If you read Cheat Code Central’s news, you’ve probably heard about Skullgirls’s spectacularly successful Indiegogo campaign . Lab Zero, the developers behind Skullgirls, raised over $829,000 for new content and characters, some of which would be voted on by the Skullgirls fanbase. The voting for the first character has entered its final round, with only four characters, Aeon, Annie, Eliza, and Minette, surviving.
However, some upset Skullgirls fans have done what anonymous Internet trolls do best: complain and make empty threats. When several characters were dropped from the running, some fans complained, which made PayPal (the service that Indiegogo used to deliver the donation funds) wary about users “charging back” their donations. If Lab Zero already received the money and every donator charged back their donations, PayPal would be shouldered with a debt equal to the funds raised.
So, even though there has not yet been one confirmed donator chargeback, PayPal froze Lab Zero’s account. Lab Zero CEO Peter Barthalow was understandably upset about this freeze, which tied up nearly $700,000 of the donated money and prevented him from paying his team. “They also asked if we’re good for the $700,000 if something goes wrong. I said ‘No,’ because, well we’re not?” Batholow said on a NEOGaf Post. “The whole point of crowdfunding is to give us the money to develop stuff, not take out a loan.”
Luckily, pressure was put on PayPal to unfreeze the account, both by Barthalow and by complaints filed by Skullgirls fans. As a result, the team’s account is now unfrozen, though PayPal is planning to keep $35,000 in collateral. “I think this is still pretty sketchy and have filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Barthalow said to Venture Beat. “So hopefully that will become unrestricted in the near future. But now that we have unrestricted transfers on Paypal again, we shouldn’t need that money anytime soon if they can’t be convinced to release it.”