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Greed Monger Cancelled; $100,000+ in Kickstarter Funds Unaccounted For

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  • MightykingMightyking Member UncommonPosts: 235

    It appears Jason A. has left a final statement here: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/greed-monger-insider-thread-drama-inside.98177/page-18

     

    Quote from Jason A.

    I'm going to explain what I THINK has happened over the past few days and that's it. I'm not going to go into a full blown explanation of the game, how it ended up here or point fingers. This is the only time I'm going to chime in here and I'm walking away for good. After agreeing to give GM to James and Joel (our contract came from a legal service, not just made up on a whim) I simply washed my hands of this and moved on for an endless list of reasons. A few days ago, James messaged me asking me to show where the funds went. Going back years into my financial records was a very mind bending task and at first I declined. Simply because I didn't have to. However, they brought up some discrepancies that I explained they were far off about and just flat out wrong and of course it turned into a "prove it" argument. So I spent about an hour with them finally showing them screenshot after screenshot of not only what they were directly wrong about, but many other things to show them how the money was used, which was to a lot of developers, graphics guys, assets, licenses, etc etc, a lot of which James had apparently forgotten about entirely. But I had to go and left it at that.

    What I think this boiled down to was simple. They did what they did to take over Greed Monger expecting to have funding to see it through from where it was (although I wasn't aware this outside funding was even an issue or a must have for them to complete the game as I was under the impression they had a full volunteer team to finish everything) and when that funding apparently fell through, they panicked and James figured he could launch a smaller game to generate some revenue to then use to finish GM. Some images were leaked from people on his FB and all hell broke loose once again. They then came to me asking about where the money went, I assume now because they wanted to make sure that if they closed the project and any form of legal action came about, I was at least able to show that the money wasn't squandered or used to buy a fishing boat or something. It wasn't, I showed them that (at the time I just wanted to prove I wasn't lying and to prove them wrong about their personal claims) but they wanted to be able to close shop on the game until they got their ducks in a row without worrying about recourse, as is my opinion.

    I know this was all a mess and I wont go into details about how or why things worked out the way they did. We did work for years to create an MMO game for $100k. I even had outside investment help toward the end. When we launched the KS the game was originally supposed to be much more simplistic. A cross between Salem and Ultima Online. James and I were a team, though I was the front man for everything. I took all of the hits so he could stay away from the madness and focus on results that I figured would ultimately clear my name in the end when the game was done. 

    I used the money for development, plain and simple. I had them agree not to publicly release the screenshots because I dont need mine or anyone elses financial information all over the web for obvious reasons.

    To call this all a scam is just an easy way to drum up negative support against what we attempted to do and I get it. But the fact is, we certainly tried to do what I now know is impossible. Build and MMO with a lot of community involvement on a small budget. I learned the hard way that unless you have the funds to hire a team working out of your office that you can observe, monitor and have direct control over full time, you're already dead in the water. We had a sizable team for a while, but from my experience, everyone was out to take what they could and deliver little in return and to be honest, the community blasting us from inception all over the web not only put undue pressure on the team members but was ultimately cause for the game being a failure. It's difficult to find the help you need, paid or otherwise when everyone thinks badly about what you're trying to accomplish. I dont mean that to sound like excuses, but the community didn't help.

    I'm sorry things worked out the way they did but I honestly did everything in my power to see this game through and never gave up on supporting James until the very end when I finally decided to give everything I had to James and Joel. It was my last ditch effort to see the game get finished knowing I would never see a dime for everything I had personally dealt with, suffered through, all of the stress and trials I had to contend with over the past 3 years. IT was either James and his newly resurfacing friend take their ball and go home, or I give them everything and let them finish it for all of the glory. I figured I'd rather see the game done, whatever it took.

    I am simply done. They own everything and what they do with it all is up to them. I'd like to think they will get their ducks in a row and continue working on GM as I don't see James just walking away. I think they would rather the community think they are done and let things die down so that they can work on the game without all of the pressure put on by the public. But thats my opinion. The MMO forum community is a very big cross to bear, especially for James as I've told him COUNTLESS times to stay off the forums and focus on finishing the game. Showing the public a completed game will say all you will ever need to say to them and until then, everything else is just BS or troll food. But James can't help himself when it comes to forums for some reason.

    I doubt this will clear anything up for anyone but I wanted to try.

    Be well.

  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726
    Originally posted by Mightyking
    It appears Jason A. has left a final statement here: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/greed-monger-insider-thread-drama-inside.98177/page-18

    Unfortunately, it doesn't really add any sort of information to the conversation, and it's just more smoke, mirrors, and CYA. Basically a restatement of what James has already claimed that Jason said.

    TL;DR: He blames the community and still refuses to provide proof of allocation of KS funds.

  • mayito7777mayito7777 Member UncommonPosts: 768
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    I have half a mind to start a Kickstarter for a game called VaporWare.

    Between you and me you are kind of late for that, there is a game already out there that is doing that, lets say that  it has to do with stars and citizens.

    want 7 free days of playing? Try this

    http://www.swtor.com/r/ZptVnY

  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726
    Originally posted by mayito7777
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    I have half a mind to start a Kickstarter for a game called VaporWare.

    Between you and me you are kind of late for that, there is a game already out there that is doing that, lets say that  it has to do with stars and citizens.

    Well, they've at least provided backers with some of the promises they made originally, and clearly are working on a game that's both playable and being updated with regularity.

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,554

    Why do people care so much about what James did or did not do? The contract to create Greed Monger was between Kickstarter backers and Jason Appleton. Whatever agreements Jason Appleton made with James, it doesn't really matter to us because we're not a party to any of those contracts.

    To us James was just one of the employees/contractors representing Jason Appleton. If we want to get some kind of justice, we should stop dissecting James' actions and focus on Jason. He's the person who could be sued for all this, not James.

    It's also childish to expect that James would help clearing this mess. He'd have only to lose if someone took this to court or officials started investigating the matter. It's clearly in his best interests to tell us whatever fairytale is required to avoid that.

     
  • TyggsTyggs Member UncommonPosts: 455
    So..... where da t-shirts at, brah?

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  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726
    Originally posted by Vrika

    Why do people care so much about what James did or did not do? The contract to create Greed Monger was between Kickstarter backers and Jason Appleton. Whatever agreements Jason Appleton made with James, it doesn't really matter to us because we're not a party to any of those contracts.

    To us James was just one of the employees/contractors representing Jason Appleton. If we want to get some kind of justice, we should stop dissecting James' actions and focus on Jason. He's the person who could be sued for all this, not James.

    It's also childish to expect that James would help clearing this mess. He'd have only to lose if someone took this to court or officials started investigating the matter. It's clearly in his best interests to tell us whatever fairytale is required to avoid that.

    In terms of legal action, there's likely little that could be done to Appleton or to Proctor. However, it's imperative people know the history James Proctor has with Greed Monger, as he is already claiming to be seeking funding for another project.

    Legal actions aren't likely, but reputation is important in situations like this.

    James was just as much part of the debacle as Jason.

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,006

    Moral of the story: if you really want to kickstart a project, at least do it for a project of some well known developer you know is capable of completing it, and not for the wet dream of some kid with delusions of grandeur.

    All the games I've backed, and there are 2 so far, Elite Dangerous and Shroud of the Avatar, are both playable, fun, with good production quality, and I'm playing them. And both are made under the lead of a developer who already proved his worth many times in the past.

    "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.
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  • JaedorJaedor Member UncommonPosts: 1,173

    Jason replied in the rpgcodex thread about the funds. James did too, a couple pages back.
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/greed-monger-insider-thread-drama-inside.98177/page-18#post-3937789


    Sums it up: "To call this all a scam is just an easy way to drum up negative support against what we attempted to do and I get it. But the fact is, we certainly tried to do what I now know is impossible."

  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726
    Originally posted by Jaedor

    Jason replied in the rpgcodex thread about the funds. James did too, a couple pages back.
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/greed-monger-insider-thread-drama-inside.98177/page-18#post-3937789


    And neither of them posted any sort of confirmation, other than "we used it all, but can't show you how".

  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Member UncommonPosts: 323
    Originally posted by EponyxDamor
    Originally posted by Mightyking
    It appears Jason A. has left a final statement here: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/greed-monger-insider-thread-drama-inside.98177/page-18

    Unfortunately, it doesn't really add any sort of information to the conversation, and it's just more smoke, mirrors, and CYA. Basically a restatement of what James has already claimed that Jason said.

    TL;DR: He blames the community and still refuses to provide proof of allocation of KS funds.

    Exactly this.  Make reasonable sounding explanations (excuses), blame those calling you to account, try to make others feel bad for you by listing your problems, and then try to make yourself out to be the good guy for all the sacrifices you've made.  The end result?  Still no finished product, still no accounting for where the money went.  This is con artistry 101.

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Member UncommonPosts: 323
    Originally posted by mayito7777
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    I have half a mind to start a Kickstarter for a game called VaporWare.

    Between you and me you are kind of late for that, there is a game already out there that is doing that, lets say that  it has to do with stars and citizens.

    Yeah, that's become a sore point with several friends who were enthusiastic backers.

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • quixadhalquixadhal Member UncommonPosts: 215

    Wait.  People are surprised that a bunch of money went "missing" from a project titled "GREED MONGER"?

     

  • MightykingMightyking Member UncommonPosts: 235

    If you are an original backer of the Greed Monger game and American, and currently thinking about filing a lawsuit.

    Then I'll send you $250 through paypal of your choice if you can send me a copy of the official court papers. My offer is serious, and you can drop a private message on how we can verify my claim, and discuss details.

  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Member UncommonPosts: 191

    I pledged $5 to this some years ago. I thought it looked promising. 

    I've just spent probably 8 hours or so pouring over all of this information and I'm dumbfounded. I think one of the most important lessons about this is that if you are a developer, if you don't have something substantial accurate and relevant to say, say nothing at all. That the developers of this "game" have come to forums to defend themselves and conduct themselves in such a vulgar way is totally unprofessional and has undermined the credibility of them and their game 100%. 

    Furthermore, it's the little things. The fact that Jason Appleton on here as Mogus posts his own face as his profile image, that he is such a snake oil salesman and involves himself in so many projects. When I see him in these professional projects of his (real estate or whatever) and he's wearing a suit and those glasses, I just see the same snake oil salesman in different clothes. I think he's a narcissist, especially being on some reality show or whatever. He's addicted to money and will do anything to get it. Ironically, though, I think he really did just want to create a good MMO because I do believe he's a gamer, but he made a massive mistake in wanting to be a game developer and certainly lacks the credibility and competence to do it. 

    James Proctor is strange but overall an honest character (look on facebook for Jim Proctor to see what he looks like). This is clearly someone who is just incompetent (no insult intended). I believe that, much like Jason Appleton, James Proctor is just an incompetent dreamer but someone who thinks way too highly of his abilities and lacks the ability to admit that he's finished nothing and has no credibility. 

    I don't think that the $100,000 is unaccounted for or squandered, I think that this group of people are literally so incompetent that they don't even realize giving this money back to people is the best option. They're so incompetent I bet they don't even know how to do this. 

    I think this experience should not only be a warning when it comes to making kickstarter pledges but it should be a warning to people wanting to become a developer of games. This is a serious business and not some easily achievable thing you can do in your spare time. 

    James Proctor, for the hard work you've invested into Greed Monger, I thank you. 

    Jason Appleton, for sharing aspirations such as me to have an excellent sandbox MMO, I don't know, I high-five you. 

    But for being such incompetent, narcissistic morons who are so deluded as to how to fix this situation and for taking such a long time to simply scrap this project and give people their money back, I look down on you and scold you. Greed Monger is poison, its name is poison, we tried telling you this and we even insisted you change the name, and you didn't listen to us. Wipe this disaster from the history of our consciousness and redeem yourselves by paying their money back. 

    Then you can sell out and make whatever zombie facebook games you want. 

  • AeliousAelious Member RarePosts: 3,521

    (Tongue>Cheek) Give the assets to Eric and Sandra, they seem to be developing Project: Gorgon just fine with the two of them.  Yes, I know it's not that easy but it can be done at a slow, steady pace.  PG gets updates constantly.

     

    I really feel for those that spent money and probably will never see anything for it.

  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726

    For any backers interested, a few weeks back, Gloriva Victis offered an invitation to their game with proof of purchase for Greed Monger funding:

    Meanwhile, if there are any Greed Monger, Embers of Caerus or another MMORPG Kickstarters backers who were not delivered yet what they paid for please contact me via support@gloriavictisgame.com with showing some proof of your donation for those projects. I will gladly send you invitation into the Gloria Victis hoping that you won't loose believe in Indie Developers.

    I think that's pretty gentlemanly of them to do.

  • NadiaNadia Member UncommonPosts: 11,798
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by Mightyking

    You probably mean this http://gamerant.com/kickstarter-class-action-lawsuit/ one. The lawsuit has been filed a year ago, and there has not been a verdict yet, as far as I could find.

    Actually a better source is:http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/attorney-general-files-lawsuit-against-company-behind-asylum-playing-cards  and the original filed complaint can be found at: http://agportal-s3bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/uploadedfiles/AsylumComplaint 2014-05-01.pdf

    I suspect that since the action is between the State of Washington and a Tennessee LLC that there may be a problem with the jurisdiction (the complaint was filed in King County Washington.

    My guess is that since the Attorney General has got his bit of press coverage on this one it has quietly faded away.

    Even if it is still on going and they get a favourable decision it is likely that it was a $5 company with no assets to seize.

    not much of an update but a related article -- 6 months later,  Nov 2014

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/seattle-kickstarter-project-zioneyez-silent-after-/njBQK/

  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Member UncommonPosts: 323
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

     

    I don't think that the $100,000 is unaccounted for or squandered, I think that this group of people are literally so incompetent that they don't even realize giving this money back to people is the best option. They're so incompetent I bet they don't even know how to do this. 

     

    They have yet to produce so much as a complete, itemized list of what the money was spent on which even the most basic of legitimate businesses would have to have for accounting purposes, let alone actual, documented receipts (even with account numbers redacted) proving the money was invested in the game.  With every iteration of their story, there's a different claim about how many people were employed and what it was spent on, and all of it boils down to "trust us".  That's the definition of unaccounted for.  Classic con artist practice.

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • TybostTybost Member UncommonPosts: 609
    Originally posted by EponyxDamor

    For any backers interested, a few weeks back, Gloriva Victis offered an invitation to their game with proof of purchase for Greed Monger funding:

    Meanwhile, if there are any Greed Monger, Embers of Caerus or another MMORPG Kickstarters backers who were not delivered yet what they paid for please contact me via support@gloriavictisgame.com with showing some proof of your donation for those projects. I will gladly send you invitation into the Gloria Victis hoping that you won't loose believe in Indie Developers.

    I think that's pretty gentlemanly of them to do.

    Nice!

  • angerbeaverangerbeaver Member UncommonPosts: 1,052
    Originally posted by EponyxDamor

    For any backers interested, a few weeks back, Gloriva Victis offered an invitation to their game with proof of purchase for Greed Monger funding:

    Meanwhile, if there are any Greed Monger, Embers of Caerus or another MMORPG Kickstarters backers who were not delivered yet what they paid for please contact me via support@gloriavictisgame.com with showing some proof of your donation for those projects. I will gladly send you invitation into the Gloria Victis hoping that you won't loose believe in Indie Developers.

    I think that's pretty gentlemanly of them to do.

    That is super impressive!

  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 726
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

     

    I don't think that the $100,000 is unaccounted for or squandered, I think that this group of people are literally so incompetent that they don't even realize giving this money back to people is the best option. They're so incompetent I bet they don't even know how to do this. 

     

    They have yet to produce so much as a complete, itemized list of what the money was spent on which even the most basic of legitimate businesses would have to have for accounting purposes, let alone actual, documented receipts (even with account numbers redacted) proving the money was invested in the game.  With every iteration of their story, there's a different claim about how many people were employed and what it was spent on, and all of it boils down to "trust us".  Classic con artist practice.

    James Proctor claimed to be the only person working on the game, up until the time he originally quit. However, he also made multiple references to a "team" and often used the phrases "us" and "we" while talking about it's development. They never posted a proper list of employees working on Greed Monger, and none of them ever posted on forums or showed up to the "hangouts" where they claimed they would be introduced. This was likely to create the illusion that the game actually had a development team, when in actuality, it never did.

    Even according to the original chat logs that James Proctor posted, Matt Eichler (the original lead developer) and David Bennel (World builder) both left the development team one week after receiving funding.

    There was no evidence that more than on person was ever working on Greed Monger for any substantial period of time.

    However, it's possible that a majority of the money was lost to scammers and con artists, looking to cash in on Jason's limited knowledge. This is a possible "reason" they refuse to post any sort of itemized account for funds; it would probably look worse and be more humiliating than having to admit you stole the money outright.

  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Member UncommonPosts: 323
    Originally posted by EponyxDamor

    However, it's possible that a majority of the money was lost to scammers and con artists, looking to cash in on Jason's limited knowledge. This is a possible "reason" they refuse to post any sort of itemized account for funds; it would probably look worse and be more humiliating than having to admit you stole the money outright.

    That's possible, but you would think at some point, rather than continue to have their names drug through the mud and taint their reputations for any future projects they might be involved with, that they would be forthcoming and expose those who scammed them, if that were the case.  I haven't seen anything that even hints that this could be the case.

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    Originally posted by EponyxDamor

    However, it's possible that a majority of the money was lost to scammers and con artists, looking to cash in on Jason's limited knowledge. This is a possible "reason" they refuse to post any sort of itemized account for funds; it would probably look worse and be more humiliating than having to admit you stole the money outright.

    That's possible, but you would think at some point, rather than continue to have their names drug through the mud and taint their reputations for any future projects they might be involved with, that they would be forthcoming and expose those who scammed them, if that were the case.  I haven't seen anything that even hints that this could be the case.

    That's the big one.

    The company I work for had a web development contractor company overbill/disappear 13k in project  funding and although the partners opted to not sue, word got around. Their contract was canceled, which cost them substantially more, and within our industry, their name because mud, losing them a boatload more money. That web development company closed at the end of last year, despite previously having 20+ employees.

     

    If any of the people involved in Greed Monger think that the stink of GM and the "misuse" of the 100k is not going to dog them for a LONG time, they are even more deluded than people already think they are.

     

  • DibdabsDibdabs Member RarePosts: 2,823
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    If any of the people involved in Greed Monger think that the stink of GM and the "misuse" of the 100k is not going to dog them for a LONG time, they are even more deluded than people already think they are.

    Yep, nothing sticks like sh*t does.  They'll never polish THAT to a shine.  :D

This discussion has been closed.