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Aitor
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This caught me completely by surprise. Darkstone forums are very busy and I have little time to delve into it, so I'll be as brief as I can:

Lanzanos has sued Gamezone on its own for damages and compensation and breach of contract. They have used the backers surveys they made months ago to support their claims and "guided" the survey answers so the result would be the most beneficial to them. The goal of Lanzanos is to seize the 17000€ deposit they still have from Gamezone, for "damages to their corporate image". Then, Lanzanos would have no responsibility over backers, as "they have done everything according to the desires of the backers".

This information would have been made officialy public in September, but the leak of a text conversation from Lanzanos owner has moved everything forward. This Darkstone post from user maul shows the leaked screencaps:




Rough translation of the screencaps:

Very right, on 28 the lawsuit was placed. My lawyer has told me to make it public as soon as it has been given leave to go ahead. (This will unleash the hounds as we're the only platform in Europe that has ever sued a project).

I asked the backers that went recently into the workshop to tell me whatever they have seen. I will make an announcement at the end of august with the compilation of all of them.

Ok thanks.
How much does it take for a lawsuit to "be given leave to go ahead"?

It depends on the court, but around 30 days. I have asked for damages and compensation, as well as breach of contract.

I have asked for 17500 euros, which is the amount I have on deposit, which is money that belongs to Gamezone.

[blanked]
[blanked]

What do you ask for us, Goro? Sincerely, I don't see any damage made to you by Dionisio.

[blanked]

I hope that even if you asked for damages and compensation, the lawsuit could be of use for the backers. Otherwise it wouldn't make any sense.

[blanked]

Caronlina, I won't talk further about the issue of responsibilities. We have discussed that enough times. And Lanzanos is not going to ever assume any responsibility, because otherwise crowdfunding would cease to exist.


The following are explanations/thoughts from user maul, which reflect the general feeling at the Darkstone thread:

-This guy has a lot of nerve to ignore his own rigged surveys.
-He's holding prisoner 17000 bucks that now he wants to seize because he couldn't milk any more money from backers (35000) in the association he tried [he's referring to Lanzanos offering spanish backers to lead a "backers association" at the cost of 12€ per backer, which was eventually dismissed].
-This proves that he has lied (even though we already knew), in the same vein as GameZone: talking about helping the backers and then looking only for their own BUTT.
-Except for the money we have paid and the game we're owed, these two are passing each other the hot potato while they laugh at us.

More thoughts from other users:

-So Lanzanos was offering help to backers... and meeting up with backers... and asking GameZone for audits... for THIS. And, without knowing, we helped them to get to this point.

-I thought that this deposit was meant to guarantee the fulfillment of the project, for the protection of backers' interests. I don't understand how Lanzanos could have a legal reason to seize it.

-If GameZone yields or loses, Dionisio has the perfect excuse to blame Lanzanos for not delivering the game. Eventually we will have no money and no game.

-Don't worry, Dionisio will tell Lanzanos the same story he told to Lotario [the last complainant], and everything will be solved.

-Now "haters" turn against Lanzanos to try to save a project they always wanted to fail? LOL.

-We backers should hurry and create an association.


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Daniel Kearns
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First!
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that Matt
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Curiouser and curiouser.
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Sounds a little fishy for Lanzanos to take advantage of the situation. But fine 17000€ is small amount of money considering the total amount. If that's the percentage Lanzanos wants for a failed project, let them keep it (Kickstarter does it all the time), but only if they haven't collected their service percentage fee yet. Otherwise let GameZone have it when they realize they need more money towards shipping. It's no use to divide that amount of money among 12052 backers.
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Freelance Police
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I don't understand why Lanzanos is doing this? Seems like a lawsuit that doesn't recompense the backers or drive the project forward would be negatively received by the backers, who would then have a negative view of Lazanos? Anyway, thanks for the news and keep us posted!
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John "Omega" Williams
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Sam and Max wrote:
I don't understand why Lanzanos is doing this? Seems like a lawsuit that doesn't recompense the backers or drive the project forward would be negatively received by the backers, who would then have a negative view of Lazanos? Anyway, thanks for the news and keep us posted!


Agreed. And didnt Lanzanos allready get a cut of the funds? What is this deposit exactly?
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Wow. So backers now have to deal not only with one, but two selfish and fraudulent corporations... One of them being the platform GZ used to grab the money for "their" product.

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Jeppe Nybo
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Everytime I think to myself, that this story cannot provide more entertainment, it bounces right back to keep on giving.
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Aitor
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Sam and Max wrote:
I don't understand why Lanzanos is doing this? Seems like a lawsuit that doesn't recompense the backers or drive the project forward would be negatively received by the backers, who would then have a negative view of Lazanos? Anyway, thanks for the news and keep us posted!


Before HQ25, Lanzanos was almost exclusively hosting NGO solidarity projects, books, and short movies promoting social awareness. Most of them had goals under 3000€. They never had a "boardgames" category, and their "videogames" category has ever hosted 3 projects total. HQ25 is their biggest project by a large margin.

In normal conditions, Lanzanos would not be a platform for a project like HQ25. But the guest had been rejected from 2 other platforms, and the host couldn't resist having a project with a 6 digit goal.

So, Lanzanos knows that HQ25 is a one-time exception, and its backers are one-time customers. If they end up having a negative view of Lanzanos, who cares?

Making some numbers, Lanzanos claimed to have funded around 3 million for around 500 projects during 6 years (before HQ25). They work with a 5% commission. This means their rough income is about 0.05*3m/6 = 25,000€ per year. So, for Lanzanos, those 17,500€ may be comparable to a year of net income.

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Omega2064 wrote:
Agreed. And didnt Lanzanos allready get a cut of the funds? What is this deposit exactly?


Lanzanos already got their cut. I have asked in Darkstone about the deposit, and user Marte2014 kindly explained the following:

It's called guarantee withholding. Typically it guarantees the culmination of a project. It may be tied to a due date, probably GZ has already claimed it but Lanzanos thinks that they don't have to return it for the execution of the guarantee. The lawsuit is the result of their disagreement.

Beyond the nature of the deposit (guarantee withholding), the rest of details are pure speculation, as those things are contractually arranged, so we can't tell anything for sure until reading the contract between GZ and Lanzanos.

Those kinds of agreements are very common in the building sector.

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John Whyman
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It may not be too late to discourage Lanzanos from taking legal action. The quickest way is to contact Lanzanos. I often write messages in English and Spanish using google translate.

There is a rumor that Lanzanos will sue Gamezone due to alleged damage to the Lanzanos name. Crowdfunders know that crowdfunding sites are not responsible for the project initiator's mistakes. We do however know crowdfunding sites are responsible for their legal actions which could end the crowdfunding projects as well as for deceptive polls which give the crowdfunding sites an excuse for self serving legal action.

Hay un rumor de que Lanzanos demandará a Gamezone debido al presunto daño al nombre Lanzanos. Crowdfunders saben que los sitios de crowdfunding No somos responsables de los errores de los iniciadores del proyecto. Nosotros sin embargo sabemos sitios de crowdfunding son responsables de sus acciones que pudieran poner fin a los proyectos de crowdfunding, así como para las encuestas engañosas que dan los sitios de crowdfunding una excusa para la auto sirviendo acciones legales.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I wonder if it's too late to become a late backer?

-shnar
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Stefano Castelli
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Hollyhock wrote:
-This guy has a lot of nerve to ignore his own rigged surveys.


Wait a second here.

You seem very confident about the survey being "rigged".

Do you have any proof?

I mean... the two boardgame forums I usually follow were full of people who selected the winning choice in the poll (mainly because they did not want to pay 12 euros for the collective legal action).

Are you basing you accusation on a proof?
 
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Mike Forrey
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shnar wrote:
I wonder if it's too late to become a late backer?

-shnar




I have so little sympathy for anyone that backed this disaster.
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bearn wrote:

I have so little sympathy for anyone that backed this disaster.


Why do you hate spaniards ?
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Aitor
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Castef wrote:

Wait a second here.

You seem very confident about the survey being "rigged".

Do you have any proof?


You'll have to ask that to Darkstone user maul, the author of the linked post that I have translated (those are not my words). As it is a rage post, my guess is that he was just venting anger and he has no proof.

Some Darkstone users believe that surveys may have been channeled, manipulated or even rigged because they don't reflect the general feeling from different backer groups (Darkstone, QMHQ25A, Forocoches...). To be honest, I am not a backer so I did not pay much attention to the events surrounding the surveys and the backer meetings with Lanzanos. Those events were primarily discussed in other forums, and I only have accounts in BGG and Darkstone.

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Stephen Williams
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Hollyhock wrote:

More thoughts from other users:
-If GameZone yields or loses, Dionisio has the perfect excuse to blame Lanzanos for not delivering the game. Eventually we will have no money and no game.


To be perfectly fair, this was always the case.
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Freelance Police
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Pretty amusing that we've had two (three?) acts of litigation (so to speak), and none of them have been Hasbro. KickStarter's been interesting as my (and many other's) first exposure to case studies in business. While it's been difficult to predict the *specifics* creators have had during fulfillment, it's been easier to detect "tip of the iceberg" / "where there's smoke, there's fire" projects. For myself, I had plenty of early examples of Dionysius pretty much blind to issues with the project (eg. IP), which eventually led to the project running out of money.
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Sam and Max wrote:
Pretty amusing that we've had two (three?) acts of litigation (so to speak), and none of them have been Hasbro.


Maybe we will see them appear in order from smallest to biggest the longer this whole thing goes on.

1. random backer
2. Lanzanos
3. GW?
4. Hasbro
 
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Stephen Williams
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Sam and Max wrote:
Pretty amusing that we've had two (three?) acts of litigation (so to speak), and none of them have been Hasbro.


And this is probably a perfect example of why Hasbro hasn't thrown down the gauntlet yet: Why spend the time and lawyer's fees on something that might very well go down in flames all by itself? IF a product shows up, they can take action then, otherwise, it resolves itself.
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Julien Le Jeune
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Am I the only one here shocked that they're discussing this over text messages?!

That seems highly unprofessional.
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Daniel Kearns
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Shoogoo wrote:
Am I the only one here shocked that they're discussing this over text messages?!

That seems highly unprofessional.


You must be new here.
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Stephen Williams
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Shoogoo wrote:
Am I the only one here shocked that they're discussing this over text messages?!


I don't see how text messages are any more or less professional than email or phone calls; two other forms of communication that can be just as easily sent and received by the very same electronic devices, in this day and age.

Setting aside the professionalism (or lack therof) in the conversation itself, what exactly is your objection to texting for business purposes?
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The One
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Stewi wrote:
Shoogoo wrote:
Am I the only one here shocked that they're discussing this over text messages?!


I don't see how text messages are any more or less professional than email or phone calls;


At least with text messages you have a record of sorts, unlike their phonecall to Hasbro...
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John "Omega" Williams
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Text can be falsified though. Even emails to a point.
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