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Kickstarter Banned Trying to Take Advantage of Ouya's "Free the Game" Fund

By - Source: The Verge | B 7 comments
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Kickstarter 'Elementary, My Dear Holmes!' has been suspended on suspicion of fraud.

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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  • 6 Hide
    CaptainTom , September 9, 2013 11:17 PM
    Now that VitaTV is coming the Ouya is screwed...
  • 2 Hide
    cats_Paw , September 10, 2013 1:30 AM
    This sucks. Each time someone has a good idea (kickstarter seems like a good idea to me in general) someone else has to come back and screw it up.
    Humanity is awsome...
  • 0 Hide
    Vorador2 , September 10, 2013 2:12 AM
    This is why we can't have nice things.

    In any case, if nowadays i were to buy a cheapo TV console, i would get the VitaTV. If it were to work with the PS4 controller touchpad to allow all games to be playable on it, there would be no reason for anybody to get the Ouya.
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 10, 2013 5:36 AM
    Anyone trying to do this is really dumb because OUYA doesn't give the match money up front. They give 25% when the campaign ends, the next 50% once the game development is finished (and game released), and then the last 25% once the exclusivity period ends. Anyone taking out loans or making payments to their KS via their credit cards will have to pay that money back (with interest) long before they get much match money from OUYA. That is assuming that the people "contributing" to the KS are doing so under a borrowing situation (vs. if they have the actual cash on hand).

    They still have to have made the game and released it before they get much money from OUYA. There are easier ways to scam money.
  • 0 Hide
    darkchazz , September 10, 2013 5:39 AM
    Why do they need that huge amount of cash to develop a simple casual minigame?
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , September 11, 2013 3:37 AM
    Vita isn't cheap. VitaTV will look like crap probably, it can't push 720p (hence shield does). Will this push 720 or 1080p video with all formats supported like android? I don't think so. And the TV's expected price of $150+ won't hurt a $60-100 Roku etc for movies and all the content they have (more than I can take the time to watch).

    Unless I don't understand Vita TV it seems to be an added device. So portability is out unless you ALSO buy a regular Vita right? So you're better off with shield to cover both portable, portable movies etc, PC to TV, all android games vs. Vita's rather weak library and no developer support if GDC 2013's 2800 devs are to be believed (nobody cares about Vita, hence this TV console version to try to spur more sales of a failing Vita).
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , September 11, 2013 3:54 AM
    Color me surprised, just found the VitaTv article here a day or so ago...It can do up to 1080i supposedly. Still to get this and portable you're over $300. I'd rather have a much more powerful shield at that price that can do far more. Then again I'm more interested in next year's shield...LOL.
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