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Ouya announced in July that it would match funds for Ouya titles that were funded through Kickstarter. That's a pretty good deal, so a number of game developers took a swing at it. There were reports as the first two campaigns neared their goals that something was amiss. There were a number of very large donations, and some felt that screamed "scam." One project has been suspended, and the details are starting to come out.

2013-09-08 23_31_29-Elementary, My Dear Holmes! (Suspended) by Sam Chandola — Kickstarter

Kickstarter has not yet made a statement regarding the suspension of Elementary, My Dear Holmes! shortly after it reached its goal. The developer has spoken out, though. Sam Chandola from Victory Square Games claims they contacted Kickstarter and Amazon (which handles payments for Kickstarter) after the original accusations surfaced. It was their hope to get the suspicious accounts suspended and continue the campaign, but instead the project itself was suspended. Kickstarter does occasionally do this, even if the malfeasance is not the fault of the developer.

The other game cited in the original accusation, Gridiron Thunder was funded successfully yesterday. Elementary, My Dear Holmes! will apparently still be produced. This point-and-click adventure attracted interest from venture capitalists prior to the Kickstarter campaign, according to Chandola. There is no evidence Victory Square Games or Ouya did anything untoward, but Kickstarter apparently believed there was enough of an issue with the pledges that the campaign had to be stopped.

[Kickstarter, Polygon]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Dan

    I've read the article and still have no freakin' clue what happened. Did you delete a couple of paragraphs before posting this? What's sort of "scam" is the supposed to be? What was sketchy about it? Why waste our time if you're not going to actually report some information?

    This entire article boils down to: Kickstarted suspended a campaign because stuff.

    • xshaneyx

      Presumably the accusation is people are agreeing to pledge large amounts to ensure the project is backed, with the promise of getting their money back with the extra money they get from ouya?

      • squiddy20

        You made more sense in 1 long(ish) sentence than the author did in 3 paragraphs...

    • blahmoomoo

      I believe the author is trying to present all fact, because many things about this are just speculation. The part about EMDH that got the most attention is that the average backer contribution amount was abnormally high and many of the backer names seemed fabricated.

      Gridiron Thunder also got attention because there aren't many backers, but there are many large contributions (just look on kicktraq).

      I won't state my opinion on what these mean here, as there's plenty of that floating around, but those factors suggest that they might be trying to take unfair advantage of the FTGF. Some people think so (in various ways), some people don't. And there goes the standard Internet debate.

    • littlevince

      Not going to lie. The article almost assumes that the readers know the story to begin with.
      Basically, OUYA announced a competition whereby they will theoretically double a Kickstarter funded game's money if they develop exclusively for the OUYA system. For example, if a game wants 50k funding, then (if they win) OUYA will give them an extra 50k. This sounds all well and good until people start funding themselves so that they might be able to win and hence get their money back.
      Thus why a few campaigns were suspended.
      You can read more about it here: http://kotaku.com/kickstarter-games-accused-of-scamming-the-system-1211422850

      • HopelesslyFaithful

        i thought it wasn't that hard to extract that from the article :/

    • RyanWhitwam

      "There were a number of very large donations, and some felt that screamed "scam.""

      That's really what it boils down to. It's a common way to game Kickstarter. Start a project, then contribute your own money to make sure it gets funded. That's probably not what happened, but Kickstarter thought something looked fishy enough to kill it.

      • MyLeftNut

        I always thought the fraud accusations levied against the devs had more to do with falsely boosting their contributions to get Ouya to pay out. As in, there might be some ethical concerns if the devs themselves were kicking into the pool to reach their goal but it would not be a huge deal as many devs get accused of that and KS doesn't shut them down. I thought the main problem with this particular kickstarter was that the large donations were coming from fraudulent dummy accounts. Meaning the devs can seemingly reach their goal, tell Ouya they've reached their goal, but in reality none of the dummy accounts can be charged because....well they don't exist.

  • Jarl

    pfff, this Ouya thing is a never ending nightmare
    i checked the comments on kicksterter, there's still people waiting for their console or extra controllers

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