Developers May Face Legal Action Over Unfinished Kickstarter Projects Following Update

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 5:45 PM
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Kickstarter has updated its terms and conditions to reflect that creators may face legal action from backers for unfinished projects. The alterations come after it emerged that a number of games and other projects never see the light of day, with no legal recompense for those who’ve forked out for it.

While Kickstarter continues to be home to so many incredible success stories like Divinity: Original Sin, Star Citizen, Pillars of Eternity, and what became a pretty expensive bowl of potato salad; Kickstarter also has its dark side. For every Wasteland 2 there’s a missing in action, and the staggering statistics from earlier this year revealed that just 1 in 3 of the projects successfully funded between 2009 and 2012 has ever seen the light of day.

The crowd funding organisation has up until now turned a blind eye to such wrongdoings, but following the reason changes to the T&Cs those who target the take the money and wrong could face the strong arm of the law. A huge number of things can undoubtedly go wrong following a Kickstarter success, not least because of the immense complexity of developing something like a videogame.

While Kickstarter isn’t asking the game creators to absolutely guarantee the successful conclusion of their products, it is laying down a series of ground rules to ensure that developers make every reasonable effort to bring a project to its best possible conclusion. The developer will have fulfilled this criteria if:

  • • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
  • • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;
  • • they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
  • • they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and
  • • they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.

So far, so good, but reading on is where Kickstarter explains that failure to meet these requirements “may be subject to legal action by backers”. On the Kickstarter blog page the organisation wrote that often backers are left in the dark on projects with little direction of what to do next, “So we’re spelling it out — what’s expected from backers, what’s expected from creators, and what needs to happen if a project runs into trouble.

Kickstarter has undoubtedly been a new fascinating way for video game funding to work, with players clubbing together their collective money to help decide what games are made themselves. Without it we wouldn’t have had the likes of Divinity: Original Sin, but some people have felt understandably stung at times by failed projects. Have you backed any Kickstarter projects that are still stuck in development limbo? Do you think it’s about time that development teams faced legal recompense or could this stifle Kickstarter’s popularity? Let us know your thoughts below!

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08:00 Sep-24-2014

This is much better!People won't throw away their money and more games will be made as they should be.

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16:56 Sep-23-2014

my pc tho ;)
jus upgraded
should i get 970?

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16:57 Sep-23-2014

wat psu would i need thnking of a 900watt cause i might sli later

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18:51 Sep-23-2014

is about budget if you wanna sli two 970gtx would be awesome but go for high quality psu
mine is an platinum Corsair ax860
and below 60% load its passiv cooled
so you should really consider to go for that pricerange over 100€
effieziensy thing is best between 50-70% load

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18:55 Sep-23-2014

You'll need a minimum of 750w for sli 970's. Though, I suggest getting one with a higher capacity (850w+). I like evga's psu's, they are pretty cheap with high quality components and come with a 10 year warranty.

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11:20 Sep-23-2014

Phil Fish and Fez 2. Do I need to say more? :D

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00:31 Sep-23-2014

Totally about time it happens. If the developers honestly use the money to see the game to full completion, excellent and absolutely fine. If they took the money and run, then that's theft and they should be charged accordingly

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20:51 Sep-22-2014

this is why i dont donate to kickstarters. either the game will suck, or it wont even be released

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19:37 Sep-22-2014

Guys ! Tropico 3 is free at HumblleBundle for the next 22 Hours ! Grab it fast ! https://www.humblebundle.com/store

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20:47 Sep-22-2014

Awesome! Thanks! Grab my thumbs up!

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00:09 Sep-23-2014

thanks dude
if i like this i might get newest one

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16:45 Sep-23-2014

Thanks man, I think we should make a section about this kind of offers, so noone misses them.

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19:27 Sep-22-2014

It's the same with charities. I only give when things are transparent, fair and when no one has $_$ (managers and such)

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20:44 Sep-22-2014

This

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19:05 Sep-22-2014

F I N A L L Y !


Someone had to protect stupid people from giving their money away in a site that has no real rules demanding you to finish your project!

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20:45 Sep-22-2014

And that :-D
dont know why so many -

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18:58 Sep-22-2014

POTATO SALAD FTW!! :3

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20:13 Sep-22-2014

I just got a cracking idea. How about "potato salad simulator"? :-P

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07:36 Sep-23-2014

i'd buy that would it help with my diet or will it make me suffer ? should be rated adults only

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12:16 Sep-23-2014

It depends on how you simulate the potato :D BTW it will be rated as AO and not for the feint hearted.

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14:48 Sep-23-2014

yeah i mean silent hills is for kids but this ... you can not be old enough ever

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16:38 Sep-23-2014

Yes that is totally gruesome. I mean, what if you accidentally crush the potato? won't that be sick?

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08:02 Sep-23-2014

you want me to do it ? :P ain't nobody got time fo dat...

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16:40 Sep-23-2014

Trust me, UG3 MUST have potatoes.

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20:03 Sep-23-2014

okay then

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18:39 Sep-22-2014

about time, all these kickstarters are starting to look like kids who know just enough to make a trailer for a game, take the money they get and leave

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18:21 Sep-22-2014

So this won't happen anymore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8KUQE9HLMI

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18:12 Sep-22-2014

Kind of time. I wonder how many millions of dollars (or other currency) was lost to bad crowd-funding.

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