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Area 35 ends legal dispute over Kickstarter embezzlement claims in settlement

Area 35 ends legal dispute over Kickstarter embezzlement claims in settlement

July 30, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

July 30, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
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More: Indie, Business/Marketing

Tariq Lacy, the ex-Area 35 employee that accused CEO and Tiny Metal creator Hiroaki Yura of embezzling funds from the Project Phoenix Kickstarter to fund another game last year, now says his accusation was “contrary to the truth.”

The retraction comes at the close of a legal dispute between the two parties that USGamer reports has now ended in a settlement.

The original case sprung out of a comment Lacy made on the Kickstarter and Facebook pages for Project Phoenix, which was funded via Kickstarter in 2013 and originally slated for a 2015 release. In those posts, Lacy alleged that the funds raised for Project Pheonix were, in fact, being used to fund a completely different project, Area 35’s tactical war game Tiny Metal. Yura fired back in a conversation with Kotaku, calling the claims “factually incorrect” noting that the company was looking at taking legal action over the comments. 

According to court documents received by USGamer, that resulting legal battle has now ended in a settlement. The two sides have agreed on a resolution in which Lacy admits that “the post/article/comment written on the 20th of November 2017 on the ‘Project Phoenix’ Facebook Page, managed by the complainant company, is contrary to the truth” and agrees to publicly apologize for original embezzlement allegations. Lacy has since made that apology in a public Facebook post.

The settlement also sees Lacy paying 410,611 yen (~$3,700) to Area 35 vice president Masamichi Eguchi while noting that Area 35 is still obligated to pay Lacy 600,000 yen (~$5,400) per an earlier contract agreement. 

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