Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Jason Appleton from Greed Monger, stealing $100,000 KickStarter funds?

I'm the Community Manager at the Greed Monger forums.
Currently there are no Devs working on the game and the owner, Jason Appleton has done nothing but have a public meltdown. He is blaming everyone but himself. As it currently stands, over 2 years later. He has yet to fulfill ANY of the legal obligations of running a KickStarter. And currently it looks like he has no plans to.
 
As of right now, this is the only stickied thread on the General Forums.
 
 
 
 
He has so far banned James, the old lead dev of the game. I lifted the ban, but I expect him to ban him, and strip me of my title as well. 
 
If you donated to this game, please don't just give up. His entire staff is fighting for what's right. 
 
I fully expect Jason to threaten me, seeing that's just how he does things. But if we do not kick up a fuss over this, then he will silently exit with over $100,000 in funds. 
 
We are dealing with a man who had his lead developer work for free, on the back of a promise that he will get a percentage of the profits. Then he threatened to sue if he quit. Meanwhile Jason has opened other businesses. I wonder where he got the money for that? 
 
Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.  I also will stand firm in my belief that none of this is the fault of James (lead dev). Jason's ego is just too big to admit he got into a project that he can't handle. 
 
You can read a lot more about this here: 
 
[12/5/2012 11:05:49 PM] James Proctor: To get it done in a reasonable time it's going to take a team twice this size... Takes AAA companies with hundreds of people 4+ years just to release a MMO...
[12/5/2012 11:06:08 PM] Jason Appleton: No it wont. I've done my research man
[12/5/2012 11:06:27 PM] Jason Appleton: Early on I didnt know for sure. But I've been reading on gamasutra and other resources
[12/5/2012 11:06:48 PM] Jason Appleton: For the kind of game we are making it shouldn't take that long, not with the assets and tools we have available
 
 
«1

Comments

  • jdlamson75jdlamson75 Member UncommonPosts: 1,008
    So you're saying he's a...Greed Monger?
  • DeriumsDeriums Member Posts: 38
    Originally posted by jdlamson75
    So you're saying he's a...Greed Monger?

    Well played, sir. 

  • thunderclesthundercles Member UncommonPosts: 510
    Grabs popcorn. This is either going to blowup or get pulled from the website.

    Was just over at the official forums. The struggle is real.
  • d_20d_20 Member RarePosts: 1,878
    If someone has committed fraud or breach of contract, you can seek a legal remedy.


  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 20,481

    OP - if you are going to make an accusation of someone stealing $100,000 you need to show clear evidence.

    What you have is conjecture.

    Not to sound like I am defending shady business practices or questionable character of Jason Appleton, but again accusing anyone of theft of this magnitude is pretty serious, better have some solid proof.

     

    Also you are quoting new KS terms of service - only new games fall under current terms of service. Greed Monger falls under OLD terms and  it will take a lot to prove developer wrongdoing - especially the fact that this game did have active development by several people until recently.

     

  • DeriumsDeriums Member Posts: 38
    Originally posted by DMKano

    OP - if you are going to make an accusation of someone stealing $100,000 you need to show clear evidence.

    What you have is conjecture.

    Not to sound like I am defending shady business practices or questionable character of Jason Appleton, but again accusing anyone of theft of this magnitude is pretty serious, better have some solid proof.

     

     

    there is a 10 page thread that I linked to with a lot of information on it that the lead dev was posting. And I assaulted the video with as much screencaps and links as I possibly could. I also stated that I want to apply pressure to him so he will do the right thing. After all, one of his staff did say there is no way this game will be finished. I know it's a tall order to accuse someone of. but it's shaping up that way, and I do not want to see that happen. 

     

     and I know you're not defending him, and I do appreciate the looking out for me/us.

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140
    Originally posted by DMKano

    OP - if you are going to make an accusation of someone stealing $100,000 you need to show clear evidence.

    What you have is conjecture.

    Not to sound like I am defending shady business practices or questionable character of Jason Appleton, but again accusing anyone of theft of this magnitude is pretty serious, better have some solid proof.

     

    Also you are quoting outdated KS terms of service - under current terms of service it will take a lot to prove developer wrongdoing - especially the fact that this game did have active development by several people until recently.

     

    We dont know because Appleton has been hiding and wont come out to play. It looks like a scam and he isnt answering for it.

     

    Anyhow, im not going to discuss it here. This thread has a lifespan of about an hour. I am tired of mmorp.com closing every GM thread. This could have been resolved a very long time ago but mods did an incredible job of hindering real discussion.

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 20,481
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Anyhow, im not going to discuss it here. This thread has a lifespan of about an hour. I am tired of mmorp.com closing every GM thread. 

    There is a reason for that - same reason why Greed Monger is no longer listed as a game on this site.

    GM threatened lawsuits against MMORPG.COM a long time ago - which is why this site wants nothing to do with it.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,791
    So you're telling me that he never spent any of the Kickstarter money on development, and all development that happened was people working for free?  That's got to be fraud.  I can understand saying "we spent the $100k hiring developers to do stuff and ran out of money so we're stopping".
  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Anyhow, im not going to discuss it here. This thread has a lifespan of about an hour. I am tired of mmorp.com closing every GM thread. 

    There is a reason for that - same reason why Greed Monger is no longer listed as a game on this site.

    GM threatened lawsuits against MMORPG.COM a long time ago - which is why this site wants nothing to do with it.

    Yeah I know. Everyone knows. The video the OP linked mentions it. And greed monger discussion is allowed here, the forum was pulled. The problem is, its a total waste of time to type anything out which is going to be deleted and the thread locked anyhow- Which always happens.

  • botrytisbotrytis Member RarePosts: 2,924
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    So you're telling me that he never spent any of the Kickstarter money on development, and all development that happened was people working for free?  That's got to be fraud.  I can understand saying "we spent the $100k hiring developers to do stuff and ran out of money so we're stopping".

    That is the thing about Kickstarter. You give them money and they do not have to give you anything and they don't even have to develop a game. They can just say, Sorry it wasn't going to work and walk away.

     

    This is why Kickstarter is a scam waiting to happen.

    image

    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 12,482

    Funny thing... I used Greed Monger as an example of how KS can be used for scams in another thread here a couple of weeks ago and I got a PM from James telling me it was still being developed. Poor guy was trying to keep it alive all by himself but even he eventually reached his limit.

     

    Working on % of profits is not that unusual in the indy world - my own son did just that coding a game part time while he worked on his masters. The game is doing quite well @ Steam so he has seen over $100K for his 10% so far. But then the lead dev is a close friend of his with a good track record. Working strictly on % of profits is not something that should be done for just anyone,

     

    Sounds like James got burnt even more than any KS backer by Applebum.

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,006
    Can't say that I wasn't expecting that...
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming - RAM: 16GB Kingston HyperX Savage DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Philips 40PUK6809 4K 3D TV - Second display: Philips 273v 27" gaming monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset and Razer Hydra controllers - Soundcard: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,554
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Also you are quoting new KS terms of service - only new games fall under current terms of service. Greed Monger falls under OLD terms and  it will take a lot to prove developer wrongdoing - especially the fact that this game did have active development by several people until recently.

    I think that the old Kickstarter Terms of Service are stricter than the one quoted by OP. The new terms were updated to allow project creators explain what was done with the money in case they failed. The old terms simply stated that "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill". Appleton's company for creating the project has obligation to either complete the game or to refund money. Backers don't need to prove anything to get either the game or everything that can be get from Electric Crow games when it goes bankrupt.

    Beyond that it's a more shady area. Appleton informed his backers in Kickstarter that "Appleton has already committed to providing the financial resources for the project". It means he's left the door open for backers to also sue him personally, not just his company, if that promise was not fulfilled.

     
  • PepeqPepeq Member UncommonPosts: 1,977

    People are so desperate for work that they will do anything... here we have game developers out of work afraid to quit a job that pays nothing... time to find another line of work.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,709

    This is officially worse than Mortal Online and Starvault...  Never thought I would see the day... but this takes the cake!

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • MoiraeMoirae Member RarePosts: 3,318

    The thing about kickstarter and other sites like it is that you are volunteering the money and taking it on faith that it will be developed. It is why I highly recommend against giving more than $50-$100 to a project. 

    It's not technically against the law. If it was then wall street wouldn't work. You risk your money, and sometimes you lose. 

    Now on the grounds that he had people doing work for free to get paid based on a portion of the profits... it's possible he may get away with that if those people signed a contract with him. If not, then its he said she said and a possible court case in the making as he can be sued.

    I recommend consulting a lawyer. 

  • scorpex-xscorpex-x Member RarePosts: 1,030

    People are really stupid with their money on the internet, whether it's backing some kickstarter game, giving money to youtubers or F2P games or mobile apps.

     

    People really need a wakeup call and to be ripped off to wise up a bit, so I'm glad if this guy ripped off 100k.

     

    I hope he posts pics of him living it up with all the money.

  • mbrodiembrodie Member RarePosts: 1,416
    Originally posted by scorpex-x

    People are really stupid with their money on the internet, whether it's backing some kickstarter game, giving money to youtubers or F2P games or mobile apps.

     

    People really need a wakeup call and to be ripped off to wise up a bit, so I'm glad if this guy ripped off 100k.

     

    I hope he posts pics of him living it up with all the money.

    To a degree this... it doesnt matter how promising a game looks, you're basically investing in a product with no real business plan / timeline / shareholders to keep the company accountable (well technically the kickstart funders are dumb shareholders) and the reason i say that is, why would you invest money into something with no monetary return, just an empty promise your game might get completed at some point and you get some cool digital rewards to go with it.

     

    I dunno, maybe it's just the point of view from someone who actually holds shares in multiple companies and makes money off it.. If a kickstarter was offering me shares in the game company with access to Dev / Board meetings, quarterly dividends and forecast growth with possible profit share. I'd probably be inclined to sink some $$$ into them.

     

    It's all about calculated risk.

  • brihtwulfbrihtwulf Member UncommonPosts: 975

    This is the kind of thing that bothers me about Kickstarter projects.  There is no guarantee you're ever going to get what you paid for, and you're trusting a random person to be completely honest with you about what they're doing.  And as we know, most people are not the honest types (especially when it comes to making money).

    You have so many kickstarter projects out there, and so many of them have rather seemingly unattainable goals and claims.  But you have so many people with disposable income (mostly young people with few responsibilities I suspect) willing to throw money at any claim they think is "cool" at the moment.  Then you get situations where the person is dishonest and can in fact just walk away with the money paid to them.  The only recourse is to try suing then, I suppose.  I wonder just how effective that is...

    I think indie studios are great, and the level of innovation in them is typically so much higher than something in a major studio.  They have much less to lose from their ambitions.  But these Kickstarter projects are so unpredictable, still a rather new system, and very much unproven.  It seems a magnet for scammers, liars, and lazy "developers" who couldn't actually get funding for their project, put a legitimate team together, or possibly even have the skills needed themselves to undertake the project.

    I'm still pretty worried about how a project like Star Citizen is going to turn out.  The amount of money they've been raising is astounding, and I'm just not sure they'll be delivering a product that matches expectations and budget.  Different subject matter, but I just mean to say that Kickstarter projects offer a whole host of scariness to them in their unreliability.

  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Member UncommonPosts: 1,199

    According to that other guy, 50k went into servers, and another 40k out to contractors, I doubt he's sitting on stolen money...

     

    This is why you do your research for Kickstarter and try to back people with good reputations. That's how Star Citizen is doing so well and they already have a game to show for it. Same for Camelot Unchained.

  • thunderclesthundercles Member UncommonPosts: 510
    Greed monger in being sold to interdiction studios- via Jason Appleton on the greed monger forums
  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140

    Okay mmorpg.com , I like you again =P

    ...For now.

    Good article and information here. 

    -Time for the pressure to be put on jason Appleton. We need answers and he needs to face up to this. 

  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,631
    Originally posted by thundercles
    Greed monger in being sold to interdiction studios- via Jason Appleton on the greed monger forums

    http://www.indiedb.com/company/interdiction-studios-llc

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jeff-clark/29/59/666

     

    Jeff Clark

    CEO and Founder at Interdiction Studios

    http://www.interdictionstudios.co/

    Cincinnati Area
    Entertainment

     

    Current
    1. Interdiction Studios LLC
    Previous
    1. US Navy
    Education
    1. Milford High School
    Websites
     
    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Member RarePosts: 2,555

    It was evident early on that Greed Monger was a bad risk.  The more that came out about it's development, and Appleton's nature, the more warning bells should have been ringing.  For a number of folks, it was clear.   Kickstarters/Crowdfunding   definitely  comes with the Caveat Emptor designation.

     

    Hope the new guy didn't pay much for it.  No reason Jason's big head should get fed.   Sadly, this is not really an isolated occurrence in the gaming world.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

This discussion has been closed.