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The MMO Star Citizen sometimes produces strange results. One player wanted to warn about fraudulent advertising, but many of the other founders of Star Citizen don’t think the idea is bad at all.

That was the warning: A Star Citizen player warned on the reddit forum about a fraudulent advertisement on YouTube:

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An image of a ship promises: “Try Star Citizen for free” and advertises a “free ship for $40” when you use a code.

The player criticizes: The advertising leads to an official site and gives the impression that this is an official and particularly good offer, but it is just a normal user who wants to lure people to the site with his referral code and make money from it.

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Players recruit players and collect nice prizes

What’s it all about? The “referral program” in Star Citizen works by selling your own referral link through which new players register for Star Citizen: (via rsi)

  • You will then receive 5,000 in-game credits.
  • The “Recruiter” receives a recruiting point as soon as one of the people he has referred purchases a package for a minimum of $40.
  • With these points, the referrer can then buy attractive in-game gifts, including a special warship if he has collected 2017 points.

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Like buying people drinks at a party with free drinks

What’s the catch with advertising? The advertisement promises to play Star Citizen for free. But that is not a real offer, it is simply the official trial phase of Star Citizen that runs from time to time.

So it’s not a lie. It’s just a way of making the truth seem more attractive than it actually is. It’s like buying people drinks at a party where the drinks are free anyway because the host of the party is paying for them.

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So the referral link acts as if it were a very special offer. In reality, it is just like clicking on any other referral link.

Star Citizen players use free advertising budgets and trials to get rewards

Is there outrage about this? No, not at all. Because many users on Reddit say that they have already distributed their referral links in this or a similar way.

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Apparently, clever Star Citizen players are using Google’s free trial offers to get their codes out to people:

  • One person says that many advertising agencies offer free advertising budget when you sign up, and that this can be abused by registering with multiple accounts.
  • Another says he used his $44 Google advertising budget and got about 65 referrals. It’s not worth it if you’re spending real money, but it’s good for free.

This could be one of the reasons why Star Citizen has now made so much money: players are cleverly invited to profit from Star Citizen’s growth. Even if they are not being too precise with the truth: the new package in Star Citizen costs 53,121 euros and 60 cents – more than a German gross annual salary

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