Back in July, the developers behind the indie, Android-based console Ouya announced its "Free the Games" campaign. The campaign, an attempt to bring more indie titles to the console, encourages indie developers to bring their games to Kickstarter. Should a game generate enough consumer interest to raise over $50,000, the Ouya devs will match the funds with their own contribution (up to $250,000). The indie title with the highest amount of money raised under the "Free the Games" campaign will not only receive the contribution match from Ouya, but an additional $100,000. The "Free the Games" campaign does come with a caveat: any developers Kickstarting under the campaign can only have their title exclusively on the Ouya for six months.
Unfortunately for the Ouya developers, a few indie developers seem to be taking advantage of the "Free the Games" fund with some underhanded tactics. Both Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes! have been accused of Kickstarter fraud. Both projects had suspicious backers. Gridiron Thunder, for instance, had only 125 backers, but 17 of them contributed over $4,000. Elementary, My Dear Holmes! had equally suspicious high contributing backers, all mysteriously going under pseudonyms. It's possible that both Kickstarters contributed to the funding out-of-pocket. Once their Kickstarter was successful, all the developers needed to do was re-pocket the money they contributed and develop their games solely using the money that Ouya would provide.
Now, Elementary, My Dear Holmes! has had its Kickstarter suspended. Developer Victory Square's CEO Sam Chandola stated that, "We had been hoping that the suspicious accounts would have been suspended so that we could keep on going strong and without controversy, but instead it was the project that got so." The team will now go seek out venture capital instead of returning to Kickstarter.
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