Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today in Kickstarter: Code Hero Dev Takes the Money and Runs *UPDATED*

Stop me if you've heard this one before: There's something fishy going on with a game-related Kickstarter. It seems like Code Hero, a programming tool/game from Primer Labs, was funded nearly $170,000; and nothing has come of it. Time to lawyer up!

UPDATE: It seems that just as I was writing this earlier today, creator Alex Peake posted an update on the Primer Labs wesbsite. You can find it here. According to the update, work on Code Hero has been continuing, and apologies are made for the lack of updates.

Launched nearly a year ago, on December 26th, 2011, Code Hero was to be a game/tool that also taught amateur programmers how to make a real actual videogame. The video presentation on the page was slick, and 7500 people bought into the premise of this unique project. The Kickstarter had a goal of $100,00, which was nearly doubled by the end of the drive, ending up at a total of $170,954. That's...a lot of money.

Physical rewards were due to be mailed out in February of 2012, and were never sent. That was also the month that Code Hero reached its goal. As you might be aware, it's highly unusual for a successful Kickstarter to send out rewards as soon as the funding goal is reached. Some pledges were as high as $1000: these tiers centered around delivering Code Hero to schools as an instructional tool. In total, 18 backers pledged over a grand towards Code Hero, with 2 backers donating...gulp...$10,000 or more.

Since the end of February, updates on Code Hero's Kickstarter page slowed to a crawl, with the last update posted on 09/03/2012. This update promised an Alpha launch of Code Hero, which missed its scheduled release window at PAX Prime. Before that, an update posted on July 4th reaffirmed backers that their rewards were coming, and not to worry.

It seems that in the past few months, creator Alex Peake has gone radio silent. And Code Hero's backers have been getting more and more hostile. The comments section of the Kickstarter page has exploded to over 400 comments, with some backers threatening to file a class-action lawsuit. Backer Dustin Deckard has set up an email address at in hopes of gathering names for the lawsuit.

Social media pages set up for Code Hero have gone dark, as well. The last post on is a retweet from early September and Alex Peake's personal twitter @lxpk has been dormant since the middle of November. The Code Hero Facebook has also, you guessed it, not been updated since late summer. Several posts have been made by users requesting feedback from the developer about Code Hero's current status, none of which have been replied to.

But, for what its worth, you can still buy access to the alpha. For $13.37. Get it?

As we all know, Kickstarter does not provide refunds for undelivered projects. How do you guys feel about this? After all, this isn't the first time this kinda thing has happened.

Further reading:

Code Hero on KickStarter.

Primer Labs

Can you smell what Christopher Linendoll is cookin? He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.


  1. Here's an update -

    1. Yeah, as fate would have it, Alex Peake updated the site literally as I was writing this.