The 5 Biggest Video Game Crowdfunding Scams in the Making

The magical world of crowdfunding brings promises of retro revivals, fan projects, and dreams come true. However, many people that use the platform overpromise and underdeliver, taking upwards of millions in the process. These five video game crowdfunding campaigns might look promising at first glance, but the writing’s on the wall – they’re shaping up to be scams.

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dead_pixels192d ago

Not gonna lie, Shenmue III has me concerned. I'm not ready to call it an outright scam, but it definitely doesn't look like a game with anywhere near 6.5 million in funding behind it at this point. Here's hoping Ys Net uses the next year of development wisely and the end result is something Yu Suzuki and series fans will be proud of.

derkasan192d ago

I'm really hoping for the best with that one, but there just seems to be a number of red flags. Here's hoping Yu Suzuki pulls through.

kevnb191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

6.5 million isn't a large budget these days, as a matter of fact it's tiny and we should expect a budget title.

pasta_spice191d ago

Didn't the original Shenmue cost over 30 million to make? 6 million is nothing by comparison.

No Way191d ago

What the hell even makes games cost so much?

kevnb191d ago

The work artists put into games these days is becoming more and more complex and isn't free.

TheColbertinator191d ago


HD development for graphics and audio skyrocketed costs to ridiculous levels. Publishers like Square Enix,Microsoft,EA and Sony are among the few companies that can foot the bill for such expenditures.

4K is now its infancy and costs for games will surge again soon

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191d ago
Chumdiddy190d ago

Not a Shenmue lover or defender but I have to take small issue with this comment.

Like, what did people expect? A full, proper Shenmue game for $6MM was going to be AAA? Look and sound and play AAA? When the previous 2 cost over $100MM?

A modern AAA title cannot be made for $6MM. Make the next GTA with $6MM and it'll be a pile of garbage lol. Indie titles? 8 bit, retro titles and such? Sure. That's plenty. AAA games burn through that in months.

Consider that a good programmer/graphic artist/sound designers can make $100k a year (many more). For sake of argument, lets say they make $50k! Ok, that means a team of 20 devs cost $1MM a year! That's 20 for the visuals, audio, pathfinding, mocap, etc.

That's not even adding in voice actors and rent for the building they're in and devices they're using, devices they bought, etc.

If you get a half-a$$ed, kinda-janky, 6.5/10 level Shenmue 3 for $6MM you need to be happy. I've played but never beat any Shenmue but I know those games cost some cash! I knew that much. Using Unreal Engine doesn't mitigate the cost of making a major AAA title. $6MM is a joke for a game of this size so those dudes must be leaving money on the table, running building lights with a hamster wheel, eating garbage, etc. LOL.

bluefox755190d ago (Edited 190d ago )

If you're buying Shenmue for high end graphics, you're probably there for the wrong reason. Yeah, it needs a lot of work yet, but as long as they keep the spirit of the original, that's all that matters to me. 6 million isn't a very big budget. I would be disappointed if they used most of it just to make the game look pretty.

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SegaGamer192d ago

If you are going to call something a scam, at least research the meaning of the word and get your facts right about the games you are talking about.

Accusing Shenmue of having little information and poor trailers. First off, there is plenty of information, if you paid attention and did some research, you would find it. Secondly, the trailer was a TEASER, it's a work in progress. The character models have already been confirmed to not be the end product. Again, if you did your research, you would have known this. Thirdly, the world itself looks really nice, the backgrounds look great for a budget game. And finally, nothing you said makes it a scam, you obviously don't know what a scam is. All they promised was an attempt at making Shenmue 3 a reality and that is exactly what they are doing.

Apocalypse Shadow191d ago

And this is all that needs to be said right up here.

mafiahajeri191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

Damn with a name like that I knew you were going to spit some truth! xD

191d ago
meka2611191d ago

What the hell is the point then? Why would I want a straight to DVD version of a series I love. That's the same thing as what they did to starship troopers. First movie was big budget and I loved it, second and third ones had a lower budget and were shit. If they didn't have the resources for it, they shouldn't make it. I do agree with you that it's not a scam, just really don't see the point in a mediocre shenmue game.

SegaGamer191d ago

But it may not be mediocre, i actually don't think it will be. Like i said, for a budget game, the world itself is looking really good. If that is how the graphics will look throughout the game, then i don't think we will have anything to worry about. The game play is the next and most important step, if they capture that Shenmue feeling, then it will be massive hit for me.

rainslacker190d ago

I have to agree. At this point, there is absolutely no proof or indication that Shenmue is in any way a scam. It seems the devs are indeed working on the game, and are progressing at a pretty decent pace given the budget and size of the team.

I'm not sure if people thought this would have AAA level productions, but I always assumed it would look more like a remastered Shenmue 1/2, with some modern advancements thrown in. As of right now, the teaser trailer was kind of rough, but it's still in development, and the devs said it'd take some time to release the game.

we420190d ago

Couldn't have said it better myself. I have faith in Yu Suzuki.

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Nodoze191d ago

I am simply dumbfounded why ANYONE is giving money to Chris Roberts. At this point he has embezzled so much $ that it does not matter. Meaning he has the legal air cover to do whatever the F he wants. Sad that people still think there is going to be a great outcome for this. 159 MILLION and people are STILL giving him money!?

moralsup190d ago

Whats really sad is that people like you can be that ignorant, i cant possibly comprehend how you came to that conclusion. Just another troll, hell bent on trying to spread your hate and misinformation.

Antifan190d ago

Chris Robert will single handlingly crash the gaming industry

Gamist2dot0191d ago

Although what were presented in this article seem true, I doubt it. Author really needs to dig deeper before calling them scams. These games don't take 2 years to make. Also, when you make a game, you don't show everything. You show a demo/trailer and that's it. Some games take 5+ years to make now depending on how sophisticated the game is. Didn't the dev for Bloodstain said the game will release in 2019/2020???
For Shenmue, 6 million is just enough to make the game. To hit the 2-3yr release, they probably need an est. 25 million. These are small teams, not large ones like EA, Activision, Ubsoft etc.

cfc83191d ago

Shenmue III certainly isn't a scam. 6.5m isn't a huge budget, as hiring people is expensive. People should manage their expectations. Yakuza 0 doesn't exactly look great graphically, but many people like the game alot. Think gameplay over graphics with these sort of titles. I have faith in the Shenmue team. Give them time.

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