Indiegogo confirms debt collectors will recoup crowdfunding money for ZX Spectrum Vega+

Crowdfunding platform says Retro Computers Ltd failed to meet requirements for mid-June extension

By James Batchelor.Published Wednesday 6th June 2018, 10:00am GMT

Time is up for Retro Computers Ltd, the company behind the controversial ZX Spectrum Vega+ project.

Earlier this week, we reported the company was "still determined to deliver the Vega+ to the backers" by June 15th, but it appears Indiegogo is much less optimistic.

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In an update on the Vega+'s Indiegogo page, the crowdfunding platform's trust and safety team confirmed it was sending in debt collectors to recoup as much of the money raised as possible, attributing the decision to Retro Computers' failure to meet its requirements.

"As you are aware, we recently provided the Vega+ team a provisional extension (June 15th) to fulfill, based on some requirements from us," the update reads. "These included sending us contact information of Sky representatives, and refunding backers immediately upon request, as well as providing Indiegogo with a review console.

"Unfortunately, these asks have not been met and we are unable to further provide the Vega+ team an extension. This has been a challenging situation for all involved, and one we thought would be resolved with the backers receiving their game consoles.

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"This week, we will be working with a collections agency to attempt to recoup funds disbursed, in an effort to be able to refund backers."

Indiegogo notes that this process will "take considerable time" and that Retro Computers "still has the opportunity to fulfill on their obligation of shipping the consoles to backers." The team will also be able to continue updating the Indiegogo page with news on shipping, but it appears this won't stop the debt collectors from seeking those funds.

Our sister site Eurogamer notes that Retro Computers claims it did indeed offer to demonstrate the unit to Indiegogo, and has declared as much on Twitter. It's likely that since Indiegogo requested a final review unit, a Retro-controlled demo was not a sufficient alternative.

The Vega+, a handheld console that would enable users to play old Spectrum games, was a crowdfunding success back in 2016 when it raised 500,000. It was originally slated for release that summer, but two years on no backers have received their units.

Since then, however, it has been mired in controversy as an ongoing dispute arose between members of Retro Computers management and former directors who left the project a month after crowdfunding was completed.

Both sides accuse the other of improper practices, with Retro Computers claiming ex-director Paul Andrews and his business associates have been actively attempting to block the release of the Vega+, thus prompting Indiegogo to bring in the debt collectors.

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