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Report: Star Citizen devs were expected to work through Texas snowstorm

Report: Star Citizen devs were expected to work through Texas snowstorm

Texan staff working on Star Citizen were apparently expected to continue working even though a snowstorm in February cut off power.

Speaking to Kotaku, employees of Cloud Imperium Games CIG) in Austin were reportedly told by an office manager to figure out how they were going to make up lost work time. If this wasn't possible, then staff were told to take paid time off (PTO) for the hours they were unable to work.

Employees speculate that this poor management is – in part – because a lot of CIG management are based in LA or the UK, meaning that they weren't aware just how bad things were in Texas. One source said that there was a clear breakdown in communication.

“I was affected by all this very strongly,” they said.

“I can’t begin to make excuses for the decisions that were made. All I can really say is that it feels like there was a breakdown in communication, that the severity of the issue was not fully realised by the people that had the power making these decisions...I believe that there were also people in the studio that still had power and didn’t realise that there was such a severe outage. I think it boils down to, there were a lot of communication issues about the severity of the situation.”

CIG boss Chris Roberts has since sent out an email to staff saying that they will be fully paid for this period of work.

In a statement to Kotaku, a spokesperson for the studio said: “CIG is saddened to hear these allegations from the anonymous sources. Our staff’s safety and well-being are a priority to us at all times. The Austin offices have remained closed to general staff since the beginning of the pandemic, with teams working from home. In the immediate aftermath of the Texas storm, studio leadership reached out to all 100+ Austin employees through their managers and individually to offer support; and continues to do so with actionable assistance for all of those who were affected.”

This all had a negative impact on morale at the studio with many already seemingly not feeling great about progress on Star Citizen. One member of staff described the project as: "a game that feels like it’s coming closer and closer to a gacha for expensive ships and no actual gameplay, useless features being constantly shoved in and removed, where marketing holds absolute power over any other department, employees start to feel disheartened after awhile.”

Oh.


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 PCGamesInsider.biz. 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 GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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Abhinav Laghari Team supervisor
Except this statement have been done by anon source and nobody, including Kotaku or PCgamer is able to confirm source are not fake.

Here are comments from CIG employees who say the exact opposite publicly on twitter.

Already five people that have disputed the claims from anonymous Star Citizen developers in the Kotaku article, but one of these responses stands out in particular.

Michele is a former Twitch streamer who also claims to work at HR at Cloud Imperium Games. She is hesitant to comment on the experiences of others, but she was more than happy to publicly share her own history with the company during some of the worst times of her life.

"CIG has always been really good to me," her Twitter thread began. "I've not experienced what is being said in this article. They've always been there for me in dire times, especially during my double mastectomy. While I'm not aware of everyone's particular situation, I wanted to talk about my own."

"I've been with CIG for four years," she continued." We've gone through a lot together! They helped me through the deaths of my Mother & Grandmother in the same day, They were there for me through my health diagnoses and my surgeries, offering constantly kind words and support[.]"

"And even sending me get well baskets with food and essentials. Again, I don't know what others' experiences may be like. I'm not discounting anyone. I just wanted to say my piece. I love my company, and this article was not the case for me."