Star Citizen dev promises "incredible progress in the next few weeks"

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Cloud Imperium Games director of community engagement Ben Lesnick said during a lengthy stream with German Twitch channel CRASH_Academy (via Polygon) that despite recent setbacks, Star Citizen backers are "going to see incredible progress in the next few weeks." He also briefly addressed the studio's ongoing conflict with 3000AD founder Derek Smart, who was recently banned from the Star Citizen community after unleashing a torrent of complaints about the state of the game and its $85 million crowdfunding effort.

"Everybody is welcome to their opinion. It’s not just Derek Smart. Ever since the beginning of this people have said it's too big, they can't do it, this is impossible. We aim to prove them wrong," Lesnick said. He said the point of the crowdfunding campaign was to get around the difficulty of getting money from a conventional publisher, and invoked John F. Kennedy's famous quote about going to the moon, "not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

"We're not as important as the moon shot, but we're here to meet that challenge. We're here to do something incredible," he continued. "We reached out to the community because they are the ones that would understand what a publisher wouldn't. And I think that stands today. You're going to see incredible progress in the next few weeks. It's going to be good. But none of that criticism worries me because it's not correct."

More recently, however, Smart's complaints have been more focused on his banishment from Star Citizen than the game itself. He's asserted numerous times that he's never posted in the Cloud Imperium forums or anywhere else within Star Citizen, and thus could not have violated its terms of service. "They had no cause to terminate my account, thereby robbing me of my tangible goods (which I could use, trade, sell). I didn't violate their TOS, and even then, I got no warning," he wrote on the forums. "I have never—ever—posted on RSI forums. Like, never. The only time I have ever been to that forum is to read the latest dev updates. My PA (Lisa) also used my account about a year ago, to report some defamatory 'Derek Smart' threads, via the CS reporting tool. The threads were removed."

But a Star Citizen rep told us that while the TOS specifies restrictions on the use of CIG forums and chatrooms, it also reserves the right to shut down user accounts for any reason the studio deems fit. "In this case, Derek was causing distress to our staff and our community by generally using Star Citizen and his criticism of the game to attract attention to himself and his game," the rep said. "That completely goes counter to the spirit of the relationship we have with our community and as such we don’t want him part of it."

"We haven’t asked him to take down his post or sent him any C&D. We haven’t asked other people to remove/edit/moderate their posts either," the rep added. "Derek is entitled to his opinion, we just don’t want Derek as a backer."

That likely won't be the end of it. Smart warned on Twitter earlier today, "Accountability is coming. It will be swift. It will be sudden. It will be decisive."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.