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The Dreamworld Situation Is Looking Like a Mess

Poorna Shankar Posted:
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Remember Dreamworld? It was the Kickstarter which promised, “the endgame, it’s every genre, every game, every style, all wrapped into one.” It looks like a lot of things have gone down in the intervening time.

We first reported on this back in April when the Kickstarter campaign was revealed. Since then, several developments have been made. The Kickstarter and game were helmed by Garrison Bellack and Zachary Kaplan who managed to raise nearly $65,000 on Kickstarter. Dreamworld boasted the backing of a Y Combinator as well.

However, several allegations have been leveled against Garrison and Zachary as reported by PC Gamer. These allegations include the use of teen children as moderators by promising them jobs, potentially stolen assets, nepotism over at Y Combinator, extremely low security server infrastructure, and an unrealistic project timeline.

Several streamers have called out Garrison and Zachary regarding these allegations and their general handling of their own community. The crux of the accusations is that Dreamworld is ultimately a scam. For example, MMO YouTuber KiraTV called out the Kickstarter trailer as,

“…a fucking Frankenstein of cut-and-paste code from other people's work.”

It should be noted that the Kickstarter only makes mention of access to an alpha, not a fully fleshed out game. This means that as long at Garrison and Zachary actually deliver something called an alpha, regardless of quality, they have technically fulfilled the Kickstarter obligations.

MassivelyOP summed up the situation by noting questions regarding the technical makeup and stability of services,

“For example, the YouTuber, Skiazos, carefully inquires about the UE store assets, which the devs laugh off, saying they are wisely focusing their efforts on custom gameplay instead of reinventing the wheel. He then asks how the team will manage to actually get millions of people into the game technically without ridiculous latency. The answer? Put as much as possible in the client to reduce latency, which runs contrary to pretty much every major online game (because cheating).”

It’s easy to draw comparisons between Dreamworld’s situation and Chronicles of Elyria. In fact, PC Gamer asked KiraTV about this. Kira noted,

“I think we use the word scam as a colloquial term mostly and there's some nuance to this. I don't think either game's developers have the actual intention to not deliver, I just think they're living in a dream world themselves...”


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.