Sometimes even the best looking projects have their dark side. Some more than others. Either Kickstarter will suspend a campaign or the creators do it themselves, for whatever reason. Which is a shame as otherwise these games show so much promise. Too many Kickstarter campaigns are steeped in controversy these days, and the latest example is, unfortunately, Lynn and the Spritis of Inao. This was a great looking game a lot of people backed but ended up having way too many problems behind the scenes. All of which culminated in the developers pulling the plug entirely.
In the latest update, which you can read in it’s entirety below, the studio claims they were attacked and threatened throughout the fundraising process. Of course, I couldn’t confirm nor deny the severity or even legitimacy of said “violent declarations”, as they put it. At the same time, it does make you wonder why you spend five years on a project only to scrap it over a series of messages or whatever they got. I didn’t follow any of this so I cannot say one way or the other as to how bad it has gotten or if they’re just using it as a scapegoat for claims levied against them from those working on the project.
Which is where the interesting bit of news comes into play that until a few days ago I wasn’t aware of. Apparently Bloomylight Studio was using college interns to work on animation and have not paid them for their work. In France, which is where the studio is located, it seems that if a company uses an intern for more than two months, they are required to pay those interns for their work. From what I gathered in a Reddit post that was linked in the comments section, some have worked four months or more, which means Bloomylight were required by law to pay them whatever the going rate was for their work.
It seems this was not done, and said interns started to cry out that they were essentially working in sweatshop conditions (my words, not theirs). It may not be uncommon to work for free as an intern in the US, but some countries make it mandatory to pay, and this just happens to be the main source of controversy surrounding Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. Honestly, if all of this is true then Bloomylight could possibly be sent to court for breach. I’m no lawyer but this does sound like an actionable offense.
I had tried reaching out to the developers for comment regarding both the allegations of the interns as well as the supposed attacks on the studio itself, but I have yet to hear back from them about the matter. If they do reach out we’ll be sure to update everyone on the status. That said, if any of the above is true, on either side of the fence, then this is all going to be a messy affair. Seeing as I don’t have all of the facts, assuming there are any to begin with, I cannot comment any further in regards to what has been going on with Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. For now, though, I just know that the game has been shut down for the foreseeable future.