Every silver lining has a dark cloud these days and, in the case of the phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3, that cloud is Ryan Nets.
The troll created a fake campaign through crowdfunding site Indiegogo, which, like Kickstarter, allows people to donate to projects in order for their creators to turn them into a reality.
However, Ryan Nets has no affiliation with Shenmue or its creators and was hoping to hoodwink people into giving him money, all the while thinking that they were funding the real game.
Fortunately, gamers are a savvy bunch and Ryan Nets didn’t receive a penny from anyone before his scam was presumably red flagged and consequently taken down.
The unsettling thing is that the troll had the funding type for the campaign set to flexible, meaning that if anyone had mistakenly contributed to the bogus project it would have gone straight into the pockets of the conman, regardless of whether or not the campaign hit its lofty $1.5m target.
The fake campaign was copied directly from the real Shenmue 3 campaign on Kickstarter which has amassed over $3m since its announcement during Sony’s E3 press conference.
While crowdfunding is an undeniably effective way for creators to fund their projects, unfortunately, this type of funding relies solely on a trust that the people receiving the donations will actually use the money for the intended purpose.
Furthermore, it offers no guarantee that backers will actually receive anything for the donations they have made as they are funding an idea rather than making an actual purchase.
So what do you think? Would this type of scam put you off backing projects in the future or do you believe the vast amount of creativity made possible through crowdfunding makes it worth the risk? Let us know in the comments.