Star Citizen Dinged By UK Advertising Regulator
Concept ship ad copy "could have been made clearer"
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has issued a warning to Cloud Imperium Games after a complaint from a Star Citizen player over the wording in an offer for the game's concept ships. Eurogamer reports that a Redditor by the name of matzy filed the complaint with the ASA after receiving a marketing email in July that prompted players to purchase the Gatac Railen concept ship before it would leave the store "on Monday."
"Concept ships" in Star Citizen are ships that are in development but have not yet been added to the game -- and certainly weren't in time for the "Monday" quoted in the email. You can pay real money for them, however, with the promise from CIG that the ships will be delivered at a future time (maybe). In the meantime, purchasers do have access to a "loaner ship" that is similar to the pre-purchased concept ship.
matzy took issue with the promotion as it was worded, and the ASA agreed with him. An agency representative said that "the fact the ship was a concept product could have been made clearer" and issued an Advice Notice to CIG "to ensure that its ads include any material information and significant limitations."
As a result, more recent email blasts offering concept ships include a mention that "the vehicle is in development but is not yet ready to display in your Hangar or fly in Star Citizen." And, as expected, CIG has stated that any currently purchaseable ships will eventually be earnable in the game and are not needed to succeed in the game.
Looking at the Reddit profile of the person who lodged the complaint shows that the account was created in 2011. I expected it to be made by someone who had only been on the internet for a few months to a year, because I'm confused as to how someone who's been on Reddit for over 10 years has only recently become "fed up" with CIG's "constant lies" (their words). I remember talking with someone at a convention in 2015 about how the whole Star Citizen situation seemed to be spiraling out of control, and that even felt like a late revelation at the time.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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