I rarely if ever get to see board game controversies occur in real-time. The Kickstarter for Overturn: Rising Sands has been a complete and utter train-wreck the past week as allegations have emerged that the Kickstarter is possibly a sham. As I’ve been following along on Reddit, BGG, and social media, I wanted to compile everything in one place so it’s easier to follow.
Regarding the backers of the game, they are speaking with their words and their wallets as the campaign has dropped nearly $100,000 in the last few days. But what are the reasons for the uproar?
- This is the creators first time making a miniatures game of this scale;
- The creators hid the fact that they are stationed out of Pakistan, which is a country that is not Kickstarter approved for launching products;
- When compared to other miniature heavy games (like those made by CMON), the prices seem exorbitantly lower than they should for all of the items the pledge levels promise;
- There is a game preview and one game overview video, which seems like a small sample size for a project of this magnitude. Whether that amount of insight is good or bad is for the backer to decide;
- The miniatures on the Kickstarter page appear to be renders as opposed to sculpted models;
- The creators of Overturn: Rising Sands have not answered questions regarding the above claims (Edit: On 7/17/18 an Update was provided by the creators); and
- The biggest red flag is that the rulebook appears to be heavily plagiarized from CMON’s Massive Darkness game. If you have time to look through it, this is a great side-by-side comparison of the plagiarism.
Per Kickstarter policy, anyone wanted to edit or cancel a pledge will need to ensure to do so before the final 24 hours as Kickstarter policy has pledges locked-in during the final day of a funded project.
CMON’s CEO has filed for a DMCA takedown request as well concerning the project.
This allegation of blatant plagiarism hurts the legitimacy of not just Overturn and Foxtales Studios, but other projects and Kickstarter as a whole through association. If Kickstarter can’t patrol what could be fraudulent activity, what happens when the next time it happens that possible forgery is hidden better and backers find out after the project is funded?
I would like to direct individuals to a much more detailed breakdown of this saga here, courtesy of ATGN. This includes further claims, such as Foxtales Studios taking their About Profile from Mythic Games.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, plays out from this tale.*
*Edit: The campaign has been suspended as of July 18th, 2018. For more information regarding what ‘suspended’ entails, I point you towards Kickstarter’s definition.