Kickstarter’s are a veritable rollercoaster ride of emotions for any game developer looking to make their dreams come true. We normally report on the ridiculously successful ones, like Mighty No. 9 or Igarashi’s currently banging totally-Castlevania-in-all-but-name-Konami-don’t-sue, Bloodstained. The unsuccessful ones fade into obscurity, but maliciousness is not usually their demise, which makes what happened to 2Awesome Studio all the more lamentable.
Dimension Drive was 2Awesome Games comic-style puzzle adventure, but in the final hours it didn’t seem like it was going to make it… until a mystery backer going by “Jonathan” took the highest pledge level at €7,000, helping them narrow the distance to the €30,000 finish line. All seemed well until half an hour to the fundraiser’s end, when it was pulled by Kickstarter due to a fraudulent payment from – well, you probably guessed.
It was described as a “troll” by the devs in a tweet, and it’s being reported as a troll by many game news sites.
Somebody pledge 7k to our Kickstarter just to be taken a way in the last moment. Trolling our end of #Kickstarter. Funded and it's gone
— 2Awesome Studio (@2AwesomeStudio) May 13, 2015
Now, as suspicious as the situation is (as several successful Kickstarter’s have subsequently had backer’s pledgers bounce, pulled or labelled as fraudulent after the fact and still retained the remaining funds generated), there’s no firm evidence that it was a deliberate troll or merely someone using fraudulent payment details to try obtain high-level rewards on Kickstarter projects.
The result is that 2Awesome Games has received an outpouring of support and coverage, with several well-known creators and writers involved with games offering to pledge to its success, including Rhianna Pratchett and Rami Ismail of Vlambeer fame, who initially brought the news to the media’s attention. If it was a troll, it’s definitely had an opposite effect to what the troll expected. Though closed, you can check out the Kickstarter here.