Kickstarter Updates Terms: Unfinished Projects "May Be Subject to Legal Action by Backers"

By Leon Hurley on at

Looks like Kickstarter is taking steps regarding cancelled and unfinished games, tweaking its terms of use to implicitly state that unfinished projects can face legal action.

The core changes are outlined in a blog post that mentioned when "projects don’t go according to plan". Recent high profile examples of that include the Yogcast game that never got made and The Stomping Land which was recently withdrawn from Steam after month's of post-funding neglect.

The new terms of use state that the platform enables "a direct legal agreement between creators and their backers" although interestingly Kickstarter states it's not part of the contract it makes possible:

Kickstarter provides a funding platform for creative projects. When a creator posts a project on Kickstarter, they’re inviting other people to form a contract with them. Anyone who backs a project is accepting the creator’s offer, and forming that contract.

Kickstarter is not a part of this contract — the contract is a direct legal agreement between creators and their backers.

The new details also outline specifically what a failed creator needs to do in a worse case scenario:

If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfil rewards, they've failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:

  • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
  • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;
  • they’re able to demonstrate that they've used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
  • they've been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and
    they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.

The creator is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. If they’re unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers.