Funding for this project was suspended by Kickstarter on July 22, 2014.
As we've said before, most sites who have written about us have been largely objective and fair, and report without bias and based on the information that they have. We feel that every journalist has a right to cover a subject from whatever viewpoint they possess.
We want to say to that we are sorry to the journalists of Forbes and VG247, that we had no right to criticize their work, and thank them for their criticism concerning our campaign and project, because that helps us to become better. With that said, we also firmly ask them hear us and take in our point of view, if not as their own, but at least as a possible alternative.
Most sites who have written about us have been largely objective and fair, and report without bias and based on the information that they have. We feel that every journalist has a right to cover a subject from whatever viewpoint they possess. However, we feel that two news sites have been completely one-sided and subjective in their coverage of us. We feel that their coverage of us lacks basic journalistic integrity and their articles have devolved into personal speculation and slander against us.
(to all of our backers and supporters: we are sorry for being so upfront about this subject, but people have a right to know the truth, and we can't sit back and watch people trying to destroy what we've accomplished)
The first news site is Forbes, which was recently sold to a chinese company. They continue to report based on completely outdated information and present personal speculation as fact. They compiled a list of “red flags”, based on information spread by trolls from our Kickstarter comments section. They continue to post articles that site commentators as sources (commentator's who's history consists of posting exclusively negative lies about us), which goes against all sorts of journalist standards. We believe that the level of unprofessional-ism that they have presented is due to lax editorial standards because of their recent sale to a Hong Kong based company.
They are now claiming that our success on Kickstarter is fabricated, whilst conveniently failing to mention that people are using multiple accounts to make a bunch of 1 dollar pledges, and every time a new backer comes along, they remove 1 or 2 pledges, so that it looks like our sum is increasing without any new backers. We personally think that Erik Kain, the writer of the articles on Forbes, has a huge personal bias against us, and is doing everything that he can to wrongfully discredit us. His writing is the absolute antithesis of objective journalistic integrity. He is a writer who feeds on controversy, and who is making a name for himself by posting slander against Areal.
The second news source we want to mention, is VG247, and in their most recent article, they summarize the teaser and say that our Kickstarter is, to quote, a "clusterfuck". They go on to say that Survarium, a free to play MMO shooter, is the true successor to STALKER (which was a single player only series), and that you should all play it instead of supporting us. We don't want to point fingers, and of course journalism always has an element of subjectivity, but we feel that VG247's article took things a little too far.
We have also asked them to update their previous articles, wherein a moderator on facebook expressed her personal opinions, and not the opinions of our company, so as to reflect the fact that her frustrations do not represent our company's views in anyway, but they have declined to update their article (to our knowledge). They have every right to post whatever they want, and however they want to, and we definitely respect that, but we feel that their coverage paints a distorted view on our project.
Ultimately, this is a case of a coordinated effort by a bunch of trolls to do everything in their power to destroy our project. They spam every news site they see, and unfortunately, some news sites listen to them.
One user on Kickstarter compiled a list of trolls that have been writing negatively about us 24/7, and we though that it's a good resource, so we're sharing it with everyone:
“Troll Interview: http://i.imgur.com/PXXwdt8.jpg
Eugene Kim (not from WG)http://i.imgur.com/y0UFgmX.jpg
Raul Strugar http://i.imgur.com/Zfuuzrx.jpg
Ahmad Khan: http://i.imgur.com/29wVmwP.jpg
Matthew Farmery: http://i.imgur.com/epq0iK1.jpg
Nick Evans: http://i.imgur.com/PkuL7xz.jpg
Sander Goetzee Serrano: http://take.ms/88ym6
Martin Raun Dragsbæk http://i.imgur.com/8kGBkIA.jpg
Microsoft Sam http://i.imgur.com/JrGPcUc.jpg
Artyom Andreev http://i.imgur.com/X6kydpo.jpg
Maurice Burgmans https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/1377935168
Judicator https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/545610824 ”
Thank you all for helping us reach this incredible milestone! It's so great seeing people who were on the fence, now upping their contributions. Thank you all for making Areal a reality! We have people pledging everywhere from Germany to South Korea and we are incredibly thankful for the support that we're receiving from all around the world. We've gotten more than 2,000 emails (a lot of them spam) yesterday, and it's not really feasible for us to answer them all.
That's why we promise that after our Kickstarter ends, we'll send out a message for backers only, wherein we'll give you an email address that is exclusive to backers. That way, we won't be as overwhelmed with emails and will actually get a chance to have discussions with our supporters. We're also working on a revamped site, wherein we'll continue our updates, show you our progress along the way and have lots of other cool stuff. The revamped site should be up right after our Kickstarter ends. Huge thanks from all of West Games for helping us get to where we are right now, and we'll do everything we can to make Areal awesome!
Some people are creating accounts on our Kickstarter and impersonating members of our team. Please be aware of that and remember that only comments from west games come from us (it has to have a creator symbol for it to be us).
This is not Eugene Kim: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/681414583
Thanks for your time.