Star Citizen Backer Denied $4,500 Refund by Court After Filing Lawsuit

Star Citizen Backer Denied $4,500 Refund by Court After Filing Lawsuit

A small claims court judge rejected one dedicated backer's request for a refund.

One Star Citizen backer was just denied a refund from a small claims court in Los Angeles, California after they requested the $4,496 they put towards to the crowdfunded space sim be refunded after long delays and claims of broken promises. The claim was rejected.

Star Citizen was a massively successful crowdfunding project which raised more than $190 million in its initial KickStarter crowdfunding, and then additional funds through pre-sales. Ken Lord, a data scientist from Colorado, backed the project through the initial Kickstarter, and then through additional payments after the Kickstarter ended.

Lord told Kotaku that certain changes like the removal of multiplayer co-op and addition of mandatory first-person portions to the Star Citizen shooter spinoff Squadron 42 felt like steps in the wrong direction. Lord is a fan of Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts' Wing Commander series, but due to Lord's multiple sclerosis he won't be able to play Squadron 42 if the direction for the spinoff continues. "So they added something I can't do, but got rid of the part where at least I could have friends carry me.," said Lord.

Star Citizen

Unfortunately for Lord, once he began to seek a refund it had been too late. Roberts Space Industries added to its terms of service that refunds are available for 14 days after each pledge, but the company added that it offers refunds for up to 30 days after the pledge. "No questions asked," according to a statement RSI provided Kotaku.

Even after sending a five-page letter to RSI, Lord felt that his request for a refund weren't be responded to. Lord decided to file a lawsuit in early July even though RSI's Terms of Service included a non-arbitration clause. Lord cited how the initial Terms of Service he agreed to didn't include this clause, but RSI argued that since Lord made payments after the clause was added he still agreed to non-arbitration, to which the LA county judge agreed.

Among the issues cited by Lord in court included the many development, kickstarter goals, and stretch goals promised to backers that haven't been fulfilled yet or were cancelled. The fact that Star Citizen has also been delayed several times was cited by Lord, but according to Ars Technica RSI countered by arguing that Lord had access to the Star Citizen's closed alpha through the company's "Evocati" program and that was proof that a product was coming.

Star Citizen is a Kickstarter project that was billed as a successor to Wing Commander. The game would include 100 star systems with players able to build ships, conquer planets, and live a robust space life. The game made more than $190 million and then some, but after six years the game has yet to deliver a full product.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

The Games That Are Probably Not Coming Out in 2019

Sorry to be an agent of reality checks.

Here's a New Star-Studded Trailer for Star Citizen's Squadron 42

Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill, and Henry Cavill all make appearances.

Try the Long-Delayed Star Citizen for Free This Weekend

Play the latest Alpha build for free.

Crytek is Suing the Developers of Star Citizen for Breaching CryEngine Copyright

Star Citizen is accused of still using CryEngine when it's not supposed to, among other things.

From Us to You! is Riding Into the Sunset (For Now)

PODCAST: Our flagship podcast is going on hiatus, but not before diving into Mafia 3, Overwatch Halloween costumes, and more!

Star Citizen Single-Player Will Miss 2016

The entire game is still coming along and Squadron 42 needs more time.

The Stars His Destination: Chris Roberts from Origin to Star Citizen

We follow Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts from his days at Origin to Star Citizen. Oh, and we ask about a certain movie he made.

More News

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Street Fighter 2's Creator on Why Blocking Was Once a Controversial Issue

A creator and a pro sit down to talk blocking in fighting games.

More on PC

Kunai Is The Best Feeling Platformer I've Played Since Dead Cells

This tiny robot samurai wins with precise platforming action.

FIFA 20 Review: This Year's Version Takes to the Streets, But It's Strongest on the Pitch

A brand new mode and some much-improved gameplay highlight an ambitious update for FIFA.

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Apple Arcade Brings Game Pricing Concerns Back to the Forefront

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Will successful subscription services turn into their own walled gardens?

Untitled Goose Game Review

What if Agent 47 was a rude goose who was down to clown?