fantasies to /r/dereksmart where all your delusional friends hang out.

      • Jeff

        Well, the Escapist stated that derek smart wasn’t involved in the article in any way whatsoever, and that the sources approached them independently. However, derek had talked about the article prior to it’s publication and then also stated he was shopping a story around, after the article hit, a few other news sites said they’d been approached with the same info and hadn’t gone forward with a story as it was too fishy and seemed like it could be a setup. It also didn’t help when derek claimed to have instigated it.

      • Joe_Blober

        Nopecat is a well known troll shooting at everyting about CR and Star Citizen.. here is a link that deciphers DS and his handful of trolls (not more than 10 + alts). Mean while each patch make backers closer from solo game Squadron 42 Chapter 1…

        +200.000 bzckers and growing every single day… Trolls have lost and they running like crazy with their Scam and Vaporware 🙂

    • Pitchguest

      Three words: No. Man’s. Sky.

      • EricBanana

        How NMS is relevant? They never collected money from backers and while the game was underwhelming they did deliver.

        • MoDMike1981

          NMS was on kickstarter at the start then removed it self coz SKY sued them for copyright on name

      • Evito

        NMS was a flop well before the hype train started. Every bit of the lack luster features was listed well in advance. The developers themselves didn’t actually promise more than they delivered rather I they just thought they could make it more enjoyable.

  • Disqusted

    Watched a video about this the other day. Whole thing sounds like a shit show.

    • MONAD

      That’s because it IS a shit show, dear.

      • Disqusted


    • Domaldel

      There’s people hating the project intensely (among them Derek who spends his time trying to bring down SC instead of developing the game he crowdsourced himself)
      And yes there has been some issues between CIG and some former employees.
      But those articles where based on some rather shaky grounds…

    • Annah Marie Taylor

      it’s definitely a shit show