May 2, 2012
Kickstarter Scammed By Fake Game Project
Kickstarter is a crowd funding website for creative projects, funding a diverse array of projects ranging from indie films, music and comics to journalism, video games, and food-related projects. However Kickstarter, may be a victim of its first known scam, reports Bryan Bishop of The Verge.
Little Monster Productions professed to be seeking funds for the game Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men. Described as an action and strategy-based RPG that was being created by a team of 12 “industry veterans,” some of them allegedly former Blizzard and Activision employees.
The game makers raised almost $5,000 of their $80,000 goal before users from a number of different online communities noticed several problems. The artwork appeared to have been borrowed from outside sources. Photos of the company´s purported offices had been lifted from another site, and even the game´s poster art was a questionable mix of artwork from other popular games and graphic design tutorial websites.
Details of the game promised “gameplay characteristics will be similar to that of World of Warcraft and the graphics quality should be up there with Skyrim”, and a claim that “animations will be done via motion capture thanks to some friends at Disney/Pixar” raised suspicions, reports BBC News.
Raising more eyebrows was the offer for supporters to have the chance of being motion captured so that they could appear as a “god” in the game, a life-sized sword and a copy of the soundtrack recorded “at the Disney Studios” if they gave enough money.
A goal of $80,000 was announced with the project and almost $5,000 had been raised before the project was removed from Kickstarter, writes Matthew Hawkins for MSNBC. No money had yet transferred as Kickstarter only charges backers´ credit cards if a project attracts enough support before a time limit expires.
However, some users have raised concerns about whether the site was doing enough to vet applicants. “What worried me the most is how Kickstarter allowed this to be posted in the first place,” wrote David Kononen on the site´s comments page.
“A simple Google search, and I found out for myself this was very shady.”
The success of Kickstarter may have recently attracted the attention of scammers and this will most likely not be the last. Hopefully Kickstarter can begin taking additional steps to prevent them.