Kickstarter Backers Ask for Refunds From Dev Accused of Squatting Airbnb

A developer of a game funded on Kickstarter is accused of deceiving backers and refusing to leave or pay for an Airbnb condo.

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Several backers of a Kickstarter project called Confederate Express are trying to get their pledges refunded after the game’s developer was accused of squatting an Airbnb condominium in Palm Springs, California.

Airbnb is a website where people search for or offer a temporary place to stay for a price.

According to KESQ.com, several neighbors identified the squatter as Maksym Pashanin, who’s living and developing Confederate Express with his brother Denys under the company name Kilobite.

Confederate Express was pitched as a PC strategy-oriented tactical RPG. It was succesfully funded on November 20, 2013, surpassing it’s goal of $10,000 with nearly $40,000 from 2,386 backers. Since then, Pashanin produced only a tech demo for the game. In a July 16 update to backers, Pashanin revealed that Kilobite has been working on a “sister project,” a brawler with RPG elements called Knuckle Club, and that due to “recent restructuring of Kilobite,” development of Confederate Express was postponed.

Maksym and Denys Pashanin in the Kickstarter pitch video for Confederate Express.
Maksym and Denys Pashanin in the Kickstarter pitch video for Confederate Express.

In a July 20 update to backers, Pashanin explained that development of Knuckle Club took precedent over Confederate Express to satisfy the priorities of a small investor group that acquired Kilobite. Pashanin apologized to backers, but said that he’s aiming to release Confederate Express on December 2014, with a closed beta starting in November.

The woman who owns the Airbnb condo where Pashanin is apparently staying, Cory Tschogl, initially rented it to Pashanin for 44 days. She said he paid for the first month in advance, but didn’t pay for the rest of his stay and refused to leave at the end of the 44 days.

According to a text message exchange between Tschogl and Pashanin obtained by Business Insider, Tschogl threatened to turn off the power to the unit in hopes that the Pashanin brothers will leave peacefully. But Maksym instead responded that he’s consulted with his attorney, and that he’s occupying the condo legally. Technically he’s correct. According to California law, if you rent a property for more than 30 consecutive days, you’re considered a full-time tenant. Tschogl will now have to go through a difficult eviction process, which can cost several thousands dollars in legal fees and take up to six months.

The confusion over investors, multiple projects, and finally this Airbnb situation, has caused backers to lose their faith in the project. Though Pashanin promised that he’ll have another update soon, many of them in the comments are complaining and asking for their money back.

We also recently reported that another Kickstarter project from the popular YouTube channel Yogscast, Yogventures, has been canceled after raising $567,000, though those backers will receive a code to a different game instead.

According to Kickstarter, backers could pursue legal action if Pashanin fails to fulfill the project’s promises or refund them.

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