updated 06:00 pm EDT, Tue May 1, 2012
Reddit, Something Awful credited with exposing site
Celebrated crowdsourcing site Kickstarter has been touched by scandal, as a project on the site that amassed about $4,700 in funding has been revealed to be a fraud. As the BBC reports, the scam centered around an independent role-playing game that promised big achievements on a small budget.
The fundraising campaign was purportedly to fund the development of an independent game, Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men. The creator of the campaign promised graphics and gameplay characteristics on par with blockbuster releases such as Skyrim and World of Warcraft. Supporters contributing more to the game were promised the chance to appear in the game, which the creator alleged would have complex motion-capture animations "thanks to some friends at Disney/Pixar."
The scheme was exposed when users of the popular site Reddit became suspicious of the game's ambitious claims. The campaign's claims of a soundtrack recorded at Disney Studios aroused suspicions in enough users that a few took to Google to investigate, quickly unraveling the campaign's specious claims.
The fraudulent campaign has since been taken down from Kickstarter; no contributors actually lost money, since Kickstarter only charges backers' credit cards if a project attracts enough support within a certain time limit. Still, the revelation of fraud does slightly mar the reputation of the popular and successful site, as there are now questions as to whether Kickstarter is doing enough to vet the projects users post. With news of other Kickstarter projects, such as the Pebble e-paper watch going from concept to wildly popular reality, though, the incident has not slowed progress on other, legitimate projects.