Advertising Standards Agency issues warning over Star Citizen’s “concept ships”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games for encouraging players to buy in-game ships that are not yet available (via Eurogamer).

A complaint was submitted to the ASA by Reddit user matzy, who was “fed up of CIG and the constant lies.”

“I reported their Gatac Railen ship email as being misleading to consumers to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as there is no mention that the ship does not exist and might never exist,” said matzy.

The complaint relates to a marketing email from July, which encouraged players to purchase a “concept ship” before it left the store, despite not directly mentioning that the ship did not yet exist in the game.

According to the ASA, the wording that described the concept ship “could have been made clearer.”

“On that basis, we issued an Advice Notice advising the advertiser, in future, to ensure that its ads include any material information and significant limitations,” said the ASA.

Following the warning, Cloud Imperium has updated its marketing emails to include a disclaimer regarding concept ships, which reads as follows:

“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.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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