Friday, May 4, 2012


It's becoming clear that websites like Kickstarter and Rockethub are going to have a large impact on the way we think about paying for games, as both developers and consumers. Crowdfunding gives developers the freedom to go after a much narrower demographic, and you don't have to prove that people will buy what you're selling once they already have.

A couple months back, Tim Schafer asked for $400,000 to make an adventure game, a genre long considered dead by mainstream publishers. In the end, he did not raise his goal amount. Instead he raised $3,336,371! If this doesn't prove that there's still a market for adventure games, it at least proves that there's a market for Tim Schafer games.

With all the great possibilities of crowdfunding, I'm sad to announce the first Kickstarter scam: a game titled Mythic: The Story Of Gods And Men. People started to get suspicious when they noticed that the concept art and CG animation (and office shots) had been stolen from other websites. Also the fact that they were promising to make a game with graphics "up there with Skyrim" with $80,000 in donations, in a year, might have been a clue.

The creator has since pulled the plug, but you can still watch the trailer and laugh at its ineptitude without feeling bad. Also I'm not sure it was wise for the "creator" to show his face in the video, maybe he's unfamiliar with how the internet works.


  1. I really wonder what the legal definition should be. Can you sue a kickstarter that doesn't work? Can you sue one who fails? What if it fails due to other reasons?

    What is the contract being entered into by the funders of a kickstarter and the backers?

  2. That's a good question.

    I'm fairly certain Kickstarter is not liable, even though they have people trying to weed these things out. Kickstarter could insure everyone against losses, but then they'd have to take a larger cut, and insurance is always mathematically worse for everyone if the losses can be afforded.

    Can you sue the "developer" for not delivering? In the vast majority of cases, I suspect not. If the deception and false-promises are flagrant enough, maybe?

    In the end I don't even know that it really matters since it would be so easy to set up a dummy account and run off with the funds, while leaving a minimal paper trail if you were smart about it (which these guys weren't, it would seem).

    This is why they use the term "backer" and not "investor." Best to assume you won't necessarily be getting anything in return.