Back in 2012 Geek Native covered the Kickstarter project The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. It looked good. The project funded. We’re told artists did work on the game but weren’t paid. The project was then cancelled, backers lost their money and the promised refunds never appeared.
The good news first; Cryptozoic stepped in, made the game and made sure all backers got a free copy. Thank you Cryptozoic. You can still buy the game from Amazon as a result.
Now the bad news; The American legal system in the form of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) got involved. This is important as it is the first time that the FTC’s gone the full distance in acting against a Kickstarter.
They found that Erik Chevalier, the original creator, spent most of the money raised on unrelated personal expenses such as rent, a move of cities and licenses for a new project. They calculate there’s some $111,793 owed.
The catch? Chevalier doesn’t have to pay the money back. He doesn’t have the money to pay back. The American system has put a ruling in place on this, though, which is if it turns out he’s lying about his financial situation he’ll then have to pay but the hundred thousand Dollars.
The publicity will have been a nightmare for Chevalier. Given the strength of The Doom That Came to Atlantic City it looks like had plenty of talent but he’ll struggle to Kickstart anything again.
The FTC’s ruling may turned $111,793 into a ghost of a fine that only materialises if the conditions are right but they have given Chevalier a gentle tap on the wrist. He’s now legally banned from lying. Kotaku report;
Under the settlement order, Chevalier is prohibited from making misrepresentations about any crowdfunding campaign and from failing to honor stated refund policies. He is also barred from disclosing or otherwise benefiting from customers’ personal information, and failing to dispose of such information properly.
There’s more on Kotaku about this story.