The FTC has been making waves lately with their attempts to bring back honor and justice to the free trade market in America. Capitalism, unchecked, can lead a man down a road toward unfettered greed and the FTC is making sure that said greed stays within the rules of the law. In the case of a recent Kickstarter by Erik Chevalier called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, it turned out that Chevalier didn’t use the money for the intended purposes of the Kickstarter and he’s been fined $111,793 for his misdeeds.
The RT posted up a story based on the public press release from the official FTC website, where Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, commented about Chevalier’s board game that never came to be, saying…
“Many consumers enjoy the opportunity to take part in the development of a product or service through crowdfunding, and they generally know there’s some uncertainty involved in helping start something new,” … “But consumers should be able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded.”
More than a thousand board game aficionados chipped in a whopping $122,874 to Chevalier and his company The Forking Path.
Over on Kickstarter page Chevalier posted the following message on July 31st, 2013, stating…
“As of this evening I’ve begun refunding backers along the terms I initially outlined in the Terminus update. I’ve refunded the top backer, James Bauer, his full $2500 and contacted everyone in the next tier down to confirm payment methods.”
“Every step I’ve taken in the last year was in service to this game. Projects of this scope are sometimes far more complex than they seem to anyone on the outside. They take more than anyone could have guessed, the creators included.”
This was not good enough for the FTC.
According to the FTC’s post…
“Despite Chevalier’s promises he did not provide the rewards, nor did he provide refunds to his backers. In fact, according to the FTC’s complaint, Chevalier spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses such as rent, moving himself to Oregon, personal equipment, and licenses for a different project.”
The last time a video game journalist went an exposed a defrauding campaign involving crowd-funding, he was allegedly blacklisted from the industry by a cabal of journalists on a secret mailing group.
Thankfully, the FTC is stepping up their efforts to look into the gaming industry – even if it’s only for board games – to expose and mete nefarious intentions from crowd-funding fraudsters by putting them directly in the headlights of justice.
With the help of #GamerGate, the FTC has also been cracking down on the gutter trash of web content, and the platforms hosting catalogs of harangued propaganda while spewing agenda-driven misinformation.
If the FTC keeps it up soon we’ll see #GamerGate step back into the shadows as the watch dog that the gaming industry needs, even if it isn’t the one it deserves.
As for The Doom That Came To Atlantic City, the board game was resuscitated by Cryptozonic Entertainment and you can learn more about it over on their official website.
(Main image courtesy of Corporal Cynic)