Shroud of the Avatar developers address Kickstarter reward novel fulfillment, SEC filings


Over the last few days, we’ve had a rash of tipsters reaching out to us with concerns about Shroud of the Avatar, and now we’ve spoken to Portalarium to allow it to address them.

First, backers of the game’s original Kickstarter have been inquiring about the whereabouts of one of the game’s promised Kickstarter rewards. Backers who pledged $500 were promised a signed copy of the SOTA-themed Tracy Hickman novel after the game’s Kickstarter passed the $1.8M mark. That was back in 2013 when the Kickstarter funded. Six years later, those elite backers still don’t have their books.

When reached for comment, Portalarium’s Starr Long pointed us to his post from September 2018 in which he addressed the book specifically.

“As many of you have noted at the Patron (and above) pledge level one of the rewards is a printed version of the prequel novel Blade of the Avatar (aka Sword of Midras). Our original plan was to get copies of the book from the book publisher for distribution but we could not work out an equitable deal with them and we were not happy with how they laid out the illustrations in the book. Instead of using the beautiful Denis Loubet illustrations at the beginning of each chapter (as they were designed), they instead put them all lumped together at the beginning of each section of the book. So we have chosen to print the book ourselves and ship them to you directly. This will take some extra time and we will provide an update as soon as we have more information.”

“That was our official statement and we said we would provide and update when we have more information,” he explained to us today. “At this time we do not have more information hence the lack of update.”

Second, SOTA players reminded us that under the SEC’s equity crowdfunding rules, companies like Portalarium are legally required to file annual reports with the SEC for the purpose of transparency for its investors. MMO players will recall that Portalarium raised $789,658.89 in Series B funding through SeedInvest from small-scale unaccredited investors back in 2017. Portalarium filed its report in 2018, though it has not done so yet in 2019, in spite of the fact that the deadline appears to be today – 120 days past the end of the fiscal year.

But it sounds as if it’s not been forgotten; it’s just still forthcoming. Here’s what Starr Long told us this morning: “We are still working with our legal and accounting firms on that information and will provide it where required when it is all finalized.”

Source: Official forums, SeedInvest. With thanks to Mikka, Gloop, and Anon.
Update 05/02/2019
Multiple readers and commenters have pointed out to us that since the publication of this article, the multi-page thread from March about the missing books on the official SOTA forums has apparently been deleted in full. It remains unclear why Portalarium would delete a rather reasonable thread from its own $500 backers inquiring about the status of their Kickstarter rewards, nor why it determined that thread was in need of deletion only after it had provided statements to Massively OP for publication. There appears to be a second thread, but it’s not clear how long it will be allowed to stand. Richard Garriott has also previously been made aware of the missing books.
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