Earlier today, 2Awesome Studio celebrated a generous pledge of €7,000 for their Dimension Drive Kickstarter – only to have it pulled three hours later over fraud allegations, a devastating 31 minutes before the project deadline.
Even worse, the developers found out about the cancelled pledge while livestreaming their game (around the 4 hour mark) and celebrating a successful crowd-funding project.
The studio posted regular updates to Twitter, describing the team as “mentally destroyed”:
We’ve just been informed by Kickstarter that the 7K euro pledge was fraudulent. Somebody played with our dreams. Sorry for the confussion 🙁
Traditionally, Kickstarter will protect the creator if a cancelled pledge causes a project to dip below the successfully-funded mark within the last 24 hours of funding. However, this time? Kickstarter were the ones who cancelled the pledge, as the company learned the card used for the generous €7,000 gift had been stolen.
The news means that Dimension Drive raised just €23,481 in pledges – €6519 short of its goal. As fellow indie developer Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) notes: 31 minutes actually cost Kickstarter and 2Awesome Studio money.
30 minutes later and the $7K would’ve bounced, but the $23K would still come in.
However, as Rami also observes, Kickstarter did “what they were supposed to do”, in a sort of damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t situation.
Rather than a poorly-timed accident, the team at 2Awesome Studio believe this was a malicious attack on their indie studio – and theorise that the person behind the fraud was lurking in their Twitch channel the entire time, watching the drama unfold. The team also believe this is not the first time the troll has struck, suggesting that this has happened in “several campaigns” in the past.
However, you can’t keep a good indie down.
We’re now picking ourselves up and considering our options.
It’s not yet clear whether Kickstarter will offer 2Awesome Studio any form of compensation, as people start calling for an extension on the now-failed funding for Dimension Drive. We’ll keep you posted.