Update: And the campaign has been shut down.
Today’s Crowdfunding Fraudster comes to us from Kickstarter, for Life Is Strange 2. You may be thinking right now, “Connor, Life Is Strange was a completely legitimate game. It was published by Square Enix for crying out loud. How could a crowdfunding effort to make a sequel be fraudulent?”
The answer is simple: This campaign isn’t being run by developer Dontnod Entertainment, nor is it manned by publisher Square Enix. This campaign was started by a fan Scott Ashby, trying to raise twenty thousand dollars to persuade Dontnod to make the sequel a reality. According to the campaign page, there are two options should this be successfully funded: Give the money to Dontnod to fund the sequel or use the money to buy the rights to Life is Strange and hand it over to another developer to make said sequel.
Despite the money going to someone else to create the game, the campaign creator has already made some promises on how the game will be including 16 different endings, a musical mini-game, and other game features. Quite presumptive to think you can raise nowhere near the amount of money that such a game would require to develop, but to also hold said money ransom unless your demands are met. Whoever donates at the $1,000 level will be allowed to write the backstory for Principal Wells with every $1,000 donation after that being allowed to voice a character. Because that’s exactly what you want in a story, character plots that are essentially fanfiction and amateur voice actors.
So obviously the campaign is filled with as much ambition as it is lacking self awareness or a basic understanding of how the gaming industry works. Ashby does not have the rights to the game, is not making anywhere near enough money to buy said rights, can’t compel the developer anyway, and in some distant parallel universe where this campaign had any hope of succeeding, could simply walk away with twenty grand in his pocket and say that at least he tried.
Ultimately the sincerity of the campaign creator is irrelevant to the ultimate outcome: That backers will not see a return on their investment, and fans of the game could be tricked into thinking that this is somehow legitimate. The sooner that this project gets shut down, the better.