After a Kickstarter project for a board game The Doom That Came To Atlantic City got $122,000 yet failed to produce any results, the Federal Trade Commission sprung into action. The FTC filed a lawsuit against the man behind the Kickstarter campaign, Erik Chevalier, and won.
It all started in 2012, with a group of veteran board game creators coming together to make a product that could best be described as Monopoly meets Cthulhu. Each field starts with two houses and by landing on a field, you have a chance to destroy them and produce cultists. Clear six fields and you win the game.
This simple twist was enough for 1,246 backers and the project was funded well over its original $35,000 goal. However, as time passed by, the updates to the Kickstarter became thin and Erik went underground… until the FTC slammed him with a lawsuit, that is.
The terms of the judgement state the Erik will refund a grand total of $111,793.71 to the Kickstarter backers who eventually got their board game for free when the game assets and concept were taken over by Cryptozoic.
While crowdfunding is a great way to support projects you like and that might otherwise never see the light of day, it is also infested with scammers and fraudsters. Inform yourself about the people behind any crowdfunding campaign and consider all your money given in such a fashion as a donation. This case had a happy ending, but that makes it an exception rather than a rule.