Project Phoenix scammed us? Creative Intelegent Art Fraud?

Oct 29, 2017
417
Even if it's all false Project Phoenix is still a total disaster. That money is all gone either way and the backers have nothing to show for it. At best this particular rumour is false and the whole thing is still a total mismanaged failure
 

Holundrian

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,273
This and mn9 were bad bets for me. But such is kickstarter. I feel though the ones that built on name recognition(of certain people) the most have been worse on average whereas it seems the ones that have non and a forced to push only the game generally seem to work out better.
If I'd known I'd back some other stuff.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,813
Seattle
Kinda messed up, but the likelihood of backers getting anything out of their Project Pheonix payment rests on Tiny Metal's success... which now is in huge jeopardy due to this news.

Seems totally possible they just mismanaged the money and then had to look for funding for a different game; but also totally possible they took the money to help fund a separate game that they could sell without giving copies to backers.

I'm leaning towards the latter; if you spent $1 million+ developing a game you'd have qutie a bit to show, and then could use that to get more investment into that game... it sounds like that game was Tiny Metal from the start and they never started on PP.
 

MistaTwo

SNK Gaming Division Studio 1
Verified
Oct 24, 2017
1,579
Some of the best con men have lots and lots of friends, are charming and people would vouch for them blindly. Not saying he is one, but several accounts of knowing him means absolutely nothing, just that he knows his way around people.
I was one of the people who chimed in with knowing him, although I admittedly don't know him very well.
Was mostly just chiming in to say that he is a legitimately part of the games industry here in Japan.

The thing about painting him as a conman, is you have to think what he would gain from this accusation.
The JP games industry (which is obviously his main career) is a very small and connected industry and even if he is 100% correct in these
allegations, this might not end very well for him in regards to future jobs and such.

Basically, even if he is 100% right in this case he doesn't have that much to gain but has a lot to lose.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Alcotholic

Self-Requested Ban.
Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,148
... Why not just advertise the game you actually want to develop?
If it’s true, I won’t be supporting Tiny Metal. And get WarGroove instead.
 
Oct 26, 2017
59
Kuwait
I pledged for this God forsaken project and because of that I never backed another Kickstarter thing since. Burned badly on this one. Yura is a scammer and I'll never buy anything he's involved with ever. No matter how good Tiny Metal ends up being the bastard already owes me my money back. Such a shame.

And he has the nerve to offer us A DEMO of Tiny Metal to make up for it. Go to hell.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,871
Holy crap, that whole "If you're a streamer, youtuber with a decent audience size who backed the game, we'll give you a demo key to Tiny Metal"
 

DOA

Member
Oct 26, 2017
96
this really sux. i'm a backer of this project, and i was really interested in the project. call me stupid, or naïve, but i still have hope that this will someday work
 
Oct 27, 2017
208
Haven't backed any kickstarter and I will never ever do so.

Stories like these have surfaced from time to time and it's just ridiculous. Kickstarter's whole concept is still not passable for me in terms of how project starters will be made liable to deliver on their promised product.
 

Compsiox

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,062
5 years of nothing to show and it is always the programmers fault huh
If the average person were to google "how hard is it to be a programmer" it would probably tell them it's something along the lines of being a linguist. Thus, they'd be like oh shit boi, I can't even learn Spanish that must be real difficult. As a result, they'd decide they couldn't be a programmer even if given 50 lifetimes and cut the developers some slack.
 
Oct 27, 2017
38
If the average person were to google "how hard is it to be a programmer" it would probably tell them it's something along the lines of being a linguist. Thus, they'd be like oh shit boi, I can't even learn Spanish that must be real difficult. As a result, they'd decide they couldn't be a programmer even if given 50 lifetimes and cut the developers some slack.
Relevant:
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,045
Well it's a shame and I knew the risks when I decided to back it but such are the dangers of crowdfunding projects. It probably won't stop me from supporting promising Kickstarter projects in the future but this will make a bit more reticent towards supporting games made by relatively unknown entities. Most Kickstarter projects made by veterans have turned out into decent, if not great, games and Project Phoenix is, thankfully, one of the few exceptions from the projects that caught my interest or that I backed.
 
Oct 27, 2017
208
Most of us work hard for the money that we are able to spend on video games. I'd rather pay for games that are already made and get the game outright.
 
Oct 27, 2017
42
I mean, that ... sounds in line with what they were saying on Kickstarter earlier this year.
We expect to make our backers happy will require higher quality assets and more programmers. To this end we stopped investing the returns from our music business into art assets and instead drove them into a different smaller production, with further assistance from private investors. Should this tiny product succeed those private investors have promised to invest significant capital into Project Phoenix. In this way we have been able to expand our in-house development staff and work towards a bright future for Project Phoenix. Instead of financing salaries and running costs out of Project Phoenix we have been building a team out of the budget of this tiny project. Work has continued on Project Phoenix, but only things for which budget existed. If you have been wondering why the past few months have had lots of story updates, that is the reason why. We are very excited for this tiny project which will be announced in May. It is fun to play and we are proud of that.

Should it hit the success we are hoping for it will set our team in a position to deliver Project Phoenix anything we had hoped for. This is not a plea to support that project, please consider it but understand it is not Project Phoenix.
https://kotaku.com/games-like-project-phoenix-ruin-kickstarter-for-everyon-1794668083
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,549
Is this legal?

Guy I used to do a similar thing Ireland until the law was changed. He would setup companies, gather investors, but through a loophole he was able to own the majority of the company debt. He would then declare the business bankrupt and take all the funds for himself.

If that's what happened here, then it is very illegal. The problem becomes proving it. You have to prove that the person committing the crime did so with the intent to move funds from one company to another by declaring bankruptcy. If he just goes bad luck, the project went under, taking what we can get and move on, it's really hard to prove otherwise.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,913
I have never and will never back anything through crowd funding. It's always been completely fucking obvious to me that stuff like this WILL happen.
On the other hand you have a situation like Pillars of Enernity that saved Obsidian from going bankrupt and they delivered a critically acclaimed game that also sold very well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,901
You're mixing this game up with Untold Story. Which had also the same feel, but at least it doesn't seem to be a full scam like this one is.
Unsung Story's in an odd place at the moment, in that it seems to have been completely ditched by the original team but picked up by a new team who are - at least - saying the right things at the moment. No idea how it'll turn out, but it's been interesting to follow.
 

thetrin

Content Acquisition at DANGEN Entertainment
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,408
Osaka Japan
Most of us work hard for the money that we are able to spend on video games. I'd rather pay for games that are already made and get the game outright.
And that is 100% reasonable. All some people are saying is that Kickstarter has born some rad fruit, and it would be a shame for stories like this to ruin it for tons of talented people without ready financial backing.

In the end, the bad eggs spoil the whole meal for some, and while I do not blame those people, it's not fair to paint the entire venture with such a thick brush.
 
Oct 31, 2017
488
Divinity OS 1 and 2, Shovel Knight, FTL, Darkest Dungeon, Hyper Ligtht Drifter all came from Kickstarter so for me, even though 2 projects I backed are likely never coming out the good far FAR outweighs the bad in my eyes.
 
Tiny Metal looks like an actually good entry in its genre and not what I'd expect from a scam project, but yikes if this is true.

Seems like there's a good chance that the last-minute delay has something to do with this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
248
Tokyo
Saying that someone was "fired from 5-7 game companies" is a defamation suit waiting to happen. You can't speak on behalf of another employer without their permission.
 
Oct 27, 2017
353
Count me in as one of those idiots that bought into Project Phoenix (and Unsung Story).

Those two games really made think super hard on what I crowd fund now.
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,068
The first and last thing I spent money on was Tim schaefer thing. I have no issue with people wanting to support stuff they believe in. I'll wait until they have an actual product.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,128
This is... quite the story! Following along with a bucket 'o popcorn. (Coming from someone who backed Mighty No. 9, and tons of other Kickstarters from Sekai Project etc, all for the limited physical copies :x) I'm still surprised that I never backed this. I was close, because physical copy, but for some reason... I just decided not to. Good choice, apparently.
 
Oct 25, 2017
22
Saying that someone was "fired from 5-7 game companies" is a defamation suit waiting to happen. You can't speak on behalf of another employer without their permission.
pretty much even i wouldnt believe that guy who got Fired MULTIPLE times due to his incompetency or arrogant. thats why im defending hiro at this point because he is still kept his word on making a project phoenix a reality, even tho it would end up in a long run.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,148
Now this...this is a weird one.

What if Tiny Metal was never real either, and they're just taking the money and running now that the curtain is up? Lol.

Divinity OS 1 and 2, Shovel Knight, FTL, Darkest Dungeon, Hyper Ligtht Drifter all came from Kickstarter so for me, even though 2 projects I backed are likely never coming out the good far FAR outweighs the bad in my eyes.
And Undertale, which people often forget was a Kickstarter game as well.

I don't think it's necessarily an awful platform, and some clearly great stuff has come out of it, but I wouldn't trust it with my own money. I'd rather decide if I want to pay for something after the game already exists and has reviews. In fact, the two Kickstarters I ever came close to backing were Citizens of Earth (which failed, got a publisher, and then got poorly reviewed) and this one (which...yeah).
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,051
The real thing that pisses me off its they were succesful on raising the money and never showed a progress!!
“Oh but we had a programmer and he bailed out in the last second” but how many programmers exists in this world?? 10? This guys don’t deserve any more credit
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,567
Ohio
Yeah the kickstarter updates for the game had been disappointing to non-existent for some time. I realized after backing a few really shitty projects like this (Project Phoenix and Soul Saga) I backed off of putting money up so easily. I've basically written this off ages ago as something I will never see. What's great is that Tiny Metal has been the one thing the Project Phoenix kickstarter has been about for well over a year. At least backers got a demo maybe?
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
Kotaku article up. Here's the best part:
Lacy denied these accusations, saying in an e-mail, “No, Hiroaki’s statement about me being toxic and sexually harassing a staff member is not true. He is reacting to my statement with libel.” He also sent over a few hundred logs from the company’s Slack chat channel, although upon review, few if any of those logs appear to be relevant to either claim.
 

BRSxIgnition

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,167
I originally had a $500+ US donation. Thank god I was able to have it refunded before everything closed.

Stuff just didn't feel right.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
(I received nearly a dozen emails when it happened.)
That just means that people trust your press sneak fuckitude, Jason.

Anyway, there isn't a ton of new information here from what I can see, but Hiro's explanation isn't extraordinary and it sounds like Lacy has totally failed to back up his claim while trying to make it look like he's been doing so, so I'm leaning against the allegations for now.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,541
I've backed my last kickstarter. This shit needs to go away.
Just because one individual has done this that we need to crash all the other projects too.

One of my favorite game, The Banner Saga, was release from kickstarter.
This year, Night in the woods got released, it was awesome.
 
Oct 29, 2017
9
Just because one individual has done this that we need to crash all the other projects too.

One of my favorite game, The Banner Saga, was release from kickstarter.
This year, Night in the woods got released, it was awesome.
The problem from my perspective is that it's not just "one individual". I have backed over a hundred Kickstarters, mostly video games, in the past four years. While some have turned out fine, many fell well short of the mark. From just plain bad games to physical rewards that were either pure garbage or so long after the release of the game that they lost all meaning to versions that were promised and never delivered (usually Mac or Linux, but also Wii-U). I too have significantly curtailed backing projects and I believe that Kickstarter as a platform hasn't taken enough responsibility for assisting backers when something goes wrong. I understand why they are hesitant to do so, but at some point a failure to act becomes aiding and abetting a fraud in my opinion. Personally, I would like to see a crowdfunding platform come along that provides more protection like third party auditing of budgets and expenditures and potentially holding some of the backer funds in escrow pending progress.
 
Oct 25, 2017
248
Tokyo
pretty much even i wouldnt believe that guy who got Fired MULTIPLE times due to his incompetency or arrogant. thats why im defending hiro at this point because he is still kept his word on making a project phoenix a reality, even tho it would end up in a long run.
You read my post incorrectly. It's Area 35 that's opened themselves up for libel.