Cloud Imperium Games' Star Citizen has been a highly-funded, highly-anticipated title for years now — the game has been in development since 2011, and it doesn't appear to be any closer to the finish line despite over $200 million being invested by fans. Now, Forbes has released a report which reportedly lays the blame for the tortured Star Citizen development cycle at the feet of one particular figure.
There have been a number of controversies plaguing Cloud Imperium over the years that they've been undertaking Star Citizen development. From accusations of charging exorbitant amounts for content to announcements of its A-List cast serving largely as a placeholder to placate fans wanting to know what's taking so long, the community's patience has been sorely tested. Now, it looks like they may finally have some answers.
It has now been reported by GamesIndustry that the Forbes report detailing the behind-the-scenes woes impacting on the Star Citizen development cycle squarely points the finger at a failure to appropriately use the development funds raised faithfully by fans. It appears that one of the key contributing figures to the game's extensive 8-year cycle of little-to-no development on the title and no release date is, in fact, the founder of Cloud Imperium — Chris Roberts. Employees of the company reportedly allege that Roberts' presided over an atmosphere of chaos which lacked a focus on the bigger picture, leading to the potential squandering of crowdfunded money on line items that aren't crucial to readying the game for launch.
The accusations leveled at Chris Roberts for mismanagement of the overall Star Citizen development process may not come as a complete surprise to those in the industry who have been following this story since the game's successful backing. There have been whispers surrounding a toxic work culture at Cloud Imperium Games for some time, so it's not too much of a stretch to envision that someone whose management skills have come under fire would also struggle with the big picture aspect of guiding a title's overall development in a timely manner.
Neither the company nor Chris Roberts has responded directly to the allegations in the Forbes report around how the millions raised by Star Citizen in backing have apparently been misused to the point where individual ships are being flogged off to fans just so that they can afford to keep development ticking along.