For the past few days, the community has been simply waist-deep in controversy and mystery surrounding the sudden appearance of "Dark Skyes", a pony-themed dating simulator, with supposed "Deep RPG elements" that popped up on Kickstarter last week. Something has smelled fishy ever since the post went up, and it's not because it's lent either.
Do not pledge any money to this project before you take a look at the evidence that community members have compiled over the last few days.
The skepticism began when people started to analyze the strange bits about the Kickstarter's details - the inconsistent details such as how the project was "95% finished" and yet they were just now starting a Kickstarter, and that there is a "playable alpha", and yet there is no demo or video of gameplay available. As well as the fact it lists "deep RPG elements" as a feature even though this is a text-based dating simulator. Many things were out of place. And then, the mysterious screencaps began to appear. Are they fakes? At first one may think so.
But then more surfaced.
And more and more until a picture began to form, that this entire thing was involved in some kind of ruse orchestrated by an online trolling group known as "Million Dollar Extreme".The sim-developers took to kickstarter to prove their innocence.
And then again on reddit.
"Why would it take you a week to release a demo, if the game is already 95% done?"
"Why is there no video of alpha gameplay at least?"
"Why are you just now asking for money if you have completed 95% of the game already?"
"Why is this the first time anyone online has heard of the project if it's been worked on for over 3 years?"
(For that matter are they aware that the fandom itself is just over 3 years old? Are they implying that they started working on a pony dating sim in the first half of season 1?)
"What posts in 'SomethingAwful' are you referring to? Does that site even have relevance anymore?""Why is there almost zero information about the group developing this project, not even a twitter, blog, or facebook page?"
The questions continue to pile up. The kickstarter then posted this video; answering almost...none of those questions.
The video's response was hardly one of reassurance by the backers, especially with Mike's announced aversion to doing any sort of PR for the project.
It is still at this point hard to say what exactly the plan or motivations here are. But what is clear as that the project as the Kickstarter presents it, is far from being 100% truthful. It is to be noted that in order to fulfill their offer, all the team will have to do is go through with the production of the game, as the quality requirements are never specified, only length of gameplay experience ("100+ hours" is listed on the description, but not what those hours include).
The MDE is involved, and they have an announced history of tricking people out of money for kicks, by intentionally releasing sub-par products by the terms of an agreement. Here they are in December:
11 of 12 members of the development team are confirmed to have a connection to MDE, but no evidence has been found confirming the 12th member as of the time of this posting. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATES: Since the posting of this article, much has transpired.
First the Kickstarter has lost over $2000 in pledges.
Second: Sam Hyde posted this video to Youtube, in which he says "We went about it in a disingenuous way, It was going to be a little prank", confirming that all of the suspicions were correct.
In the video the 4chan /mlp/ thread can be seen in his mirror.
Third: Pukey, the artist has pulled her involvement from the project.