A project soliciting funds for a new video game to compete with the likes of World of Warcraft and Skyrim has been pulled from the crowd funding website Kickstarter after it became clear that the proposal was a sham. 

Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men raised $4,739 from 83 backers before it was cancelled, reportedly by the project creator, on April 28.  The account of the project’s creator, “Little Monster Productions” has also been removed from Kickstarter.

Mythic was pitched to the kickstarter crowd last week as an “action/strategy based RPG (role playing game)” from a team of seasoned game developers that would allow players to take the roles of heroes or villains in ancient biblical, Greek or Egyptian myths. It attracted a flurry of interest early on promising partnerships with animation giant Pixar studios and a soundtrack from Disney Studios. Backers were promised copies of the soundtrack, t-shirts and even replica artwork inspired by the game.

 

However, it didn’t take long for Kickstarter users to discover that something was amiss.  A Kickstarter user named “Mark” warned potential contributors off the project on April 28, noting that concept art promoting the project had been lifted from other Web sites. As other would-be contributors began sniffing around, almost every aspect of the Mythic project ended up to be a cut-and-paste job, from the game’s Web site to photos of the Little Monster’s offices on the company’s Facebook page. Even the rewards offered for different contribution levels were copied from another Kickstarter project, Kickstarter users discovered. 

While project organizers attempted to deflect criticisms at first, alleging that the game was not a scam and that “we have been subjected to false claims of ownership right to our concepts,” those behind the project quickly pulled up stakes and withdrew their project from the site. 

Kickstarter has been more noted for its eye-popping fund raising successes in recent months. Video game makers have had particular success in raising funds. Notably, a project to develop the game Wasteland 2 -a sequel to the 1988 role playing game – raised $2.9 million – more than triple the target of project founders. 

Those who pledged funds would not have had their credit cards debited because the project failed to reach its fundraising goal of $80,000. 

Categories: Social Engineering, Web Security

Comments (2)

  1. Maurice Lopes
    1

    Important to point out here… that Kickstarter’s team does a GREAT job of VETTING suspicious projects, or suspicious people who are likely not to deliver on the project.

    NO industry is 100% fraud proof; even heavily regulated public companies have fraud, the goal is it to mitigate that risk to a very small percentage, having little or no impact on customers.

    Due to the fact that crowdfunding works because its driven by “SOCIAL -MEDIA” it is fairly easy to spot and vet-out the attempted FRAUD or the attempted SCAM.

    I was a guest speaker at a crowdfunding conference in NY 2 weeks ago were the COO and founder of IndieGoGo Mrs. Danae Ringlmann, said “…at IndieGoGo we have less than 1% fraud…, mainly because of our proprietary security algorithms and the fact that the crowd itself does a lot of the vetting… a project only gets public following (money from strangers) after it reaches a certain tipping point (usually about 40%), this means that you need to get all your friends, family, acquaintances to financially back your project to that 40% mark, before the general public starts contributing… making fraud difficult to do when social media is so transparent and real time…”.

    Fraud is on the tip of every media persons tongue as it sound great as a story heading, however the reality will show otherwise, the same thing happened to EBay, and then the peer-2-peer lending sites (Lending Club and Prosper.com).

    Even though KickStarter is not a equity-based crowdfunding portal like EarlyShares.com, it shares the same sentiment of keeping out the bad guys, this is self-serving and in our best interest as platform operators, no fraud means more following, more following means more deals, more deals = success!

  2. Anonymous
    2

    I got onto Kickstarter with essentially no vetting. I was asked for more information on who I was and declined, seeing it as too much of a bother. Got approved anyway.

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