Indie Dev Admits to Gaming Ouya Fund, Loses the Money

Indie Dev Admits to Gaming Ouya Fund, Loses the Money

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Ouya has pulled the Free the Games funding won by the developers of Dungeons the Eye of Draconus, leading to the cancellation of its Kickstarter.

Ouya's Free the Games fund has been a mess pretty much from the word "go." It's a simple idea - achieve a set funding goal on Kickstarter and Ouya will match those funds, effectively doubling the development budget - but it's plagued by two major problems. One, the target goal of $50,000 is unreasonably high for just about any indie developer, and two, it's an easy system to game for anyone with reasonably deep pockets.

Consider the case of Dungeons the Eye of Dracous (for the record, that's the "official" colon-free spelling), which acknowledged last week that it took an end-run around the system. With the clock ticking down on the Kickstarter deadline and the funding goal of $10,000 not even close to completion, project founder William McDonald revealed that his father had ponied up 50 large to get the job done (and, apparently, to keep Billy from moving back home with mom and dad). That sum also meant that Free the Games funding would kick in.

"We are going to make an excellent video game series for $65,000! Ouya match funds come in 3 disbursements, 1st $12,500 at the end of the KS, 2nd $25,000 when the game is released and finally $12,500 after six months of Ouya exclusivity," McDonald wrote in a backers-only update that was re-posted on NeoGAF. "Thanks to Ouya funds, we will be able to afford marketing, have a booth at PAX, and finally finish all of Dungeons feature complete."

Alas, the wheels came off today. In a Kickstarter update that went up this morning, McDonald revealed that the Free the Games money has been pulled. "Well apparently Ouya has decided to change the rules on us. With less than two days to go they have removed our #Freethegames link from the Ouya homepage and delisted us from www.Freethegamesfund.com website," he wrote. "The timing aligns with winning back of some devs that threatened to pull their games through conversations on twitter."

"It appears we were thrown under the FTG bus. Ouya gets their fall guy and Grid Iron keeps their money. So while a bunch of ex-EA employees with rich friends can apparently receive $171,000 in match funds for a game they, allegedly, already finished. A person whose father was willing to make a large sacrifice so his son's team could qualify for the fund and actually develop their game properly is disallowed," he continued. "If we had remained silent we very likely would have received the funds, our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing."

McDonald said that without the Free the Games money and only $4055 from backers, the team would end up in the hole for about $11,000 once rewards, taxes and fees had been covered. "Further, being essentially told Ouya doesn't want us, makes us not want Ouya," he wrote. "Sadly, we were early adopters, we got our Ouya on launch day and had been one of its strongest supporters. We have no plans to develop for Ouya further."

The whole thing is sketchy as hell. McDonald's statement that the project had only received $4055 from backers strongly implies that his father's money was never meant to support development, but rather to capture the Free the Games cash. In his defense, however, his easy willingness to go public with his activities suggests that he honestly didn't think that he was doing anything wrong - that he was abiding by the letter of the law, if not the spirit.

The fact that Gridiron Thunder retains its Free the Games support, despite bringing in $171,009 from just 183 backers on Kickstarter, further suggests that Dungeons the Eye of Draconus fell afoul of a PR campaign rather than actual rule-breaking. There's no question that McDonald and company gamed the system, but if he followed the rules, what's the justification for pulling his funding? No matter how you look at it, it's hard to see this as anything but another black eye for Ouya.

Source: Kickstarter

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It is not called gaming the system it's called fraud. The McDonald's actively conspired to artificially inflate the kickstarter fund for the purpose of obtaining money from Ouya. If the McDonald's thought that was legal is not perternat to fact of the fraud, ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law

It's kind of funny how he talks about 'a bunch of ex-EA employees with rich friends' when he asked his dad to pay way more than those rich friends would have needed to. Why doesn't this guy just use the money his dad was willing to fork over to make the game instead of relying on the Ouya cash that he doesn't deserve? He's been caught with his pants round his ankles and is trying to shift the blame.

Yeah, the fact that they had a set budget and were able to utilize high profile marketing such as Ouya's FTG fund and still couldn't pull even 1/5 of the budget should act as a sign to them that their game was not a sustainable enterprise. Luckily they found that out before sinking the budget into development, unlucky for them the plowed ahead anyways and are now on the hook for more than they can afford.

Sorry, really don't have a lot of sympathy for them in this situation. I do however have sympathy for the game's legitimate backers, as it seems that they are going to have front row tickets to see their money go up in flames.

I don't know the full details but it isn't really 'gaming the system' if the system left such a wide open loophole. Defrauding the system would be making fake or self pledges to reach your goal so you can get that Oduya money, then either taking it and running or relying just on that to make your game. On the other hand even if it's your rich daddy or a bunch of your executive friends providing the bulk of the funds that's still a legally separate entity and while a bit shady should count. If Oudya doesn't want people doing this then they should have had stipulations on a minimum donor count and/or mode average donations in place.

I don't know maybe they did, but if they didn't and they just decided to put the hammer down on this one developer then I gotta side with the developer on this one.

That number on the sidebar of a kKckstarter campaign represents PROJECT FUNDING. Anything used for any other purpose (including given back to the backer because it was only ever intended to inflate the number) is absolutely fraud. Hard to blame OUYA for wanting no part of this.

P.S. Thanks

Regardless of your feelings on the McDonalds, you have to agree that it's pretty shitty that it's a problem when dear old dad puts up the money to help with the indie project but it's not a problem when ex-industry guys put up tons of cash.

There is one word that perfectly summarizes this story, and that word is stupid.

It was stupid of Ouya (a company with a particularly stupid name) to create a fund that could so easily be manipulated; it was also stupid of them to make the target goal $50,000, since A) not even a Joss Whedon-backed kickstarter for a new season of Firefly could raise that much money, and since B) it would just encourage stupid idiots (like stupid Ronald McDonald) to fix the stupid scheme even more.

And speaking of Ronald McDonald, it was stupid of him to be so impatient (creating an indie game takes time, guys) and stupid of him to cheat the stupid system; and it was even more stupid of him to admit to his stupid crime! He literally could have gotten away with it if he had just kept his stupid mouth shut. Sure, he would have committed fraud, but the only thing stupider than committing fraud is committing fraud and immediately admitting to it. Stupid!

In other words, everyone in this story is an idiot.

The only flaw with the Free the games fund that I can see is that it doesn't state clearly enough that fraud will not be tolerated.

From my reading of it, they don't even specify that your initial kickstarter must be for 50k - it's just that if it reaches 50k or more, they'll double it asking for a 6 month exclusive contract on the OUYA in return. That sounds perfectly fair to me, as long as it's fine with your backers.

However, people seem to have missed point this and gone direct for the I must make a 50k kickstarter to get some of that sweet sweet free OUYA money, which was not the purpose of it. It was to promote games which excelled beyond their initial estimates into a qualifying realm - a Nice bonus.

* Have an idea for a game.
* Estimate how much it will cost to make that game realistically.
* Start a kickstarter to get the funding and obtain an initial potential audience.
* The kickstarter achieves it's realistic funding goal.
* You have enough to make the game - So you ought to be able to make it and keep your promise to the backers.

> You gain more fans due to your amazing idea.
> You obtain more than $50,000 in pledges.
> OUYA wish to entice you to make your game OUYA exclusive for 6 months - after which you can release anywhere - by doubling your final kickstarter money.

You can then choose which path to take. OUYA exclusivity and extra cash in the short term, or go it alone with the potential to access multiple platforms.

This is where the problem is I think. it's understanding what the money is for.
The OUYA cash is not to help you to make the game, that money should be part of your initial Kickstarter.
It's a thank you for exclusivity and guaranteed money against any slow sales.

This guy is completely screwing Kickstarter, his backers and OUYA - He didn't get enough backers to make the game so he doesn't qualify for any of the money - so he got a cash injection to fund and take advantage of OUYA's funding pledge, pay back the large backer and steal from OUYA and his backers. (Backers should only pay once a project legitimately reaches it's funding goal)

He got caught out and rightfully got spanked. But he's bitching about it and the media jumps on the Anti-OUYA bandwagon once more over this free the games fund.

Andy Chalk:
"It appears we were thrown under the FTG bus."

More like he was siphoning gas from the bus and it ran him over.

My god, the balls. Scams the system incompetently and then says "our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing" and attempts to throw Gridiron Thunder under the same bus he's complaining about being thrown under. Gridiron's funding is suspect I admit, but it was done more subtly than throwing the EXACT AMOUNT NEEDED onto the pile at the 11th hour and thinking no one would notice. Besides, Gridiron Thunder's devs could be grinding up toddlers and selling the meat to a fast food joint for funding and it wouldn't make William McDonald any less a scammer. Sins aren't graded on a curve.

The brat's dreams of a professional career are done, though. Tries to pull a fast one, fails, and he immediately starts blaming an investor and an unrelated competitor. No one's gonna touch that kind of unprofessionalism with a ten foot pole unless he pulls a Minecraft-level indie success out of his ass.

What are the rules on kickstarter for family members donating money anyway? If this were a normal kickstarter and someone's relative donated a huge chunk of cash, does it go against Kickstarter's regulations? I am not completely familiar with them.

Clive Howlitzer:
What are the rules on kickstarter for family members donating money anyway? If this were a normal kickstarter and someone's relative donated a huge chunk of cash, does it go against Kickstarter's regulations? I am not completely familiar with them.

No Kickstarter rules have been broken as a result of the fraud going on with the Ouya's fundraiser. Kickstarter has next to no incentive to look in to unusual donations at all in this situation. It's not their fundraiser to Kickstarter is just operating as usual.

The Ouya's FTG has a massive loophole in it. Kickstarter's just there to receive the money donated, not to check out how 3rd party fundraisers are being manipulated. It's really the Ouya's responsibility to state that they won't tolerate fraud considering that their money being used to fund these games. Seems like more Ouya should have communicated this better with Kickstarter and given the Ouya access the to info of those who donated. Kickstarter's rules as they stand don't accommodate 3rd party fundraisers, so a relative with a lot of money donating to a normal Kickstarter would be perfectly fine. In fact it'd be perfectly fine for it to happen on a Kickstarter for this FTG Fundraiser contest. Nothing wrong with family supporting family. But we don't know if rich family members are the cause for the half dozen games that have suspicious donation patterns.

I'm curious, what made you think that family donations would be a problem in this situation?

AzrealMaximillion:

Clive Howlitzer:
What are the rules on kickstarter for family members donating money anyway? If this were a normal kickstarter and someone's relative donated a huge chunk of cash, does it go against Kickstarter's regulations? I am not completely familiar with them.

No Kickstarter rules have been broken as a result of the fraud going on with the Ouya's fundraiser. Kickstarter has next to no incentive to look in to unusual donations at all in this situation. It's not their fundraiser to Kickstarter is just operating as usual.

The Ouya's FTG has a massive loophole in it. Kickstarter's just there to receive the money donated, not to check out how 3rd party fundraisers are being manipulated. It's really the Ouya's responsibility to state that they won't tolerate fraud considering that their money being used to fund these games. Seems like more Ouya should have communicated this better with Kickstarter and given the Ouya access the to info of those who donated. Kickstarter's rules as they stand don't accommodate 3rd party fundraisers, so a relative with a lot of money donating to a normal Kickstarter would be perfectly fine. In fact it'd be perfectly fine for it to happen on a Kickstarter for this FTG Fundraiser contest. Nothing wrong with family supporting family. But we don't know if rich family members are the cause for the half dozen games that have suspicious donation patterns.

I'm curious, what made you think that family donations would be a problem in this situation?

I am not completely informed as to the entire situation, that is mostly all. I was curious if even for example, in this Ouya matching contest, if a family member did donate money to help them reach their goal. Is that considered legitimate for the conditions of the contest? Based only on what I know, which is this guy wasn't going to reach his goal, so his Dad donated the money that let him reach it. If that doesn't go against Kickstarters rules and such, is it still fraud? I mean, would they even need to report something like that?
If Ouya said they'd match it when it gets to a certain point, but only if certain people donate? It just seems really hard to enforce. I mean, what if a few people really DO donate tons of money? I've seen it happen before. Path of Exile has several supporters who have given upwards of 50k by themselves. I myself have made 1k donations to games before.
If it isn't coming out of the devs own pocket, isn't it still a legitimate donation? I suppose the whole idea is just flawed.

So they try and defend their fraudulent actions? How despicable.

ascorbius:
The only flaw with the Free the games fund that I can see is that it doesn't state clearly enough that fraud will not be tolerated.

From my reading of it, they don't even specify that your initial kickstarter must be for 50k - it's just that if it reaches 50k or more, they'll double it asking for a 6 month exclusive contract on the OUYA in return. That sounds perfectly fair to me, as long as it's fine with your backers.

RandV80:
I don't know the full details but it isn't really 'gaming the system' if the system left such a wide open loophole. Defrauding the system would be making fake or self pledges to reach your goal so you can get that Oduya money, then either taking it and running or relying just on that to make your game. On the other hand even if it's your rich daddy or a bunch of your executive friends providing the bulk of the funds that's still a legally separate entity and while a bit shady should count. If Oudya doesn't want people doing this then they should have had stipulations on a minimum donor count and/or mode average donations in place.

I don't know maybe they did, but if they didn't and they just decided to put the hammer down on this one developer then I gotta side with the developer on this one.

From the Ooya terms at the bottom of the page with tick box saying you have read them. http://www.freethegamesfund.com/

9. RIGHT TO CANCEL OR SUSPEND CONTEST If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of OUYA that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, OUYA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.

They have at least violated the fairness, integrity, and proper conduct terms and arguably committed fraud by attempting to obtain money by deception. In this case they have evidence of collusion to boost the kickstarter funding for the purpose of obtaining money

albino boo:
It is not called gaming the system it's called fraud. The McDonald's actively conspired to artificially inflate the kickstarter fund for the purpose of obtaining money from Ouya. If the McDonald's thought that was legal is not perternat to fact of the fraud, ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law

its not fraud man its called a legal loophole. Using a loophole in a contract is not illegal just scummy but what the ouya did by canceling the contract can be seen as a breach on their part and they can and most likely will be sued for the remainder of cash they are owed.

Ouya is technically within its rights to cancel Dungeons' funding, but there's no question in my mind that the Dungeons team was technically within its rights to do what it did to gain that funding in the first place. There's nothing in the rules that says family members can't donate, or that backers are limited to a certain amount, or that specifies where the money must come from. Gridiron Thunder backers kicked in nearly $1000 a pop on average, a hell of an amount for a mobile game, yet that's somehow perfectly fine. The Dungeons developers' only "crime" was to acknowledge what everybody already knew.

The developers gamed the system but Ouya left the loophole for it to step through, and worse, failed to close it when it became obvious that people were taking advantage. Its cancellation of the Dungeons funding is utterly arbitrary, and thus unfair - and in my eyes it looks far worse on Ouya than on the Dungeons team.

I don't understand the use of the word "fraud" here. I mean, if the father was pledging money with the assurance that he would get it back after the FTG money was secured, then yes, it would be fraud, but here it appears that the donation was genuine, the dev would have really got that money from his father.

And I don't really see why I should blame a dev for having rich parents, really.

The ony questionable thing is that the game visibly didn't attract much support outside of the family, so giving the FTG money to a game that isn't interesting to anyone would be a bit silly, but if they wanted to avoid that they should have specified something like a minimum number of backers.

Here it's just dickish on Ouya's part.

ecoho:

albino boo:
It is not called gaming the system it's called fraud. The McDonald's actively conspired to artificially inflate the kickstarter fund for the purpose of obtaining money from Ouya. If the McDonald's thought that was legal is not perternat to fact of the fraud, ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law

its not fraud man its called a legal loophole. Using a loophole in a contract is not illegal just scummy but what the ouya did by canceling the contract can be seen as a breach on their part and they can and most likely will be sued for the remainder of cash they are owed.

Seeking to obtain money by deception is known as fraud.

albino boo:

ascorbius:
The only flaw with the Free the games fund that I can see is that it doesn't state clearly enough that fraud will not be tolerated.

From my reading of it, they don't even specify that your initial kickstarter must be for 50k - it's just that if it reaches 50k or more, they'll double it asking for a 6 month exclusive contract on the OUYA in return. That sounds perfectly fair to me, as long as it's fine with your backers.

RandV80:
I don't know the full details but it isn't really 'gaming the system' if the system left such a wide open loophole. Defrauding the system would be making fake or self pledges to reach your goal so you can get that Oduya money, then either taking it and running or relying just on that to make your game. On the other hand even if it's your rich daddy or a bunch of your executive friends providing the bulk of the funds that's still a legally separate entity and while a bit shady should count. If Oudya doesn't want people doing this then they should have had stipulations on a minimum donor count and/or mode average donations in place.

I don't know maybe they did, but if they didn't and they just decided to put the hammer down on this one developer then I gotta side with the developer on this one.

From the Ooya terms at the bottom of the page with tick box saying you have read them. http://www.freethegamesfund.com/

9. RIGHT TO CANCEL OR SUSPEND CONTEST If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of OUYA that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, OUYA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.

They have at least violated the fairness, integrity, and proper conduct terms and arguably committed fraud by attempting to obtain money by deception. In this case they have evidence of collusion to boost the kickstarter funding for the purpose of obtaining money

I had to re-read the article before replying to this, but he never deceived anyone, nor did he commit fraud (unless you somehow magically know what the dev had planned). He was open and upfront about the entire situation, and a backer is a backer, even if it is your father. Also as others have stated before, there have been larger kickstarter donations in the past, even with other games receiving multiple 50k+ donations.

It seems the only problem people have with this scenario is that the guy's father donated the money. Had it been some random passerby, there wouldn't have been an issue. This is the exact case with Gridiron Thunder where the average donation was 9k (way over any kickstarter average).

So unless you know something the rest of us do not, you can't assume he was going against the spirit of the program. He funded his game, it was over 50k, and (unlike Gridiron Thunder) was open and upfront about the way it was done. Outside of that, everything else is assumptions and hearsay.

Oh you poor babe, all the scam work put in and then it's not even rewarded... dude what you are doing there is fraud, be glad all the parties you were hustling aren't coming down on your ass with lawsuits.

And no, others scamming the system does not make it ok for you also.

See the whole trouble with being upset about this entire scenario is that we don't know what really happened. Yeah the grid iron people might have committed fraud, this guy might have committed fraud. People are mad at Ouya for not being mad fraud was committed. They punish someone for maybe committing fraud based on the guy's own admissions he might have done something wrong. And yet the still catch flack. I'm sorry Ouya's free the games fund was a bad idea from the start. These sites like Kickstarter and indiegogo don't do a great job of communicating or documenting anyway so all that is left up to the project leaders. Ouya taking the project dev's word on how much they made and from home was stupid to begin with. No offense but devs make games they don't organize projects or make businesses. Couple that with the fact that the internet is filled with amoral vipers and you get this exact scenario. A predictable, mess that no one bothered to imagine could happen when you offer free money to complete strangers so long as they have some money to start.

This isn't actually gaming the system. You see when you game the system you don't come clean with the facts. I don't rob a liquor store then go back to the liquor store bragging that I robbed them yesterday. To me it seems like they were hoping for the Ouya fund, so they set the bar low. Sadly as with all kickstarters it is mostly based on the amount of exposure you have. The kind of game you are making. The names tied to the game and so on. So when this not that good looking game from unknown devs hit the market nobody was interested. So the dude went shopping around the family book to get an investor.

I don't think I have to tell you how many games got programmed in the early days thanks to mom and pop graciously renting out their basement to their kid, do I? So to me this sounds a bit sketchy on both sides. First off all it doesn't seem logical to do the kickstarter if you could have just gone to your dad. On the other hand they most likely calculated the doubled funds into the decision and that's probably also why the dad putt up the cash.

They had an actual game, with some footage and recognizably put themselves in front of the camera so I don't think this is intended fraud. This was just a TOS line #3674 type of violation which in reality makes little sense.

The dude was upfront with the information. This wasn't like with other actual fraud kickstarters where we had a lone redditor or inside guy post information about how this is all a fraud. No he literally updated the status with "My dad graciously agreed to donate the remaining amount to help us release this game."

Ouya were ready to fund this project anyway, so why does it matter who puts in the money? You simply put in a section that states that in case of fraudulent spending the entire amount will be incurred upon the initial recipient. Basically signing them into debt to you.

Andy Chalk:
"It appears we were thrown under the FTG bus. Ouya gets their fall guy and Grid Iron keeps their money. So while a bunch of ex-EA employees with rich friends can apparently receive $171,000 in match funds for a game they, allegedly, already finished. A person whose father was willing to make a large sacrifice so his son's team could qualify for the fund and actually develop their game properly is disallowed," he continued. "If we had remained silent we very likely would have received the funds, our transparency and honesty apparently was our undoing."

I'm pretty sure that "Dropping 50G for Ouya support money" was your undoing.

Gridiron Thunder notwithstanding, you committed fraud and you lost your funding for it. I think Gridiron Thunder should also get hit for it, but so should you.

Being wrong while someone nearby is more wrong... makes you wrong.

Andy Chalk:
Ouya is technically within its rights to cancel Dungeons' funding, but there's no question in my mind that the Dungeons team was technically within its rights to do what it did to gain that funding in the first place. There's nothing in the rules that says family members can't donate, or that backers are limited to a certain amount, or that specifies where the money must come from. Gridiron Thunder backers kicked in nearly $1000 a pop on average, a hell of an amount for a mobile game, yet that's somehow perfectly fine. The Dungeons developers' only "crime" was to acknowledge what everybody already knew.

The developers gamed the system but Ouya left the loophole for it to step through, and worse, failed to close it when it became obvious that people were taking advantage. Its cancellation of the Dungeons funding is utterly arbitrary, and thus unfair - and in my eyes it looks far worse on Ouya than on the Dungeons team.

I was angry at Ouya when they failed to close the loophole, but I'm also angry at people who then use it.

And make no mistake, he definitely DID abuse the loophole. He wasn't able to raise even close to enough money to justify him taking the Ouya donation for the game, and managed to get someone to pump up the total specifically to take Ouya's money.

Yeah, I can see why Ouya screwed him over.

Now, is Gridiron Thunder going to take the fall as well?

albino boo:

ecoho:

albino boo:
It is not called gaming the system it's called fraud. The McDonald's actively conspired to artificially inflate the kickstarter fund for the purpose of obtaining money from Ouya. If the McDonald's thought that was legal is not perternat to fact of the fraud, ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law

its not fraud man its called a legal loophole. Using a loophole in a contract is not illegal just scummy but what the ouya did by canceling the contract can be seen as a breach on their part and they can and most likely will be sued for the remainder of cash they are owed.

Seeking to obtain money by deception is known as fraud.

you don't get it they cant call it fraud because there is no proof that the money donated by the devs father would not have been used in the making of the game. Now had they waited till the game was shipped ouya could have charged them with fraud assuming they didn't use the 50k donated for marketing and such. so now ouya is in the wrong here in the eyes of the law and are going to get screwed because they forgot to close their loopholes.

Uh, I'm confused. People keep throwing around the word "fraud", but the definition of fraud is "wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain".

He admitted openly that he received the funding from his father. There was no deception. It's certainly shady, in that it was done purely to obtain Ouya's matching funds, but "fraud"? Not by any legal definition, no. He made it clear where the funds came from, and I don't recall any sort of formal ban against parents donating to their own child's Kickstarter funding.

It's not fraud. It's a stupid loophole and he's an ass for exploiting it, but it's not "fraud". Stop using words you don't know the meaning of.

Yeah, fraud or not, his admission confirms violation of Ouya's contest rules, which may have been altered after the fact (which is fine because they reserve that right), but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt anyway:

"2. Number of Backers. For every $10,000 raised on Kickstarter, have a minimum of 100 backers."

So $54,067 requires at least 500 different backers.

HardRockSamurai:
[...]

In other words, everyone in this story is an idiot.

Couldn't agree with you more.

FizzyIzze:
Yeah, fraud or not, his admission confirms violation of Ouya's contest rules, which may have been altered after the fact (which is fine because they reserve that right), but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt anyway:

"2. Number of Backers. For every $10,000 raised on Kickstarter, have a minimum of 100 backers."

So $54,067 requires at least 500 different backers.

HardRockSamurai:
[...]

In other words, everyone in this story is an idiot.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Rule #2 was created TODAY. So he was in his right up until today. The only other game that was successfully funded before that rule was created also lost it's money today, that was the other game mentioned in the article, Gridiron Thunder.

Baldr:

FizzyIzze:
Yeah, fraud or not, his admission confirms violation of Ouya's contest rules, which may have been altered after the fact (which is fine because they reserve that right), but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt anyway:

"2. Number of Backers. For every $10,000 raised on Kickstarter, have a minimum of 100 backers."

So $54,067 requires at least 500 different backers.

HardRockSamurai:
[...]

In other words, everyone in this story is an idiot.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Rule #2 was created TODAY. So he was in his right up until today. The only other game that was successfully funded before that rule was created also lost it's money today, that was the other game mentioned in the article, Gridiron Thunder.

And that very much fits with his statement that "Ouya has decided to change the rules on us." Imposing retroactive rule changes that negatively impact people who played by the rules that Ouya established in the first place is much closer to fraud than what the Dungeons team did. At this point I honestly don't understand how any reputable developer would want to have anything to do with it.

Baldr:

Rule #2 was created TODAY. So he was in his right up until today. The only other game that was successfully funded before that rule was created also lost it's money today, that was the other game mentioned in the article, Gridiron Thunder.

If my horrible math skills are correct, then even Ouya itself wouldn't have been funded in accordance with the new rules for this contest. I'm so glad I stayed away from Kickstarter, but especially Ouya.

Andy Chalk:

The fact that Gridiron Thunder retains its Free the Games support, despite bringing in $171,009 from just 183 backers on Kickstarter, further suggests that Dungeons the Eye of Draconus fell afoul of a PR campaign rather than actual rule-breaking. There's no question that McDonald and company gamed the system, but if he followed the rules, what's the justification for pulling his funding? No matter how you look at it, it's hard to see this as anything but another black eye for Ouya.

'Nuff said. The sheriff said he'll be tougher on crime by jailing vagrants while the serial killers go free.

I've always thought the Ouya was a rather pointless device. Seems to be trying to do what both consoles and PCs already do but be a unique platform for the sake of being unique.

If it has to resort to such things to even get people to make exclusives for it and is too stupid to realize the obvious loopholes in their system I can't see it going too far.

albino boo:
It is not called gaming the system it's called fraud. The McDonald's actively conspired to artificially inflate the kickstarter fund for the purpose of obtaining money from Ouya. If the McDonald's thought that was legal is not perternat to fact of the fraud, ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law

Not sure if this instance is illegal. It is certainly unethical and it was good of ouya to remove the funds. But kickstarter isn't a charity or an investment company and it makes no gaurantee of services or goods to be provided. There is nothing preventing them from getting the money and then making the father a consultant and paying him $65k for doing almost nothing or whatever amount minus taxes equals $50k. It'd be better if they paid him over time as a second job so he doesn't take that huge one time contractor hit.

Sketchy as hell? Yeah. Illegal? Not necessarily. Breach of the Kickstarter terms of service? Possibly.

Great article.

Andy Chalk:
The fact that Gridiron Thunder retains its Free the Games support, despite bringing in $171,009 from just 183 backers on Kickstarter, further suggests that Dungeons the Eye of Draconus fell afoul of a PR campaign rather than actual rule-breaking. There's no question that McDonald and company gamed the system, but if he followed the rules, what's the justification for pulling his funding? No matter how you look at it, it's hard to see this as anything but another black eye for Ouya.

Interestingly enough, the McDonalds do have legal recourse here. They took actions based on an offer from Ouya. That offer constitutes a legal contract and the McDonald family can pursue damages which I believe would be easy to prove. That's if they followed the conditions of the contract. Ouya being sort sighted to foresee gaming the system isn't the McDonalds' responsibility. I doubt they'd be rewarded the full amount of what they would have paid, but they'd likely get something to compensate them.

 

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