Star Citizen Dev Denies That It's Facing Financial Trouble
It's actually just an advance on a tax rebate.
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Anxiety grew among Star Citizen fans when it was noticed that developer Cloud Imperium Games appeared to have taken out a massive loan from Coutts, a UK banking institution, with the entire company given as collateral. This sparked fears that the studio was facing financial problems. Today, however, Cloud Imperium assuaged these concerns by stating that what appeared to be a loan was really an advance on a tax rebate.
Taking to the studio's forums to clarify the situation, co-founder Ortwin Freyermuth said that Cloud Imperium has an agreement with Coutts that allows it to get an advance on a tax rebate. This lets the developer to avoid unnecessarily converting other currencies to British Pounds.
"Our UK companies are entitled to a Government Game tax credit rebate which we earn every month on [Star Citizen's single-player campaign] Squadron 42 development," he wrote. "These rebates are payable by the UK Government in the fall of the next following year when we file our tax returns. [We] have elected to partner with Coutts, a highly regarded, very selective, and specialised UK banking institution, to obtain a regular advance against this rebate, which will allow us to avoid converting unnecessarily other currencies into GBP."
"We obviously incur a significant part of our expenditures in GBP while our collections are mostly in USD and EUR," he continued. "Given today's low interest rates versus the ongoing and uncertain currency fluctuations, this is simply a smart money management move, which we implemented upon recommendation of our financial advisors."
You can read his whole statement here. Star Citizen itself is excluded from the collateral this agreement requires; further, Cloud Imperium views this as a formality as it's "absolutely standard" and "the UK Government will not default on its rebate obligations which will be used for repayment."
Star Citizen has had a long and complicated development history that includes raising over $150 million in crowdfunding since 2012. However, it hasn't been without criticism, due in large part to several delays. In 2016, developer Cloud Imperium Games even refunded a backer $2,500 after he complained to California's Attorney General. At this point, some parts of the game are playable on PC, but the full game still doesn't have a specific release date.
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