A board game designer who was able to gather over $123,000 through Kickstarter (nearly four times the originally requested amount) has announced that despite none of the rewards being fulfilled, that they had run out of money and the project was now closed.
If you’re now a bit panicked that the game might be one you backed, it’s called The Doom That came to Atlantic City and if you did back it, yea, your money is pretty much gone. The creator has apologised profusely and said that he plans to pay everyone back in full, but chances are that could take years as he doesn’t have a job right now.
But what happened to all that money? You might be asking. Let’s turn to the man responsible for letting it all disappear, Erik Chevalier: “Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though, these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person.”
“Everyone involved agreed on this. Since then rifts have formed and every error compounded the growing frustration, causing only more issues,” he continued. “After paying to form the company, for the miniature statues, moving back to Portland, getting software licenses and hiring artists to do things like rule book design and art conforming the money was approaching a point of no return.”
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you aren’t concrete about every aspect of your pitch. We talked about this a while ago with my piece on Climbing the Kickstarter Mountain. However instead of in Nick’s case where he has simply spent a long time playing catchup, in this case, the disgruntled backers of The Doom That Came to Atlantic City have referred the case to the Oregon Department of Justice which oversees fraud cases in the local area.
While Chevalier has said his intentions were always good, it’s not sitting well with his backers. As many have pointed out, it’s hard to understand how an original budget of $35,000 couldn’t be covered with almost $100,000 more than that total.
It’s also been admitted by Chevalier that part of the expenses went on funding his move to a different state, suggesting that a lot of that money went on something that wasn’t even to do with the project.
KitGuru Says: My guess is that when initial expectations were increased, the creators thought they could make the project much bigger without doing the same level of planning, so the money was frittered away very quickly. This should be a lesson to anyone doing a Kickstarter, be very careful – as shown in this instance, it could potentially ruin the creator’s life.