Home Gaming What happens when a Kickstarter takes the money and runs?

What happens when a Kickstarter takes the money and runs?

2 min read


Funding games on Kickstarter – or anything else, really – is a risk. They’re not investments, they’re not really pre-orders in anything other than ideas. They’re more akin to donations – which makes it rather disheartening when the people you’ve donated money to up and run.

That’s apparently what’s happened with Mansion Lord (via Kotaku). In 2013, the Kickstarter managed to raise over $30 000 to make the game, with an expected launch in August last year.

Mansion Lord combines a murder mystery business sim with tile-based world building and turn-based RPG combat. Build your mansion tile-by-tile, invite unscrupulous aristocrats to dinner, and, with the aid of your hired detectives, capture them for bounties after they slay the other guests. You can level up your detectives, equip them with hundreds of different weapons and accessories, and teach them a variety of skills. All in the name of profit!”

All in the name of profit indeed, as its creators seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. For over a year, backers have tried to contact Kickstarter creators Golgom Games. They’ve not updated the Kickstarter page, their social media has dropped off, and their website’s even expired.

“We have tried contacting Kickstarter but were basically told tough luck it’s for you and the creator to work out,” one Mansion Lord backer told Kotaku’s Jason Schreier. “But they have given us no way to reach them.”

The reality of it is that $30 000 isn’t a lot of money when it comes to game development, and it’s likely team making the game couldnt afford to carry on. Not keeping backers informed though? Well, that’s just poor form.

Kickstarter themselves share none of this liability, meaning that unless the game suddenly comes out of hiding, backers have thrown their money away. There are protections in place for backers now, but they’re not retroactive, and weren’t around when this game was funded.  It’s a sad situation that, like the infamous CubeWorld saga, highlights the risks of crowd-funding, while also detracting from the wonderful games that have come from these sorts of funding models; Thomas was Alone, Divinity: Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, FTL, Elite Dangerous and Stasis – and the many more that we’ll get to play in the future.

Last Updated: September 30, 2015


  1. HairyEwok

    September 30, 2015 at 10:42

    Just think if this ever happens to Star Citizen…. Ohhhhh heads will roll.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      September 30, 2015 at 10:46

      *explode. Heads will explode. Both from backers and the I-told-you-so crowd. 😀


      • HairyEwok

        September 30, 2015 at 10:51

        Lololol. There will this one sound echoing worldwide. The sound of FUUUUUUUUU!


        • Pariah

          September 30, 2015 at 10:58

          The same sound, but in glorious crescendo, as when someone mentions 7 to Llew. 😀


          • HairyEwok

            September 30, 2015 at 11:03

            Hahahaha, He’ll be famous for starting the 7th biggest trend in the world. the FUUUU trend.

          • Pariah

            September 30, 2015 at 11:13

            So. Lagz has spawned 2 trends. #StayStrongUmar and FUUUU. XD

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        October 15, 2015 at 18:46

        The Squad 42 trailer with Garry Oldmen at least gave me hope again…


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 30, 2015 at 10:44

    Kickstarter is a funny place. I’m always wary of cool-sounding games with tiny budgets like that though, because how’re they going to fund themselves for more than a couple of months?


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      September 30, 2015 at 12:26

      And then you get things like this, which make me very happy:


  3. Pariah

    September 30, 2015 at 10:48

    This is why I’ll pay when the game is done. I know there are legit games there, but when it’s done, I get the game I pay for. Good or not is another matter, but I’ll at least have the game. And a refund option on Steam if it’s shit.


  4. WitWolfy

    September 30, 2015 at 11:11

    Sounds like that time when I won a $150 000 through a sms and had to call Themba and give him R1000 so he could transfer the money… I’m starting to think he took the $150 000 together with the R1000 for himself, cause I never got a cent! LOL


  5. Grand Admiral Chief

    September 30, 2015 at 12:10



  6. Nikola

    September 30, 2015 at 12:18

    Hmm thinking of starting my own development for a game, could do with 30 000 right now!


  7. Raptor Rants

    September 30, 2015 at 12:50

    Yeah well this is the unfortunate risk of backing anything that has no guarantee of launching. It’s why I firmly stay away from early access and kickstarter projects


  8. Weanerdog

    September 30, 2015 at 14:33

    Saw that BattleTech getting some kickstarter love. Also the 2 donations of $10000 on the first day. I mean seriously donating $10 000 to a game is a little insane.


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