Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Parge, 10 Oct 2012.
Going back through this forum, and noticed the last line on this post ...
Yep and here I am 9 years later!
Jesus....has it really been that long? I've almost given up on it.
I need to know if the golden ticket gives me access to the willy wonka planet!
Yeah, I've basically forgotten about it at this stage. Every time I've tried to play its either been a boring slog or a buggy mess, so no point in my opinion. Especially as it'll all be wiped when it all goes 'live' anyway.
I hop back on to have a quick nose to see what's changed roughly once every 4-6 months.
There's a few things to do in the game now with various mission types, but it's still a bit of a buggy mess with stuff like floors vanishing randomly, spaceships not spawning or freaking out on the landing pads, missions loading assets inside the ground so that you cannot pick them up and so on.
They also really need to cut down the amount of time it takes to fly anywhere, you can easily spend 40+ minutes just travelling from one star to another with sod all happening... only to have your ship bug out when you go to dock, then causing you to have to wait another 15 minutes for the station to process a recall.
I usually end up spending maybe 3-5 hours testing Star Citizen in my bi-yearly play, then go play No Man's Sky, X4 or other space games to have some actual fun.
Hopefully Star Citizen will eventually be a more enjoyable game, but at the moment it's still more of a mediocre tech demo.
Biggest gaming Ponzi scheme in history
Whilst I do understand mission creep, the bit that's eluding me is how they haven't actually completed the initial basic mission yet.
They've had time to add Easy Anti-Cheat though.
It's never coming out though. You know this. Right?
It'll come out eventually, most likely after CIG goes bust, gets bought by Amazon and Amazon subjects a dev team to two years of torture level crunch to get something out the door.
Whether what comes out is worth paying money for...
I think at this stage, only Amazon or Microsoft could afford to actually buy up CIG and its assets although with $420m in cash raised, it's almost a self-perpetuating entity if invested correctly. They've got a new studio opening in Manchester next year, supposedly aiming to provide a thousand jobs over the next five.
Mr Roberts has implemented the retirement plan of the century!
Those two are mutually exclusive. Average game dev salary in the UK is £43,500. Not every one of those 1,000 is a game dev, of course, you're going to have testers, artists, audio, whatever. Let's be generous and say an average of £30k per annum. That's £30 million in salary a year, making £150m over five years. That doesn't include any other expenses - no corporation tax, no employer's NI or pension contributions, no benefits, no office, no heating, no lighting, no computers...
£150m is about $200m, or just under half the amount they've raised so far - which, I have to assume, they've been spending rather than squirreling away in a savings account somewhere. $430 million raised over a nine-year period averages out to $48m-ish a year. Which is only £10m a year over the estimated payroll just for the Manchester office.
Roberts'll be fine, sure, he'll have been creaming off the top this whole time - but the company? Nah, it's unsustainable - especially as the rate at which the dosh comes in is nowhere near its peak now.
Thats what did Lionhead in back in the day, they were burning huge amounts of money on manpower and renting offices in some of the most expensive places in the country!
This is assuming it has assets left at the time, and that they're not outweighed by debts from bad investments and broken promises.
The user base might be worth a pretty penny though...
If they run out of money it wo't be a matter of size, it'll be a matter of who's got disposable income to flip over a failed IP. My bets would be on Amazon since CIG are already somewhat linked to them and 'finishing' the game could be funded with Bezos' pocket lint.
Yeah, I reckon I'd go with Amazon should the worst come to pass, but they seem to be doing alright from this accounts filing for Y/E 2019. So we don't even need to guess at the expenses - they're all there. 391 staff at a salary cost of £18.8m for the UK arm at time of filing.
The figures don't bear this out. Running at a slight loss (because all those costs mentioned come out before corp tax, including rented hardware) and taking into account tax relief (ie. the sensible way to run a shop if you have assets, especially those that have been taxed in previous years) and possible relief on any investments made gives the zero corp tax shown, then factor in a possible average return of 25% of on any venture capital schemes you've utilised that reserve excess cash for, but allowing for the fact that
(same source as last, but a search shows 25 - 57% to be a popular number, possibly not the 700% mentioned in the other article) it seems like they might have learnt from past lessons.
In fact, the accounts show a less than 600k loss from '17-'19. Given the bulk of the cash raised (in USD) probably sits in the parent arm in the US, this seems entirely sustainable to me (without actually looking at the accounts for that side). The UK amounts due within the year (and subject to change throughout that year) show a current deficit overall of ~£2m and we haven't even put a figure on ROIs, most of which likely also sit with the parent. As an aside, the three directors look to be drawing salaries of less than 300k between them.
That's about as much effort as I CBA to put into researching concrete figures but a high-level read suggests we could be cruising the stars....at some point....barring anything especially jarring happening (like some form of global event crushing markets, for example...).
EDIT: This sheds a bit of light on the internal machinations.
As an original kickstarter invested in the 4 figures, I said it 8 years ago and I'll say it again we just need to have a little more patience.
So your counter-argument is that it *is* sustainable *if* Roberts was lying to everyone when he raised funds to be spent on development of the game and actually just turned around and invested most of their cash in third-party projects that *will* succeed?
I mean... I guess.
I mean...if you like.
Or... and I'll just put this out there...maybe someone is being paid to handle that insane amount of cash properly. You know - like other companies with large assets (half a billion dollars is kind of sizeable), subsidiary offices, a business plan, a finance department and an investment officer do.
I mean... It's happened before. Investment plans and such. Continuous income stream, rather than the world's largest piggy bank.
Remember that high street bank that said it would look after your money? Well, don't look too closely at what it actually does with it without telling you once you've handed it over, otherwise you risk disappointment.
....concrete figures from a legal accounts filing (excepting the maybe non-existent investment plans of the parent company, which - along with including only expenses and conveniently missing income of any form, such as from licensing (see accounts) - seems to be all you've focused on) and industry-accepted average returns (in case such plans do exist).
TL;DR - That's all that's happening here. I found some data to show we're probably alright if we continue to wait, as @Weekly_Estimate also pointed out. If anyone wants to dig out the whole income/expense stream for all companies in the CIG group, then be my guest. Here endeth my take on the topic though.
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