Back in 2012 creator Erik Chevalier started a kickstarted campaign to launch a Lovecraft inspired bored game called “The Doom That Came to Atlantic City”. Chevalier made $122,000, which was over $90,000 more than the goal for the peace. All was looking good, until July 2013 when he had to announce that the game was simply beyond his ability to create and that he had already spent most of the $122,000. now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent US agency that deals with consumer protection, has gotten involved. This marks the first time the FTC has intervened in a croudfunding project but it probably wont be the last, as this isn’t an uncommon occurrence as this Kotaku article from February states.
As someone who has always loved the idea of croudfunding and think having at lest one major development avenue that isn’t reliant on big publishers is a necessity for gaming moving forward, the seeming lack of any form of accountability has always been the one major issue i had with the platform. Zach Braff kickstarted a movie, then sold it at Sundance making nearly 100% profit while his backers got nothing for their investment. This kind of abuse of the croundfunding system has left a bad taste in the mouths of a few people i know, and it will be interesting to see how the FTC’s involvement will affect creators using the platform. Hopefully this will drive away potential abusers, but this may also scare away less confident creators as well. We’ll just have to wait and see how this turns out in the long run.