Probably the first of many to be made public; but certainly not the first in the history of Kickstarter. The crowdsourced funding network has fallen victim to a scam project: a role-playing game by the name of MYTHIC: The Story of Gods and Men.
The game promised gameplay "similar to that of World of Warcraft," and graphics "up there with Skyrim," the video pledge with slightly bootleg production values was present, and the money began rolling in towards their target of $80,000. At the $4,739 (£2,922) mark, the project was suddenly pulled by its creator, and the various social profiles and website have been taken down.
This sudden turn had been since users of Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Reddit had identified some...irregularities with MYTHIC and the company behind it: Little Monster productions. All of the artwork from the character models to the backgrounds were copied from other sources, photos of their office were taken from another site, and the games cover/poster art was even a mish-mash of other people's various designs.
What's now left is the video (rather humourous now given the context) and this Kickstarter project page (equally as hilarious with such quotes as "animations will be done via motion capture thanks to some friends at Disney/Pixar"), which has users voicing rather valid concerns about the vetting process around getting your page approved.
What worried me the most is how Kickstarter allowed this to be posted in the first place. Is there no QA here? A simple Google search, and I found out for myself this was very shady, and TinEye on the sword images proved they were $199 weapons from a few years ago, not to mention the rewards stolen from another project that finished less than a week ago. With all the publicity they're getting recently, KS should check these better before accepting.
Right you are, concerned member of the Kickstarter community. As written in the introduction, this probably isn't going to be the last; but as these projects gain vastly more publicity and interest, some kind of processes need to be in place so that it doesn't become a wretchid hive of scum and villainy...like a certain planet a certain Jedi says that certain exact phrase about.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.