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Ocean Spark Studios Accuses Kickstarted MMORPG Oath Of Being A Scam

News article was written by Ben Nguyen

The successful Kickstarter MMO Oath has been accused of being a scam from Ocean Spark Studios. Ocean Spark Studios is a contract studio behind the art of Oath creating many of the gorgeous concept art behind the MMO. In a recent video published by Ocean Spark, it appears that the artists have not been paid for any of their work and were fired for “Breach of Contract”.  Ocean Spark Studios have also stated that no explanation was given to their termination. According to the promotion video from Ready Up Studios, all the funds from the Kickstarter were to be used for character model updates, enemies animation, and other content. This may raise questions as to where funds were being directed.

To further backup their claim, they have posted numerous screenshots on a private discord displaying a conversation between Ocean Spark Studios and ReadyUp Staff. Ocean Spark Studios has made an official statement to MMORPG via Discord DM regarding the situation.

 

“The only other thing I can state other than what’s in the evidence channel is that we have not bought anything from the UE4 marketplace and everything WE have implemented we have created. We have followed instructions from Readyup Studios to the best of our knowledge for what to add and create whilst working on this game. We know they can not find anything we have bought because we have made everything we have been paid for.” – Zach Cundall, Director of Ocean Sparks Studio

We reached out to ReadyUp Studios for comment, and CTO Ethan Davis has stated the following on their public Discord:

“As some of you may have already noticed, Ocean Spark Studios are no longer members of our channel.

A few weeks ago we noticed an error when starting our project stating there were missing files, and noticed they were referencing assets they did not create. After looking into it, it seems like they used marketplace items and bought them into our project, which we paid them for, which violates epics marketplace terms of use. This can result in being banned from using unreal engine, and even legal problems for us, so we are forced to stop all partnership with them while we look over every asset to make sure we are not involved in anything that can jeopardize our project and/company.

Everything is still being worked on and this does not affect development even slightly. Our video is still planned for this month.

Thanks” -

These accusations are serious and can further undermine the credibility of KickStarter MMOs. We will continue to follow the story as more information develops.

[UPDATE] The team has provided the following response which you can read here.

[UPDATE 2 3:44 PST] It appears both the video from Ocean Spark and the page on the Oath website detailing ReadyUp Studio's evidence against Ocean Spark have both been removed. We are reaching out to both parties to provide an update and will update this report once we learn more. - Joseph, Managing Editor

Poorna Shankar / A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.

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