'Mythic' Kickstarter project exposed as scam, canceled

It had to happen eventually. This year has seen an explosion of independent projects funded by crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter, and it was only a matter of time before someone tried to take advantage of such goodwill for a scam. Such is the apparent case of "Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men," a project that raised eyebrows and has subsequently been canceled.

The project page seems a bit slipshod at a glance, and for good reason. Comments on the Something Awful and Rock Paper Shotgun forums noted various reasons for suspicion. The character art, backgrounds, reward pictures, and office photos had been lifted from various sites. Most strikingly, the reward tiers were lifted directly from the Kickstarter page for The Banner Saga. The page bragged that its staff was composed of former Activision Blizzard vets, and that animation would be done by "friends at Disney/Pixar." We're sure they've got a beach in Kansas to sell you too.

The developer, "Little Monster Productions," briefly insisted that the project was legit in the comments before giving up the ghost. It had managed to snag almost $5,000 in pledges before it was exposed. Kickstarter only charges backers once a project is completely funded and finished, though, so those who chipped in won't be ripped off.

Fortunately, this wasn't a particularly convincing scam, and the collective brain of the Internet caught it quickly. Although crowd-sourcing has seen tremendous success, a healthy dose of skepticism is always a good idea. Scammers have been using donations as a cover for a long time, and the next one might be more convincing.