Investment Platform Says Shroud Of The Avatar Dev Didn't Fulfill SEC Filing Obligations
SeedInvest believes Portalarium "has ceased operations and has failed to provide a formal dissolution statement."
Repeat after me: Kickstarter is a donation, not an investment. Unless it actually is an investment.
That looks to have been the case with Shroud of the Avatar, the Richard Garriott-backed, crowdfunded MMORPG that was spun up by Portalarium back in 2013, went mostly free-to-play in 2018, ditched its offices a year before COVID, and was sold to Catnip Games in 2019. Through it all, patient and not-so-patient backers wondered about the progress of the game, with some goals being pulled back, like a book that was supposed to be delivered and a general feeling that the project was coasting by on the fame of Garriott and not much else.
But, as is always the case with Kickstarted projects, once your money is gone, it's gone. However, if you're equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest, then things are a little different. As MassivelyOP has learned, "Portalarium had obligations to its SeedInvest backers; specifically, it was required to file annual reports with the SEC to provide transparency to investors." It didn't do that in 2019 or 2020, apparently even going so far as to have "deleted parts of its documentation on the SeedInvest website."
SeedInvest finally spoke up this week about Portalarium's inaction, saying that the developer "failed to provide subsequent investor updates despite repeated attempts to secure them." Indeed, SeedInvest believes that Portalarium "has ceased operations and has failed to provide a formal dissolution statement despite attempts by our team to secure one on your behalf."
There could be legal action taken by SeedInvest, but, as MOP noted, there's a real question as to whether it would be worth the time and money required to recoup anything -- or even if there's any funds to recoup. The game continues to receive regular updates, with #98 going live just last month, but the player count on Steam hasn't broken triple digits since November, and while the game is available through other avenues, it's hard to imagine that it's doing much better anywhere else.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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