A cautionary tale about renting your home out to strangers for some quick, short-term cash on CNN has ties to video games. According to this CNN report, Cory Tschogl rented out her 600-square-foot condo in Palm Springs, California to two brothers, which CNN describes as video game developers – more on that later. The two brothers, Maksym and Denys Pashanin from Austin, Texas, rented the Palm Springs condo for 44 days, paying for 30 days of their stay in advance. They found the condo via online rental service Airbnb.
But after the 30 days were up the brothers refused to pay the remainder of their bill for the condo and said they weren't going to leave. Because they stayed in the condo for thirty days they are considered tenants under California law, on a month-to-month. In other states this is called an "at-will tenancy." The problem is that when someone is considered a tenant they have more rights and generally have to be removed through an eviction process – and California's laws governing rentals favor the tenant.
But the story isn't just about the Pashanin brothers allegedly squatting in a condo in Palm Springs; apparently the duo have been involved in some questionable crowd-funding related activities for video games as well.
According to this Polygon report, Maksym Pashanin is the same name of a self-described game developer who launched a $10,000 Kickstarter in 2013 to fund the pixel-graphic adventure game "Confederate Express." While that Kickstarter was successfully funded on Nov. 20, 2013, for $39,739 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014 – the game never came to fruition.
But a month after the release date for that game came and went, Pashanin said that his studio Kilobite Inc., was undergoing a restructuring and that the game had been delayed. As an apology for the delay he offered backers a reward pack for another game the company was allegedly developing called Knuckle Club. But the problem with the second game was that it was going through its own funding campaign on Kickstarter at the time.
Four days later, Pashanin wrote in an update that the delay was caused by a company buying Kilobite and then telling them they wanted Knuckle Club completed first.
The most recent update to the Confederate Express Kickstarter page from Maksym Pashanin says that the game will be released in Dec. of this year.
"Moving forward, I am now focusing my efforts full-time on making sure Confederate Express gets delivered promptly," he wrote in a July 20, 2014 update. "I am also keeping a record of every expenditure made, and notify backers accordingly in order to make my decisions as clear and transparent as possible. I am now aiming for a December 2014 release date, with a closed beta starting in November 2014."
Commenters do not seem to be buying it.
We will have more on this story as it develops.