In the latest installment of Ouya’s Free The Games fund controversy, a game previously funded through Kickstarter has openly used the service again in order to secure double funding.

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus, which already received $5,177 of funding from a campaign in April of 2011, is nearing the end of its second round of crowdfunding with a healthy total of $52,759 — from only 135 backers.

With calls of Gridiron already being banded around the project’s comments section, creator William McDonald has succeeded where Ouya and MogoTXT failed in at least responding to concerned backers; only to assure them they are correct in their suspicions.

In a backer-only update posted on the project – called “In view of recent FreetheGames controversy (a bid for transparency)” – McDonald explained how little financial support the team had received from their family and friends. However, recently his father had a change of heart and decided to help fund the project.

McDonald said in the hidden update: “After 5 years of us nickel and diming our way to completion, without any assistance besides the $3000 we netted from our first Kickstarter. My father has finally decided to give us a break.”

According to McDonald’s post he received five checks from his father, which he had saved up from retirement payments over the last three and a half years, in order to pledge to the project on his behalf.

He said in the update: “My father gave me 5 checks to give to my most trustworthy of friends. The 5th check was given to John to pledge for my father. My father cannot pledge himself because he expected to pledge on Kickstarter with a check and he also doesn’t want his debit card on the internet… Yes he’s old.”

Judging by pledge data from Kicktraq, this happened on September 12 when $20,150 worth of pledges were made on behalf of 8 backers. The next day $30,012 of pledges were made by 16 people.


McDonald asserts that he has done nothing wrong throughout, and told a critic on the comments section that he had not contacted Ouya prior to this to determine whether these actions would be within the guidelines of the Free The Games Fund.

He said to one commenter: “The controversy there as we saw it was the fact that their game was allegedly already done before entering FreetheGames and that the funds would not be used for development.

“Your position that our funding sources will effect the metrics is valid and not taken lightly. Our decision was a hard one. We are trying our best to be honest and forthright.”

McDonald has also assured backers that he is committed to remaining open and transparent in light of the recent Free The Games controversies, sending statements to both Joystiq and SegaNerds.

Ouya announced their FTG fund promotion in July this year, promising to double the money of any indie game raising over $50,000 on Kickstarter if they agreed to a six-month exclusivity deal on the platform.

The decision has come under heavy criticism lately, from developers and industry professionals alike, after similarly suspicious activity occurred on the projects of two other games, Gridiron Thunder and Elementary My Dear Holmes!

Gridiron Thunder’s funding has been confirmed by Ouya whilst Elementary My Dear Holmes! had their project suspended by Kickstarter for unknown reasons.

With thanks to Lewie Procter for his eagle-eyed vigilance (@LewieP)

About The Author

News Editor

Chris has always been, and always shall be, a gamer. He sometimes does not enjoy that label, but he does enjoy games so it's mostly accurate. He likes rain, Adult Swim cartoons and T-shirts with obscure gaming references. He dislikes mushrooms, bigotry and speaking in the third person. You can follow him @higgyc if you should so choose.

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  • Tim

    So I read their kickstarter and they explained why they needed to do another kickstarter and that was reasonable. Secondly how is having friends or family fund your game and openly admitting to it wrong. Anyone who does a kickstarter goes to friends and family first. There was nothing saying that this is against any rules. I really think that the people who are hating are the ones who don’t have the friends and family with the backing to do the same. I’ve read a lot of arguments against William and none of them are sound. They are either full of misinformation or apply rules to kickstarter that aren’t even there.

  • Hamad

    If the series is successful enough an IndieGoGo campaign or iOS/Android ports would be viable.