The other day, Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and Roberts Space Industries (RSI) came under attack by a slanderous hit piece from The Escapist. I wrote up my thoughts about that in our ever growing blog section. That was the latest in a series of events that saw notorious Internet "trolls" going after CIG and RSI without much in the way of facts.

The Escapist doubled down on their claims, saying that their sources were verified by the site's legal component and that everything checked out. They are sticking to their article. "Not so fast," says RSI's legal counsel! Today, Ortwin Freyermuth, the person who responded to Derek Smart's bullshit issued a lengthy response to The Escapist.

The entire response is shown below in image form. We apologize for the small images, but these are all that were provided to the public. On the first page alone they say that The Escapist "violated the most basic rules and ethics in journalism in failing to properly vet your sources and providing the affected party with an opportunity to refute these ridiculous, highly slanderous, and easily disproven allegations." That paragraph goes on to say, "we have indications that this was not a bona fide act of journalism protected by the rules applying to the free press, (however shoddily 'researched' and unprofessional handled), but rather a conspiracy between the Author and third parties with the deliberate intention of inflicting emotional distress and financial harm on the individuals and entities concerned."

You really should read through all of this. It's worth it.


It's all a very amazing read. The short of it is that they are demanding The Escapist retract their article and their remarks and issue an apology. They say that The Escapist's article is without merit, without evidence, and the allegations contained within their article are not true. Specifically, they demand the following from The Escapist.
  • Personally apologize to Ms. Gardiner and our HR Manager for the tremendous emotional distress and potential reputational harm that you have caused to them by violating the most basic journalistic duties of fair and balanced reporting.
  • Publish said apology on your magazine's website, together with a retraction of the Article until such time as the murky backgrounds of its creation have been investigated
  • Engage and empower an independent party to fully investigate the events and circumstances that led to the creation and publication of this Article, including any bias of your staff and their involvement with other interested parties and any conspiring arrangements between them.

If we have not received within a reasonable time your written confirmation (email being sufficient) that you agree to cooperate and comply with the above demands we will firstly publish this letter on our website. Based on the generous standards set by you, we believe that 24 hours should be sufficient to hear from you. Furthermore, if we have not received the aforementioned confirmation from you or your magazine and/or its parent company by EOD Monday, we will turn this matter over to our litigators to prepare legal action in the US and the UK against the individuals and entities involved as listed herein."

They also managed to prove, in as little as two lines, that the "sources" cited in the Escapist article are without merit.
"And then you verified an unidentified employee by 'examining his company ID card with the name blocked out.' You might be interested to know that CIG does not issue any company ID cards at any of its studios!"

Damn, that's gotta sting a bit if you're The Escapist or the author of the article, Lizzy Finnegan. It will be very interesting to see how the "it's about ethics in games journalism" diehards handle this given the deep ties that group has with The Escapist, Derek Smart, and Finnegan.