The Daily Grind: How many scams will it take before MMO players stop falling for it?


A couple of years back, MOP’s Eliot wrote a lovely thinkpiece about MMO scams. He pointed out that it’s genuinely hard to tell incredibly bad and botched development from honest-to-god scams and that some games start with good intentions but turn to grift to make ends meet along the way. He also notes that MMO players are happy to misapply the scam label, but somehow the scammiest ones always get away with it because there are too many MMO players willing to go along with money and hope.

The TitanReach situation is particularly irksome to me. We’d been covering serious red flags with the game ever since it showed up with hands outstretched for Kickstarter dough back in 2020. We’d reported on multiple shenanigans along the way, and yet somehow these folks made off with something like $200,000 in gamer money, to say nothing of the alleged millions from the investor. Did our readers back this game? I can only assume not. Our readers are skeptical to a fault. But gamers did, and they showed up to harass us over our reporting, too. The did the same with Oath and Dreamworld, which had the same red flags. Some of these devs are just reaching into the MMO genre over and over, treating it like a sack of easy money, knowing there are enough gullible people in the industry with cash to blow on games that will never happen, in a system where there’s zero legal accountability and harassment in store for anyone who tries. It’s infuriating.

How do we fix this? How do we stop people from constantly feeding any grifter who shows up with an indie game demo and some hope for sale? How do we stop these types of devs from ruining the actual indie MMO scene? How many scams will it take before MMO players stop falling for it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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