Small game development and tutorials outfit ETeeski promised its hopeful backers that it would not only teach them about how to be in the games industry, but also show them a very successful product that felt like the spiritual successor to Maxis Games’ ‘SimAnt.’ But in a scandalous YouTube video, ETeeski creator Eric Tereshinski claimed that those he hired to manage the $4,000 he received from backers on Kickstarter (and investment money generated later) had blown the money on strippers.
While none of Tereshinski’s claims have been verified, they are also quite damning. He indicates that his former business partners — not named directly in the video but likely to be the two gentlemen currently listed on the company’s website — made overtures to lawsuits of Tereshinski continued developing the game after he’d left the company.
“We're hunting for awesome startups”
Run an early-stage company? We're inviting 250 to exhibit at TNW Conference and pitch on stage!
When pressed about lawsuits, Tereshinski outlined in a comment:
The problem is that these guys covered their asses in the contract. They’ll say the drinks were for business meetings, and they have the paperwork/minutes to prove they had meetings (even though I know they were bullshit meetings). They went over the contract line by line with me and I reviewed the whole thing twice. I just didn’t realize they had protected themselves, screwed me (like the fact that they listed themselves as consultants, so they aren’t legally obligated to work on anything, but still have the rights to spend money ect.), and I had no idea what their plan was until it was too late.
Tereshinski has promised the backers and those who pre-ordered the game a refund, which in this arena is quite noble. Crowdfunding involves risk, and backers are often left out of cash as they contribute to vaporware. In the games realm, this is especially pernicious — while many games have been delivered to backers, those that fail feel like a personal blow to those who support the indie dev ecosystem.
Just remember: great intentions or no, crowdfund at your own risk.