Thursday, June 11, 2015

The FTC vs The Doom That Came to Atlantic City

In what should be the final page in the story, the Federal Trade Commission agreed to a settlement with Erik Chevalier, creator of Forking Path, the company responsible for the Doom that Came to Atlantic City Kickstarter.   The FTC suspended the $111,793.71 judgement against Chevalier, due to his inability to pay.

My regular readers know my opinion of this debacle, as I mentioned this as recently as this past Friday.    Outside of the 20 people who pledged $25 for a screensaver and a t-shirt, the other 1,226 people who participated should not be allowed near shell games, crane machines, or tropical beachfront timeshares near North Dakota.  Pledging the minimum (even a hefty $25) to support a project isn't done too often, but I'm a firm believer in the "If a thousand people just gave one dollar," school.   There are plenty of projects I pledge a dollar to, no matter how pie-in-the-sky the campaign is, just to follow updates and feel like I contributed something.    Many times, I'm happy to realize that a dollar was just enough. 

But those 1,226?  Those who were willing to pay $50+ for a Cthulhu-themed copy of Monopoly with very nice tokens/minis?   From a some mysterious person with apparently no experience making games?

I have zero sympathy.

I also have zero sympathy for Erik Chevalier, who essentially took the money and r....realized that using a Kickstarter to produce a game is hard... and using part of it to finance a lifestyle change is downright moronic.

And the $150+ level pledges, where rewards like "custom t-shirt" start showing up?    Are you really that dense that some fly-by-night operation is actually getting your game out, much less with the extra pewter minis, t-shirts, and original art ON THEIR FIRST KICKSTARTER EVER????

Do always order magazines with a credit card you give to the door to door salesman, or purchase meat from the trunks of cars?  I figured as such. 

This is not Reaper, nor Steve Jackson Games,  nor Monte Cook, nor Dwarven Forge that we're talking about.  Those are all well-established companies with wildly successful projects, and even they have setbacks and delays.  Palladium and Chaosium are long-standing companies with disastrous Kickstarters.  What valid reason, besides a need to burn money, would you throw your lot in with a stranger?

And this, my friends, is why we need big government to protect us.  If "educated" geeks can be taken for a ride this easily, think about those deemed less fortunate. 

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