The Doom That Came To Atlantic City : scam game ?

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whiteshadow
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:10 am

The Doom That Came To Atlantic City : scam game ?

Postby whiteshadow » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:46 pm

I'm so sorry to everyone involved.

A board game called "The Doom That Came To Atlantic City" had raised almost 4 times its Kickstarter funding goal of $35K USD last year.
The game has been canceled and now the founder admits that the whole thing was "beyond his abilities." Whatever that could mean.

This is a terrible outcome for a Kickstarter project. Funders lived the idea, supporters provided money and then a year later, it all falls apart with accusations of wrongdoing. The Kickstarter project went live last May and ended up raising over $122K. Far more than planned.
All those funds have now vanished and no game.

"The project is over, the game is canceled," Erik Chevalier, founder and publisher at developer The Forking Path, wrote in a Kickstarter update yesterday. "After much deliberation I've had to make this decision. I've informed Keith [game designer Keith Baker] and Lee [artist Lee Moyer] and neither at all happy with this situation. Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

People seem most angered by Chevalier's comments that the goal was NOT actually to make this game at all, but instead to make a game company. He claims that from the beginning his intention was to launch a new board game company with the Kickstarted funds, with "The Doom that Came to Atlantic City" as only his 1st of many projects.

Unfortunately his Kickstarter pitch video completely contradicts those statements.
Moyer talks about the 20-year evolution of the game in the video. "We're finally ready. 20 years on, it's done, it's ready," he says. "The stars are right for The Doom That Came To Atlantic City. I hope you'll join us on this wild ride." And while he specifically cites the participation of Baker and sculptor Paul Komoda, Chevalier's name isn't mentioned once.

Reaction among backers is about what you'd expect. A few have expressed understanding and sympathy, some have accused it of being a straight-up scam and many others have pointed out that their money was intended to support a game, and NOT to found a new game company. One person claimed that after contacting Chevalier, he was told that all art rights have been returned to the game's creators and he thus can't sell any related content for more funding - not that there's much in that pipe anyway. "No pewter figures were ever produced and the t-shirts were going to be printed closer to release, which now isn't happening," he allegedly wrote.

As for refunds, Chevalier said that he hoped to provide them but made it clear that breath probably shouldn't be held. "Unfortunately I can't give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again," he wrote. "I'll create a separate bank account to place anything beyond my basic costs of living. Every time that account has a decent amount saved into it I'll issue a payout to a portion of the backer list. I'll post updates with each payout to keep you all informed on the progress." We'll see how that goes.

"I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry," he concluded. "This has been a rough year, I never wanted to make it harder for anyone. There will be no more monthly updates, not that there have really been in some time, but I will post with each payout, as well as the post-mortem when it is eventually complete."

Mighty Rabbit Studios stated that this is not the 1st time Chevalier has been involved in an ill-fated game venture. Prior to The Forking Path company, he was the founder and lead designer at Inari, Inc., one of the 1st 5 indie game outfits formed by "accelerator" Joystick Labs. The comment claims that Inari got $20,000 to create a "social pinball game," which it burned through in six months with nothing to show for it, and while there's no evidence of those details, there's no question that Chevalier headed Inari, and Inari is now gone.

And perhaps lending some credence to claims of wrongdoing is a message posted by Baker claiming that neither he nor Moyer had anything to do with The Forking Path. "Neither one of us received any of the funds raised by the Kickstarter or presales," he wrote. "I haven't received any form of payment for this game. Lee and I were not involved in the decisions that brought about the end of this project, and we were misinformed about its progress and the state of the game."

The upside is that he and Moyer still want to get the game out to backers; the downside is that it will be a "print-and-play" version - do-it-yourself, in other words - and that they don't have access the backers list. Anyone who backed the game, or knows someone who did, is encouraged to contact Baker at Keith-Baker.com.

It's a sad situation for all involved, and it once again drives home the point that Kickstarter really is a gamble & not a guarantee.
Sorry for everyone involved in this terrible situation.
Last edited by whiteshadow on Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

whiteshadow
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:10 am

Re: The Doom That Came To Atlantic City : scam game ?

Postby whiteshadow » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:51 pm

the FTC Pursues Kickstarter Board Game In First Crowdfunding Case :o


The planned game called "The Doom That Came To Atlantic City" is now the 1st Kickstarter to deal with an FTC enforcement action.
The FTC is now addressing crowdfunding cases !

Indie developers can turn to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter to support their ideas, and in many cases that's been a fantastic thing. But it remains a new field that hasn't quite figured out how to respond when things go wrong, prompting the Federal Trade Commission to finally get involved. The FTC has launched its first enforcement action against a crowdfunded project - The Doom That Came To Atlantic City - for failing to provide refunds to backers.

The Doom That Came To Atlantic City (launched its fund raising in 2012), proposing a tabletop game where players sent Lovecraftian monsters on a massive rampage. The project raised $122,874 - 350 percent over the original goal - but as of July 2013 the budget had run dry. "After paying to form the company, for the miniature statues, moving back to Portland, getting software licenses and hiring artists to do things like rule book design and art conforming the money was approaching a point of no return," game founder Erik Chevalier wrote at the time. "My hope now is to eventually refund everyone fully."

But today, an FTC complaint alleges that very few backers actually received their refunds. In fact, the complaint goes a step further to claim Chevalier spent the Kickstarter money on himself instead of supporting the game's development. "In reality, Defendant never hired artists for the board game and instead used the consumers' funds for miscellaneous personal equipment, rent for a personal residence, and licenses for a separate project," the complaint reads.

As it stands, Chevalier has agreed to a settlement with the FTC that prevents him from making misrepresentations about crowdfunding campaigns and failing to honor refunds in the future. The settlement order also includes a $111,793.71 judgement, which has been suspended until Chevalier's financial situation changes.

"The Doom That Came To Atlantic City" game isn't the 1st game to collapse after gathering funds.
Could we expect more FTC cases like this in the future?
stay tuned...

What do you think of this situation? Anything like this happened to you or others you know?

whiteshadow
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:10 am

News update ! FTC settlement complete.

Postby whiteshadow » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:14 pm

The Federal Trade Commission announced its 1st-ever settlement with the creator of the crowd-funding campaign disaster.

The FTC says that Erik Chevalier used the raised funds for his own personal expenses & on another project.

In the settlement, Erik Chevalier, who ran a well funded kickstarter campaign for a board game called The Doom That Came To Atlantic City! in 2012, has been hit with a many sanctions such as:
    He must protect and appropriately dispose of his backers' personal information,
    He must not misrepresent himself in crowd-funding campaigns in the future, and
    There is a monetary judgment against him which includes most ($111,793.71) of the $122,874 kickstarter he raised.

The $111,793.71 judgement is currently suspended because he "claims" to not have the money. However, the government will collect that amount if they can determine that he has it. This is a warning to other kickstarter fund raisers that a fraudulent campaign will lead to the FTC taking the money back.

"Many consumers enjoy the opportunity to take part in the development of a product or service through crowdfunding, and they generally know there’s some uncertainty involved in helping start something new. But consumers should be able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.


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