$120,000 Kickstarter project failed, no cash left to repay donors

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Erik Chevalier is in a sticky situation right now due to the failure of his Kickstarter project board game. He started a Kickstarter project to create a board game, asking for $35,000 from donors. His project is now failed but he spent all the money donated to him, so there’s literally nothing left to repay donors. What’s interesting here is that Chevalier asked for $35,000 and got over $120,000 instead, so how does a $35,000 project fail with more than almost four times the required funding?

It looks like Chevalier was over ambitious with his plans after he got a lot more than expected. It went to his head so he willingly threw away money and even used the funding to move back to Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Backers are furious because Chevalier used their money on moving instead of completing the project.

Here is what Chevalier had to say about the project:

The short version: The project is over, the game is canceled.

After much deliberation I’ve had to make this decision. I’ve informed Keith and Lee and neither at all happy with this situation. Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person.

From the beginning the intention was to launch a new board game company with the Kickstarted funds, with The Doom that Came to Atlantic City as only our first of hopefully many projects. Everyone involved agreed on this. Since then rifts have formed and every error compounded the growing frustration, causing only more issues. After paying to form the company, for the miniature statues, moving back to Portland, getting software licenses and hiring artists to do things like rule book design and art conforming the money was approaching a point of no return. We had to print at that point or never. Unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately I can’t give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again. I’ll create a separate bank account to place anything beyond my basic costs of living.

Will donors reclaim their hard-earned cash? Maybe, maybe not. You see, Chevalier left his job to work on the project, so now he has to find a new job to repay donors. We’re guessing many donors are looking into a plan B just in-case Chevalier runs off to Mexico with a beautiful blond model.

Future Kickstarter donors, we ask that you take caution and beware, you could be scammed.

[via Gawker]

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10 comments

  1. DoktorThomas

    When you give your money to someone else under any pretense, it is no longer your money. Consider it lost.

    Never give any amount to anyone or to any entity (that includes banks) that you cannot afford to loose entirely. Extrapolate to every commercial transaction.

    FYI: all world currencies are fiat money; by definition they have no intrinsic value whatsoever. None. In a real sense, your wealth has already been stolen.

  2. Louis

    Can a knowledgeable mentor type organisation not get involved as an independent 3rd party, much like a trustee, to take charge of all funds, and only release it when the business plan is followed, perhaps even being the only one allowed to make any payments on behalf of the project, thus not getting the developer sidetracked with dollar signs ?

  3. Seamus McSeamus

    Unfortunately, this is the risk you take when handing over your money to a stranger. To me, this is no different than a guy on a soap box at the mall giving a presentation of his idea, and asking the crowd for money to help him get things off the ground.

    Without a way to vet those asking for investment, you really are taking it on faith that you are donating to an honest person. You have no means of oversight. If things go south, as they so obviously have in the case cited in this article, litigation is really the only recourse for investors. Even then, by the time the process has run it’s course, years will have gone by; and there’s still no guarantee that you’ll ever see a dime of your money returned.

  4. Tom

    This is beyond inexperience, or incompetence. Eric Chevalier to advantage of his investors and should be tried on fraud charges. Scammer? Well if the walks/talks like a duck rules apply, one might wonder.

    Sad, but it’s creeps like this that spell the end of crowd-sourcing sites such as Kickstarter.