Star Citizen Needs To Make It Clearer That Its Concept Ships Don’t Exist Yet, Advertising Watchdog Warns

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has told Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games that it needs to make it clearer that "concept ships" being sold for real money aren't yet available in the game.

As reported by Eurogamer, the complaint to the advertising watchdog followed the distribution of a Star Citizen marketing email sent out in July that told players not to miss out on their last chance to pledge for a Gatac Manufacture Railen concept ship, which was set to be removed from Star Citizen's store within 48 hours.

Reddit user mazty, who posted on the r/starcitizens_refunds page, said that they had reported Cloud Imperium Games to the ASA after becoming "fed up of CIG and the constant lies". The user said that they had reported the developer for misleading consumers as its email did not state at any point that the ship currently does not exist in the game.

Speaking to Eurogamer, a representative for the UK watchdog said that it had assessed the complaint and "considered that the fact the ship was a concept product could have been made clearer."

"On that basis," the representative continued. "We issued an Advice Notice advising the advertiser, in future, to ensure that its ads include any material information and significant limitations."

The Advice Notice, which the ASA uses to highlight instances where a company should be more careful with its advertisements without launching a full investigation, seems to have had some effect. Cloud Imperium Games' latest marketing email lists a number of further concept ships after which it includes a small print disclaimer stating that the ships are not currently in the game. The full statement can be found below:

"The Crusader Ares (Inferno and Ion), A2 Hercules, Genesis Starliner, are being offered here as a limited vehicle concept pledge. This means that the vehicle is in development but is not yet ready to display in your Hangar or fly in Star Citizen. It will be available as playable content in a later patch. In the future, the vehicle price may increase and Lifetime Insurance or any extras may not be available. If you pledge towards a Crusader Ares (Inferno and Ion), A2 Hercules, Genesis Starliner, you will receive a loaner vehicle for use in Star Citizen until such time as the Crusader Ares (Inferno and Ion), A2 Hercules, Genesis Starliner, is included in-game. This loaner vehicle will be a currently playable vehicle of similar approximate size and/or function to the concept ship pledged. We offer pledge ships to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding received from vehicles such as this allows us to include deeper features in the Star Citizen world. These vehicles will be available for in-game credits and/or will be otherwise earnable through play in the final universe. They are not required to start or succeed at the game."

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Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.