Playjam, the folks responsible for the GameStick — a portable gaming console+controller which recently passed its funding goal on Kickstarter — just gave thousands of backers everywhere a scare. The project’s Kickstarter page was pulled from the crowd-funding service, and the initial explanation by GameStick was that it was an intellectual property dispute that forced their hand.
Playjam says it has 30 days to get the project back up on Kickstarter before it will be forced to cancel and give up all of the pledges it’s earned. The initial email led folks to believe that the GameStick’s design itself was infringing, but thankfully that is not the case.
The intellectual property being referred to was because of a game that was exposed in the project’s promotional video. The news was confirmed in a second email by GameStick, reassuring us that the product’s design is not in danger of being targeted by any patent and IP owners. We imagine the only thing that has to happen is a simple edit of the video, and since that doesn’t take a lifetime then this issue should blow over fairly quickly.
“I’m sure you’ve all noticed that we have been temporarily suspended due to a copyright infringement notice. This does NOT RELATE TO OUR DESIGN OR PRODUCT – this relates to one of the games that was exposed in our UI demonstration on our videi that we did not have permission to use.
We are working to quickly edit this video to comply with Kickstarter and we hope to be back up and running as soon as possible. We’re sorry for any confusion or worry this may have caused you but we want you to know that we are on it!”
The GameStick is one of Kickstarter’s most popular items, reaching its funding goal of $100,000 in just about 30 hours. The project has since raised about $270,000, and the folks at Playjam recently set up some stretch goals in case the project got any more popular. If the project reaches $320,000 the GameStick will come in black. Hitting $450,000 will bring the product in another color that will be decided by the community. Finally, the team will be adding a microSD card slot if it can reach $560,000.
As it stands the project would have been funded in just about three weeks, but with this setback we’re not sure if the timer will simply pick up where it left off or if Playjam will have to give up the time. We’ll be on the lookout for more updates from the team as this situation develops, but at the very least just know that the likelihood of the GameStick being cancelled is very low.