Game Maker Says PayPal Kept Pledge Money

DALLAS (CN) – A Texas video game developer claims in court that PayPal is wrongfully withholding funds from a game that solicited donations on Kickstarter.

Petersen Entertainment LP sued the online payment giant in Rockwall County District Court on Dec. 14.

Rockwall-based Petersen claims it raised a substantial amount of money in 2013 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter for a video game that it developed and sold. It said the campaign allowed users to contribute money and purchase the unspecified game through PayPal.

But Petersen says PayPal refuses to release over $57,000.

“To date, however, defendants wrongfully refuse to release the funds that plaintiff’s customers attempted to pay and/or pledge to plaintiff, despite the fact that plaintiff has already sent the purchased/requested productions to many of these customers,” the eight-page complaint states. “In fact, defendants have acknowledged in writing that the records plaintiff provided show the plaintiff has fulfilled purchase orders of PayPal customers in the amount of at least $22,675.00. Defendants still refuse, however, to release even these funds.”

Petersen has raised money for at least 12 video game campaigns on Kickstarter, according to Chief Creative Officer Sandy Petersen’s Kickstarter profile. Kickstarter is not a party to Petersen Entertainment’s lawsuit.

His most recent campaign on the crowdfunding website is for a board game called “The Gods War,” scheduled for completion in August 2017. Over 1,900 backers have pledged over $585,000 towards the game. His most recently completed campaign, horror strategy game “Cthulhu Wars: Onslaught Two,” raised over $1.01 million from over 4,400 backers.

Petersen Entertainment got its start decades ago when Sandy Petersen conceived of the “Call of Cthulhu” role-playing game series that is still in print today, according to the company’s website.

It also says he spent over two decades in the industry as a designer on teams that produced “Civilization,” “Doom,” “Quake,” the “Age of Empire” series and “Halo Wars.” The company says Petersen returned to tabletop gaming with the famed “Cthulhu Wars” strategy game.

PayPal did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment early Tuesday morning.

Petersen Entertainment seeks actual and punitive damages for claims of conversion, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. It is represented by Christopher L. Ash with Fishman Jackson in Dallas.

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