Okay, deep breath. A multiple sclerosis patient backs Star Citizen with $4,500, expecting to play the game by 2014, when it was supposed to launch. Fast forward to 2018 and his illness has progressed so he asks for a refund. And loses.
I must admit, I've grown accustomed to all sorts of sleaziness, as I'm sure many of you have, but this one not only takes the cake, it takes the bakery and the block around it. The issue is so humanism-related that it never should've ended up being a legal issue, even though I'm sure Roberts Space Industries are delighted it has.
Ken Lord, which is the name of the MS patient in question, splashed out $4,496 in April 2013, which earned him a forum badge of an early backer and a whole bunch of still empty promises. He was hoping to play the game by 2014, since it would mean he'd still be fit enough for at least some finer motor actions.
Come 2018, not only did Lord not get what he paid for, he actually got a mishmash of what Roberts Space Industries patched together under the Star Citizen banner. Originally advertised as an offline singleplayer space sim game in a persistent universe with an added co-op multiplayer component, the game has since gone in a different direction, completely opposite to what Lord paid for.
RSI have since taken the singleplayer component out of Star Citizen, turning it into Squadron 42, which is an FPS singleplayer game. Unfortunately, the FPS part is what Lord struggles with, since his tremors have grown progressively worse over the years.
RSI maintain that Lord missed the refund timeframe, although it's hard to pinpoint when that timeframe was, seeing as how Star Citizen's developer changes these dates whenever they see fit. Speaking to Motherboard, Lord said "If you don't respond to the mailbot, it marks your ticket as solved and closes it and says you don't want to refund anymore [...] If you do respond, it just takes a couple more weeks and it will send you another of the same message."
Ultimately, RSI retroactively covered their behind from lawsuits by their evil backers who have the audacity to hold them to their promises. In the meantime, disappointed Star Citizens have started congregating, in hope that there is a better ending to all of this.
On a side note, we've really tried to keep the personal details out of our earlier news piece, but it has become a matter of professional interest to stop wrapping RSI's sleaziness into shiny packaging.
You can find the RSI Lawsuit's reddit megathread here.