Thursday, June 11, 2015

Promises, Promises

Whadya know.  It turns out you really do have to honor your Kickstarter commitments. I just wish it wasn't the Lovecraftian board game "The Doom That Came to Atlantic City" that ended up setting the precedent.

In its first case involving crowdfunding, the Federal Trade Commission has taken legal action against the deceptive tactics of a project creator who raised money from consumers to produce a board game through a Kickstarter campaign, but instead used most of the funds on himself. The defendant has agreed to a settlement that prohibits him from deceptive representations related to any crowdfunding campaigns in the future and requires him to honor any stated refund policy.

This is very good news. Erik Chevalier is a despicable, dishonest shyster, but he's sadly not alone.  There have been far too many mismanaged Mythos-related Kickstarters.  Hopefully this means creators will start taking their responsibilities more seriously.


CoastConFan said...

This is a real blow to legitimate Kickstarter hopefuls and to funding Mythos gaming. This will make it really tough for people to find funding for projects, which is difficult enough these days.

Sheryl Westleigh said...

Good. If there are consequences there will be more incentives for people to actually make good on their projects.

Zero Mostel said...

Be it sad or merry, I am glad he got nailed for this.

Propnomicon said...

@ CoastConFan

Why do you think it would have a negative impact? If anything, I think it helps solidify the social contract inherent in Kickstarters- I give you a pledge, you give me what you promised in return.

I love the idea of crowdfunding, but the execution by creators has been sadly lacking. I think many of them have the exact same problems *I* had with my projects. I seriously underestimated the cost of shipping, particularly for pledges from outside the US. That meant having to use some of my own resources to cover the shortfall and eventually making the money back selling off extra items from the Kickstarter.

In too many other cases, a situation like that turns into a death spiral.

CoastConFan said...

@ Propnomicon
Ah, you’ve caught me out with sloppy posting. What I meant to say was that the bad behavior of this individual is detrimental, not to imply that the conviction itself was bad for crowdfunding.

It’s just too bad that the landmark case just had to be Mythos-related and in that sense, it landed in our back yard. Unfortunately in this case, the funders probably won’t see any recompense.

Propnomicon said...


Ah, that makes more sense. My apologies for misunderstanding.

Raven said...

I'm pondering the ruling. The settlement has force upon "Erik Chevalier" (what an ill-fitting name!), but alas, has declared no broader enforcement. The next cheat can be taken to court as E.C. was this time, but until going through that process faces no additional rules, or penalties for deception, compared to before E.C.'s court case.

E.C. serves as an example (an admiral hung "to encourage the others", as one of Napoleon's generals quipped about the English), but therein rests all the deterrent.

Sheryl Westleigh said...

I realize I have a bit of an advantage over some people who run projects because I've been selling and shipping my art for years. This is what I do for a living. I think so many times people start projects who have fantastic ideas but because of lack of experience in the practical side of things it falls apart. I feel really bad for those who honestly get themselves in over their heads (rather than those who are slimy and dishonest) because these are usually projects they're really passionate about and not making it happen has to be so hard.

christian lehmann said...

I was one of the original funders on this KS. Erik Chevalier is a fraud and a despicable shyster BUT Cryptozoic Games, who finally made the game.... sent the boxed game to ALL PLEDGERS, even though they never got any money out of Chevalier. They just went along and made good on a promise that wasn't theirs. I got the box in France, shipping included, and could not believe how great these guys are