Indiegogo is working with collection agencies in order to recoup the money that backers pledged to Retro Computers’ Sinclair ZX Vega+ project.
In 2016, Retro Computers launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Sinclair ZX Vega+; a kind of classic edition take on the ZX Spectrum device. The idea was that the Vega+ would be able to function as both a console that could be hooked up to a television via composite connections and a portable version of the classic gaming computer. It was supposed to launch with 1000 games built-in and would have allowed users to download extra games for free.
Retro Computers initially stated that they intended to start shipping out the first production units of the device to backers in September 2016. However, Retro Computer had to delay those shipments. After several such delays occurred and backers reported having trouble communicating with Retro Computers regarding the status of their shipments, Indiegogo stepped in and shut down the device’s extended campaign. Around that time, it was revealed that licensing issues were seemingly stalling the production and formal release of the Vega+.
Indiegogo eventually told Retro Computers that they would have to start shipping out units by the end of May 2018. After Retro Computers chairman David Levy posted to Facebook that he planned on sending out the first shipment of Vega+ units by June 15th, Indiegogo agreed to extend the deadline as long as certain conditions – which included honoring refund requests and sending Indigogo a review unit – were met.
Those conditions were apparently not met, and Indigogo is now seeking repayment of user-submitted funds.
However, Indigogo warns backers that the collection process is pretty complicated and can take some time to complete. As such, Retro Computers still has time to ship units to backers who have not requested refunds (or to refund their backers that request it). For their part, Retro maintains that they are “determined to deliver the Vega+,” but acknowledge that the ongoing legal battle may escalate further.
This is a somewhat rare instance of a crowdfunding service going to such an extreme to recoup funds for backers. Indigogo’s decision demonstrates how desperate the situation has become.