Project Phoenix scammed us? Creative Intelegent Art Fraud?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Aurizen, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. AlexFlame116

    AlexFlame116 Member

    Only other project I've backed so far is Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and I'm perfectly happy with it lol!

    I'm so biased on it haha!
  2. Dakath

    Dakath Member

    So, Publishers?
  3. baconcow

    baconcow Member

    After backing two board games, both of which were heavily delayed, I almost backed Might No. 9 and this game. The only reason I held back is because of my experience with KS and the board games I had backed. I received my board games, but one developer pretty much went bankrupt. Both made countless changes and excuses for delays. I never backed a KS project again.

    Does KS hold these people accountable if they try to take the money and run? Is there anything that can be done? Has this happened before where no one got their items and the funders were refunded or helped?
  4. CaviarMeths

    CaviarMeths Member

    Shame that so many people are now burned off of KS forever because they fell for this blatant scam.

    Hello yes I am a violinist and have never made a video game before, but I promise this one will save JRPGs! Please give me money so I can hire staff to make it.
  5. Nijhazer

    Nijhazer Member

    edit: never mind, can’t post images here
  6. Hoot

    Hoot Member

    I am honestly very confused by this news and don't know how to take it. I think a massive amount of grains of salt should be taken, there's just a lot of incongruencies and somewhat conflicting things ?

    I'm a bit baffled that someone would decide to purposefully "scam" for the purpose of...actually just making another game that is somewhat also an ambitious project ? Mismanagement for sure, and I can sense something fishy overall. Plus the Project Phoenix management in itself is a giant kerfuffle and I consider it all but dead. But thinking this would all be a ploy is somewhat odd. The money from that KS would've been gone by now, and it's a risk in itself to reinvest in another big game. And I have played TinyMetal at PAX and TGS and it's not like it's some quick shovelware made for a quick buck: there's a lot of effort put into it and fans of advance wars genuinely love how that game is shaping.

    All in all, I can see the suspicion but there's also part of this story I want to wait on
  7. Parsnip

    Parsnip Member

    Yeah, this is where I'm at now as well. Sending in logs from slack that has no actual relevance to either claim seems just odd.
  8. Expy

    Expy Member

    I invested quite a bit in Project Phoenix, I'll be following these developments closely.
  9. Dreamwriter

    Dreamwriter Member

    What am I missing? What would be the point of running a Kickstarter campaign for one game when you want to use the money for another game? Why do a scam like hat, when you could just Kickstart the game you want to do in the first place, with much less effort?
  10. varkuriru

    varkuriru Member

    Whole thing is crazy. I still have faith in crowdfunding though. The only scam I backed was Jeremy Soule’s wild ride.
  11. fiendcode

    fiendcode Member

    Still getting Tiny Metal. Never Kickstarted PP but I’ve been pretty lucky with crowd funded games. Only one I’m waiting on now is La-Mulana 2.
  12. Famassu

    Famassu Member

    What is up with that nowadays? Is it definitely not coming or is Soule still trying to convince people it's still coming?
  13. so unsung story was another shit show? im glad i forgot to back up that one, however i spent 80 bucks in this crap. sad!
  14. Holundrian

    Holundrian Member

    I backed MN9 and this although only for 40 and 20 bucks. And I don't get the negativity for crowd funding. Taking these failures as examples seems so weird to me. Like you're gambling on games that you might like that would not get made otherwise that's what kickstarter for games is in most cases.
    Of course we have shit like that happening but then we have Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight, The Shadowrun games, Divinity, etc etc.
    Like to people that feel burned you should have known what you're getting yourself into.
  15. Venture

    Venture Member
    That was his last update, in February. He's so full of crap. It's a pretty funny read though. His main excuse for the delay is that the technology doesn't exist yet for him to be able to make his music.
  16. Bo Neslek

    Bo Neslek Member

    What's odd is that this Tariq guy felt comfortable slapping his name all over the original post. That kind of shit would/should put him on a no-hire list for any future work in the industry. Sometimes projects fail, and sometimes they fail because of mismanagement, but ffs you keep it fucking professional.

    He even plugs the other game! Lol it's insane.

    PS - I've backed about 10 KS projects, and all have released. Some great (Banner Saga), some average (Wasteland 2), and some historic (FTL). The most troubled one I backed was River City Revenge, and it ended up being fantastic.

    Outside of KS, I also backed RimWorld, the greatest game of all time.
  17. hotcyder

    hotcyder Member

    So it's possible that a Kickstarter I had no interest in could be funding a different game that I actually have an interest in

  18. Mr. Robot

    Mr. Robot Member

    Im so confused as to why would they do that, Tiny Metal looks good from what i have seen, why didn't they just make the kickstarter for it instead?
  19. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

  20. Modoru

    Modoru Member

  21. Xpliskin

    Xpliskin Member

    Why would a programmer do the PR ?

    Why delay the game ?

    He also called the translator guy a rapist.

    This all seems too fishy.
  22. DiipuSurotu

    DiipuSurotu Member

    Holy shit what??
  23. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

    Sorry to put together such a huge quote train, but just to add context to this, Project Phoenix's backer updates have, in more than one case, talked about Tiny Metal specifically if it was a project completely unrelated to its own development.


    It was only slightly prior to Tokyo Game Show this year (or thereabouts), after a lot of positive feedback on the Tiny Metal showings at e.g. PAX, etc, that the frontrunning figure shifted away from Kikuta-san and people involved with Project Phoenix acknowledged their involvement.

    Could be an agreement with investors. Could be misdirection. Who knows. I don't quite feel comfortable that it was explicitly framed as 'someone else's project' in those updates, though.

    I'm not seeing the term 'rapist' applied in "TINY METAL Programmer's" description of Tariq. There are accusations that he sexually harassed a member of the development team, but that's not the same.
  24. L Thammy

    L Thammy Member

    I missed this somehow, so I looked around. It's in Jason's latest article.

    This whole thing has turned fucking nasty. So either Lacy's lying - and he's unable to back up his statements even when sending chat logs to do so - and he's did this whole thing in part to cover himself after sexual harassment allegations, or Yura's throwing sexual harassment allegations to cover his as for the scam?
  25. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

    Something I hadn't seen prior courtesy of PC Gamer

    So both companies share an office space and PCs but... no money from CIA went into Area 35, but at the same time money from CIA music projects were funneled to Tiny Metal as per a previous backer update? How does that even work?

    Well, let's say we take this paragraph at face level. I think what's confusing is how Tiny Metal was plugged seemingly as a favor to a completely unrelated dev team on Project Phoenix backer updates (see a few posts up). Actually, let's replace confusing with 'scummy' since there's suddenly financial incentive to do so. It'd be like someone making a thread on a popular gaming forum about a project they're involved in, without mentioning that involvement.
  26. duckroll

    duckroll Member

    Accounting wise how it probably works is that clients pay CIA, then CIA pays Yura (and others), and then Yura puts the money into Area 35, which is used to pay himself (and others). Since Yura owns both companies, it's fine!
  27. Mezentine

    Mezentine Member

    I...don't understand anything about this. Advance Wars fans are also a starving, underserved audience. You could just run a Kickstarter campaign for that
  28. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

  29. DarknessTear

    DarknessTear Member

    Not sure I trust this Hiroaki Yura dude very much.
  30. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

    This was sent to Tiny Metal backers w.r.t. launch date delay

    There does seem to be a pattern of lambasting 'former team members' present here. Just state 'we were not happy with our localization and want to do better'. Gee.

    edit: Just so it's clear, I'm rather impartial to the current situation; been following Project Phoenix for a while and Tomoki Miyoshi is an incredible composer, and I've worked with a few ex-CIA people. I tried Tiny Metal out at TGS after meeting an old acquaintance who was involved with the game and it was pretty okay.

    My current stance on this is whatever the truth is, it'll be revealed it sooner or later, especially if court of law gets involved.
  31. datschge

    datschge Member

    What a mess. And how did Kikuta involved in all this?
  32. Falk

    Falk Resettlement Advisor Member

    it was his game until suddenly it wasn't
  33. unicornKnight

    unicornKnight Member

    I dont understand they never released the first game and you were looking forward to their next one?
  34. Famassu

    Famassu Member

    Scams usually are easily identifiable. Most of the time projects fail because of too low funding or mismanagement (or both). Especially in the early days of KS all kinds of creative masterminds promised everything & anything and then slapped, like, 300 000$ as the funding aim to projects anyone with half a brain understands won't be made for less than at least a few million.
  35. MajorBritten

    MajorBritten Member

    Its a shame all of this has come out as Tiny Metal actually looks really good. Due to the timing of these allegations it seems the guy was fired and decided to sabotage the release of the game, so it could just be a case of a disgruntled ex-employee trying to get payback to the company that fired him. On the other hand the current situation with Project Phoenix makes the story easy to believe. If its the same company responsible for both games then I think that Tiny Metal should be given free to all of the Project Phoenix backers as a good will gesture at least, if they do actually finish the game then its an extra free game, if the game doesnt get made then at least its backers got something, which is better than nothing.
  36. CesspoolofHatred

    CesspoolofHatred Community Resettler Member

    I don't think he was actually talking about the translator with that one. I think he was actually talking about what happened at the last place, given the wording here.

    The harassment allegations are a different matter altogether.
  37. Televator

    Televator Member

    This is why I don't back almost anything. KS seems like one tremendous disappointment after another.

    “Hello people this if former director/project lead X from company Y. You loved my work on game series Z. So you can totally trust me with your money. You surely won’t regret it!”

    *One year latter*

    “Money? Who the fuck are you people?”
  38. duckroll

    duckroll Member

    So, who exactly on Project Phoenix was a former director/project lead from a known company who worked on a game series people loved? Pray tell.
  39. tomofthepops

    tomofthepops Member

    I would never back a game on Kickstarter, it's not like with a physical object that might only ever be sold to the people who backed it, 99% of Kickstarter games will be released on psn etc so i'll just buy them then.
  40. Hektor

    Hektor Community Resettler Member

    tremendous disappointments intensify
  41. Televator

    Televator Member

    None that I know. It was just one example of how things go sour.
  42. duckroll

    duckroll Member

    A nonexistant example? Okay then.
  43. Televator

    Televator Member

    Look I don’t get too involved with these things, but wasn’t the Mega Man creator or whatever such an example? At any rate all I’m saying is that even when dealing with people who have some sort of credentials (whatever they may be), things can go bad and I don’t find myself willing to to back pretty much anything to do with gaming because of bad stories like that.
  44. L Thammy

    L Thammy Member

    Sort of? Keiji Inafune was touted as Mega Man's creator and was using that legacy, but he was brought in when the first game was actually in development. I don't know if he actually claimed to have created the series.
  45. Famassu

    Famassu Member

    They made a meh game but they didn't embezzle/run away with any money. The project just ended up being a disappointing game. One just has to be somewhat careful with what projects they pledge money to, not be too eager to throw 10 000$ for top tier rewards and you'll be mostly fine so long as you keep expectations somewhat in check. KS money is rarely the kind that allows for extra polished experiences with mindboggingly incredible production values & audiovisual fidelity, even when budgets are in the millions. If someone promises a WOW killer for 3 million, just skip it unless it's something that is already 99% done and needs a little bit more money for completion and maybe has a beta you can check out.

    I've only had one failed project so far (out of something like 30-35), a few critical duds and most have actually been released and been more or less enjoyable. Perhaps falling short of expectstions a bit but not even near of being total trash or anything.
  46. Koozek

    Koozek Member

    New article from Jason on this went up a few minutes ago, btw:
  47. varkuriru

    varkuriru Member

    Good stuff on the article on Soule’s kickstarter. At this point I am more amused than anything. Looking forward to whatever we get on December... but the ride never ends.
  48. ASaiyan

    ASaiyan Member

    The latest twist in this bizarre saga comes from an interview with the developer.

    Interesting snippets:
    -Tiny Metal "needs to sell 150,000 copies" for them to consider restarting development on Project Phoenix (which, to my knowledge, was previously not contingent on any sales of Tiny Metal).
    -Tiny Metal doesn't feel like it's finished, but they're releasing it anyway because of "publisher commitments" (with features to be added later)
    -He doesn't feel an obligation to Kickstarter backers because "they aren't investors"
  49. riotous

    riotous Member

    Man, this guy is kind of a jerk. Basically writing off Project Phoenix as unlikely to be worked on with this:

  50. Shiba

    Shiba Member

    Well enjoy having poor sales on a half baked product I guess...