Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Backers Fight Back-Kickstarter Game Goes Under

The Doom That Came to Atlantic City was a tabletop idea that went to Kickstarter. It started with modest ambitions of a $35k goal. It blossomed to over $120k.  That was a year ago and the project has been cancelled. Erik Chevalier explained in the project details that "every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues, and technical complications." Thus resulting in booting the project for good. While Erik is working on getting original figure molds back to the artists, backers on Kickstarter are not happy.

Unfortunately, the details as to why is still unclear. The best that I can assume is that Chevalier wasn’t very active about keeping his backers updated. A number of the posts on the project’s page basically concur with this train of thought. If you check out the website, The Forking Path, the last update about Doom AC was over a year ago when the Kickstarter project was initially announced.  

Kickstarter projects fall through all the time. So now the question is, do the backers have a right to file lawsuits against the creator? The Attorney General of Oregon and Oregon Department of Justice are now involved. People want their money back, and a few of them state it’s because they feel that Chevalier really didn’t do anything with the project. It’s hard to say for certain. In accordance with Kickstarters TOS, as long as Chevalier made some progress with his campaign, he doesn’t owe a refund to any of the backers. That’s part of the deal guys: you donate and you don’t see your money again. Much like a charity, you are not going to receive a refund. Now, if the court does find that Chevalier really didn’t do anything with the funds he received, then there are actions and steps to be taken that could result in some money being return. Not all.

This is a situation where a lot of misinformation is being fed, as well as a great lack of information. Chevalier is in a position where he needs a lawyer. Until things are cleared up, there’s not a lot that can be done. But! This is a great example of making sure you read the TOS before you jump into a project. And as a Kickstarter project head, always release updates. Even if they are minute, your backers would rather see something then nothing at all.


Aside: Whomever wrote the article for GMA needs to be sent back to grammar school. To use the word “raising” 3 times within 2 sentences is not only overkill, but poor sentence development. Also, a tabletop game Is NOT a video game. Tabletop Video Game is just…all kinds of confusing.

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