Posted by David Miller as Modern Board Games
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced the settlement of its first case for a failed crowdfunding campaign and it’s for a board game project. Erik Chevalier, doing business as The Forking Path, raised nearly $123,000 via Kickstarter for The Doom That Came To Atlantic City but failed to produce the game or issue refunds. The FTC found that instead of putting the money raised in to production of the game, Chevalier spent backer funds on personal expenses, such as rent. A press release from the Commission quotes Director Jessica Rich:
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 able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded.
The FTC settlement order prohibits Chevalier from making any misrepresentations or failing to issue refunds with regard to any crowdfunding campaign, or disclosing or benefiting from backers’ personal information. The order also imposes a $112,000 judgement, though the obligation is suspended because of Chevalier’s inability to pay, and various reporting requirements for a period of 18 years. The settlement does not require Chevalier to admit any wrongdoing.
The Doom That Came To Atlantic City game was eventually produced and sold by Cryptozoic without the involvement of Erik Chevalier.