Game developer Grace Lynn, formerly Devi Ever, has come under fire recently for donating her first big game development paycheck to the non-profit organisation Feminist Frequency, rather than paying back her $40k+ IRS debts or refunding backers of her failed KickStarter project. The amount Lynn donated is unclear, but rumours that it amounts to $40,000, the same amount which her KickStarter raised back in 2012, are simply unfounded and the amount is more likely to be around $500.
Despite her KickStarter to create a new kind of guitar pedal receiving twice the requested amount, by December 2013 Lynn had updated her account to announce that she had failed at the project. While 50% of the money raised by the KickStarter had gone into design development of the pedal, and Lynn states that the other half went into business and personal living expenses and is now gone. While there are several reports from people that Lynn is poor with managing money, claims that Lynn spent this money on guitars, medical expenses and PS3’s are only based on anecdotal evidence and therefore unreliable. Lynn then sold the company to DwarfCraft who would work with her to refund backers for the failed project, or send them replacement DwarfCraft brand pedals as per the KickStarter terms of service, which state:
“Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.”
However, due to financial difficulties, her declining health and Lynn’s claims that she is still failing to reach the standards for a living wage she has been apparently unable to pay back her debts. According to a facebook group for backers of the project while some have received full , or at least some significant reimbursements, others have received nothing. While this group only represents a small number of the over 200 backers of the project, to date, none have received replacement pedals.
Lynn maintains that she is still trying to refund backers, however, after many attacked her on Twitter for making her recent donation rather than paying back her debts, she released an unstable statement on KickStarter encouraging backers to sue her and attacking them in this now deleted tweet. Backers have also been upset that while still in debt she continues to fund several people on Patreon. One backer who has been vocal in his outrage, has reportedly had his debt cleared by a stranger so that he would “f**k off”. He is still encouraging others to contact Lynn’s Twitter using the hashtag ConsoleGate.
While I reached out to Lynn for comment, at the time of publishing she has not yet replied, but I urge all of you to read this storify she made on the issue, which confirms her position that she is still in debt, and trying to pay back her backers as soon as possible.
Update: A member of the company deviever:fx has been in touch with me and has stated that they are happy with my assessment of the situations. We would like to thank them for replying back to my enquiries.