Kickstarter video game project exposed as a scam
- 1 May 2012
- From the section Technology
Crowdsourced funding site Kickstarter has suffered its first publicised scam.
An effort to raise cash for a role-playing video game was exposed as a fraud by users of Reddit, Something Awful and other sites.
The project had $4,739 (£2,922) in pledges out of a target of $80,000 at the point it was pulled by its creator.
Kickstarter could not provide comment at this time. The site has successfully funded nearly 22,000 schemes since it was created in 2009.
Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men had promised "gameplay characteristics will be similar to that of World of Warcraft and the graphics quality should be up there with Skyrim".
The commitment to compete on an equal footing with big budget titles and a claim that "animations will be done via motion capture thanks to some friends at Disney/Pixar" raised suspicions.
The scheme also offered supporters 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.
Internet users subsequently reported that teaser screenshots had been copied from unrelated concept art and graphic design tutorial websites.
No money transferred hands 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 person responsible for the scam may have been trying to capitalise on the success of another video game.
The studio Double Fine recently raised over $3.3m from more than 87,000 backers to develop a new point-and-click adventure.
That sum has since been eclipsed by Pebble, an effort to build an e-paper based watch which has raised close to $7.7m in pledges, smashing its $100,000 goal with more than a fortnight to go before its deadline.