Last week Mark Jacobs dropped the bombshell that his company, seven years into the Camelot Unchained project and more than four years after the promised delivery date, had taken it upon itself to work on a different game, Final Stand: Ragnarok.
He did say that backers of the Kickstarter campaign would get the new game, but since there isn’t anything like a ship date for either the new game or Camelot Unchained, that seems like a pretty easy promise to make. Backers now have double the non-available games, which still totals up to zero games.
He was also quite clear that he and his company were under no legal obligation to give backers access to the new game nor even to finish Camelot Unchained. This came in a context that makes me think he wants us to be grateful to him that he’s giving us anything at all.
(It is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want it.)
What I got in response was a form letter from Mark. I love it when you take the time to put together information and the company just ignores it and sends you something you didn’t ask for instead.
In this case it was a plea from Mark Jacobs for another chance. He is going to give another interview later today. He’ll have a schedule for us. He is sure we’ll like what we see. He is ignoring requests for a refund in hopes that we’ll be taken in yet again.
Basically, after having had to take everything on faith for almost seven years it is a plea to continue to take things on faith, because the track record so far say that any dates he announces today will end up being slipped later on.
I know that software development is art rather than science. But I also resent being taken for a gullible sucker when somebody tells me things over and over and they consistently and repeatedly fail to come to pass. And when somebody starts reminding me that they’re not legally obligated to live up to what they say big red flashing lights start going off.
The only useful bit of information in the whole email was what they would need to process a refund.
In order to process your refund, please send us all transaction ID(s), address and phone number. All refunds are processed by PayPal, can take 90 days to process, and can carry fees (per our refund policy https://store.camelotunchained.com/faq )
That is actually considerably less information than I sent them in my first email message, save for the “transaction ID” request.
What transaction ID? I assume it is the transaction ID for the credit card charge. But the original email from Kickstarter does not have a transaction ID attached, just the usual last four digits of an otherwise obfuscated credit card number. If I had used PayPal or Amazon payments, I might be able to find it via that route, except that back in 2013 Kickstarter didn’t use either of those. You had to put up your own credit card.
My credit card statement for the charge, which I do still have, does not show a transaction ID.
I tried calling up the credit card company to see if they could get a transaction ID for the charge, however they only keep records back for six years, so a charge on May 2, 2013 isn’t available in their system any more.
The agent was mildly impressed I was trying to get a refund on such an old transaction and suggested that I could write the the archives department to ask if they could find something. When I asked for their email address I was told they only transact via postal mail or fax.
I will write something out and send it off and maybe I will get something back some day, but I doubt it.
I strongly suspect that Mark Jacobs has the transaction ID requirement in there because it isn’t something to which people have easy access. He can go on claiming that refunds are available while not having to worry about actually having to give refunds.
I will respond again with the information I do have, but I expect no refund will be forthcoming.
It looks like my only recourse is to give the project a frowny face over on Kickstarter.
That and to try not to such a gullible sucker again.
- Massively OP – Text the letter from Mark Jacobs