Kickstarter Scammer Almost Gets Away With It

The power of social was once limited to web traffic and wall posts, but as services like Kickstarter and Groupon prove, the social web also empowers business.  But where money trades hands, you can be sure that scammers aren’t far behind.  A recent scam on Kickstarter is getting a lot of attention, and it may ruin the young perpetrator’s life and chances of a career.

The “MYTHIC: The Story of Gods and Men” Kickstarter was a project that promised an “action/strategy based RPG brought to you by the same team that left Activision / Blizzard in search of something better.”   The problem was that most of the claims on their Kickstarter page were false.  Reddit got on the case after it was passed along from the SomethingAwful forums, where the users found a series of rip offs and copied images.  The game itself had almost no original content.  Here’s the list of fakes.

  • God character art is from here, just with a sepia filter applied.
  • Backgrounds are from here and here.
  • Poster consists of this icon on top of this texture.
  • Their sword reward pictures are from here.
  • The reward tier text and values are copied wholesale from The Banner Saga’s kickstarter, with just a game name search & replace.
  • Their office photos are just crops from the Burton Design Group.

After a barrage of bad publicity, the Mythic game had to be cancelled.  The thing is, a Kickstarter page doesn’t get actually removed so anyone can see it over here.   My personal favorite claim was that “Animations will be done via motion capture thanks to some friends at Disney/Pixar!”  It’s well known that Pixar doesn’t even use motion capture, and it just seems unlikely overall that employees at these giant companies would be able to let their “friends” come over and use this type of proprietary equipment.

The project itself raised over $4,000 and would have got away with it, but the Internet rose to the challenge and sniffed out this scammer.  Betabeat covered the story early, and after some investigative journalism got some information on the creator.  Check out their coverage here.