Star Citizen backer loses lawsuit to win back $4,500 pledge

Star Citizen backer loses lawsuit to win back $4,500 pledge

More drama from Star Citizen now as a back behind the sci-fi project has lost a lawsuit to win back his pledge.

As reported by Kotaku, Ken Lord put $4,500 behind the ambitious crowdfunded sci-fi game, starting back in 2012. Having lost faith in the long overdue project, Lord requested a refund for his pledge and found himself waiting for a customer support specialist who never showed up.

He then sent developer and publisher Roberts Space Industries a letter demanding his money back and threatened legal action if his demand was not met.

Of course, this was not acknowledged so Lord went legal, arguing that his pledge was made before the 14-day refund policy came into effect.

Ultimately, the case was dismissed by the West District Santa Monica courthouse.

An RSI spokesperson told Kotaku that many of the pledges that Lord had made were in fact after the 14-day refund period came into effect.

“The Terms of Service are not retroactive, but a huge majority of Mr. Lord’s pledges came after the TOS was changed to specify arbitration, and those pledges are under that TOS. His pledges with new money on top of his earlier pledges required him to accept the new Terms of Service.”

In another statement, RSI justified its current refund policy, saying: “Our Terms of Service provides refunds for 14 days after each pledge is made, but company policy is to refund anyone who has second thoughts for up to 30 days after their pledge, no questions asked. Outside of this window, we still consider refund requests for exceptional cases, but generally, at that point the funds need to be considered available for development.

"This policy is actually very generous when compared to nearly any other gaming company—most publishers would not allow any refund at all after players have downloaded and played for several hours.”

This is, of course, far from the only drama surrounding Star Citizen. The company recently announced a $27,000 package that would let consumers own every ship in the game... and they needed to have already spent $1,000 to even access the store page. RSI responded, saying that spaceships were a lifestyle choice

Then there's the lawsuit with Crytek over RSI's use of the CryEngine

 Despite repeated delays, the title continues to rake in crowdfunding cash - in 2017 Star Citizen made double what every video game Kickstarter project made. Astonishing. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.