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.