FTC's First Stab at Kick Starter Board Game Project

June 11, 2015 - 12:46pm
doom ftc kickstarterAs many of you know, The Doom that Came to Atlantic City was a Cthulhu-themed take on Monopoly that successfully surpassed it's 35k funding goal and raised over 120k in funds. Shortly thereafter, project creators Lee Moyer and Keith Baker stated they were unable to fulfill their end of the project - stating that funds were depleted and they were unable to complete the project. Luckily, Cryptozoic stepped in and completed the project, rescuing the day. Well, it was reported today, by the Washington Post, that the FTC (in it's first ever Kick Starter case) pursued charges against Moyer and Baker.
... the company that was supposed to make the game, the Forking Path, never delivered. "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," said Erik Chevalier, the man behind the Forking Path, in a June 2013 Kickstarter post announcing the game's cancellation. "My hope now is to eventually refund everyone fully." Chevalier has agreed to a settlement order with agency. Under the agreement, he's prohibited from making misrepresentations about crowdfunding campaigns and failing to honor refund policies in the future. The order also contains a $111,793.71 judgment against Chevaliar, but it is suspended because of his inability to pay. "The full amount will become due immediately if he is found to have misrepresented his financial condition," an FTC press release said. The Post was not able to immediately reach Chevalier, who did not admit guilt as part of the agreement. The enforcement action is a sign that the FTC is willing to extend its consumer protection powers to the somewhat murky waters of crowdfunding. Kickstarter uses an all or nothing type of system in which projects must reach a funding goal during a specific campaign period or they do not receive any of the pledges committed to it. Most campaigns fall short, according to the statistics from the company's Web site, and backers keep their money.
To read the entire article, head on over to the Washington Post here.