Online Communities Bust Kickstarter Scam
from the well-done dept
Amidst all the recent talk of just how successful Kickstarter has been as a platform for creators raising money, some people have suggested that the company may run into problems down the road because it seems ripe for fraud. Of course, most things are ripe for fraud in one way or another, so Kickstarter isn't exactly special in that regard—and when fraud does happen, people will fight it just like they do anywhere else.
At least, that was certainly the case with a recent video game project on Kickstarter that turned out to be fake. As BetaBeat reports, the crowdsourcing scam was exposed by a crowdsourced investigation:
... a campaign for an action video game, MYTHIC: The Story Of Gods and Men, has just been busted by forum users at Reddit, SomethingAwful and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The creators claimed to be an independent studio, “Little Monster Productions,” of 12 industry veterans in Hollywood. “Our team has done a significant amount of work on the World of Warcraft series as well as Diablo 2 and the original Starcraft,” says the project page.
Bullshit, said the Internet. Turns out the art was cribbed, the text for backer rewards was copied and pasted from another Kickstarter project, and even the office photos were from another game studio, Burton Design Group.
When people brought their accusations to the Kickstarter comments, the developers made a few weak attempts at deflection then quietly shut down having raised just under $5,000 (far short of their goal, so that money won't actually be released). With Kickstarter gaining more attention every day, we're sure to see more attempts at scams—and maybe even some successes—but with a savvy community that polices itself like this, the scammers face an uphill battle.