Kimpossible: Glorious Leader! Kickstarter Ends After Hack

In case you weren’t paying attention, the world went a tad silly late last year when film studio Sony Pictures were hacked, allegedly by North Korea, in response to the impending release of the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview. Now MoneyHorse, creators of side-scrolling Conta-esque platforming shooter Glorious Leader – which also stars North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – are saying that they’ve had to cancel their ongoing Kickstarter project in part because of a hack “inspired by the attack on Sony.”

Here’s a video of the game in action, in case you were wondering what all this is about:

The hack itself happened around the time the project launched and was first addressed by the development team in a post on Kickstarter on December 24th. In it, they explain that they are “sure that this is a hoax perpetrated by amateurs,” and that they “have NO reason to believe that this was done by the GOP or anyone affiliated with North Korea.” The post also makes clear that no user data was affected, only that files pertaining to the game’s development had been deleted.

The latest update explains that the hack, coupled with some errors the development team made in handling the Kickstarter, has led to their decision to cancel the crowdfunding project and re-consider the game’s future. Here’s that update in full:

As many of you know, over the holidays we were victims of a hack inspired by the attack on Sony. The hackers destroyed data pertaining to Glorious Leader! and other projects we had in development and locked us out of our own computers and wesbite. The timing couldn’t have been worse as it hampered our ability to attend to the Kickstarter project. We realize that we also made mistakes in our pledge levels and rewards. It is now evident that our funding goals will not be met, so we are cancelling our Kickstarter campaign.

This is not the first time we have been targeted because of Glorious Leader! Between the hacking and other threats, we think it is time to reevaluate our commitment to Glorious Leader! We thank our fans and supporters, and we are sorry to let you down.

There’s no way to know whether the Kickstarter would have hit its target without the hack distracting the development team early in the process, but it surely can’t have helped. In any case, I hear that the Rogen/Franco movie is rubbish.

33 Comments

  1. LionsPhil says:

    …what, they didn’t have offline backups?

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      I assume the problem was more one of lost time – having hackers lock them out of their PCs and website would likely mean having to reinstall their OS, and having to try to track down some tech support over Xmas and get their web files restored and passwords changed, even if they had all the files to hand. (After which they’d probably want to be patching out whatever vulnerability let the hackers do this to start with before they made stuff live again)

      • skittles says:

        Sounds more likely to be a completely insecure setup rather than “hacking”. I.e. to have their computers, servers, and all go down. Unless they were running everything from a webserver at their home or office, certainly their online stuff and their personal PCs should have been separate. So sounds like they probably used the same passwords across all their stuff.

        Lesson should really be learned people, secure your stuff. And if you have critical projects and files, store them in multiple places and use multiple passwords. Too much of this stuff blamed on “hacking” is simply from insecure systems, it barely qualifies as hacking. And yet people exacerbate the problem by not being forthright. Instead of saying, we failed, we really should have secured better. They say “we were hacked”, must have been the North Koreans, or use other excuses. It dodges the issue and places the blame elsewhere, so more people just keep using insecure stuff. If you don’t properly secure your stuff, then there is no other way nicer to put this, you are to blame. Yes the other party is responsible, but the blame for the situation rests solely on you. If these guys truly were hacked, then apologies, but I would be 95% sure this isn’t that case.

        • N1kolas says:

          It’s still early in the year, but this is a strong candidate for most idiotic post of 2015.

          The blame lies 100% with the perpetrator, as it does with any criminal or antisocial behavior. But you are probably among those that believe that rape victims are to blame because they dressed or acted provocatively.

          • Shadow says:

            Good work somehow putting rape and computer security on the same level.

            This isn’t just a case of insecure networking: there’s a common sense malfunction. This happened in the wake of the Sony attacks, in relation to a film with a NK-questionable depiction of North Korea. If you’re going to do the same with a game, it’s only common sense you that take some measures to protect yourself from cyber-attacks, heavy-duty or otherwise. Whatever you do about it, it’s going to help to some degree. The blame of a crime is always on the perpetrator, sure, but this is extremely reckless.

            That aside, call me callous, but this could even be a publicity stunt.

          • Distec says:

            You sure about that? Because you may very well have topped him by comparing rape and victim blaming to cyber security based on a superficial similarities. Not to mention your noxious, unfounded accusation.

            But hey, we still have February through December. So live in hope, I guess.

          • Hebrind says:

            I was with you right up until that last sentence. Silly man.

          • jrodman says:

            I see you have volunteered for our block list service.

    • Person of Interest says:

      Or even a Dropbox sync?

      I feel bad for the folks at MoneyHorse. I get upset when I lose 30 seconds worth of work. Hopefully they can learn from this and maybe make a new RTS/puzzle game where you have to scatter copies of your files across the game map as fast as possible while the Glorious Leader races around destroying them.

  2. Anthile says:

    Not sure if viral marketing…

  3. anandus says:

    Have a Kickstarter-project stuck at 31% funding? Conveniently blame hackers, shut down the project, don’t lose face.

    • wu wei says:

      Not being resilient enough to immediately bounce back from this should be a huge red flag to anyone considering funding any of their future projects. It’s not like offsite backups & source code repositories are arcane arts.

      • cpy says:

        So they tried to cover things up and failed. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    • eggy toast says:

      Yep. Theres no way I believe that North Korean cyber agents had nothing better to do than sink this ship that was already dead in the water.

    • mukuste says:

      Be a cynical arse? Conveniently make snide remark, belittle developers, feel like a boss.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Well worse incompetent amateur developers trying to get your money by jumping on the sympathy bandwagon. Would this have been 199x i would say okay that really is tough but not in 2015 sorry!

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        It’s even worse that describing the devs’ statement as ‘we got haxx0red guize’ is proof that the OP either didn’t read the article or doesn’t care. Wtih great cynicism comes great responsability.

        Unless this is an attempt at viral marketing (which I admit sounds pretty likely) the devs did a total mea culpa and blamed themselves the most. From their words the hacking was a minor nuisance that showed them that, since they can’t bounce back from even such a minor nuisance, they may not be ready to carry on with it. But hey, who cares about subtle and balanced views?

  4. LazyAssMF says:

    I don’t get it. Koreans “supposedly” hacked Sony because the movie portrayed Kim Jong in a really bad, funny way but why would the same ppl hack this poor dev’s game? It portrays Kim Jong as Rambo/superdude so Kim Jong would probably be glad to see this game. Something smells really, really fishy here. America, you smell fishy…

    • Horg says:

      It almost certainly wasn’t NK, but one or more former Sony employees who had found themselves laid off last year. NK was reported first, however, so that seems to be what has stuck.

      Edit: also the article said the game dev hack was inspired by the Sony hack, it almost certainly wasn’t the same group that hacked Sony.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        It was North Korea. A handful of “security experts” claimed otherwise and were shot down immediately. But a ridiculous inside job is a meatier story than “North Korea really is that crazy” so that’s the one that stuck.

        • Horg says:

          Last year Sony laid off most of its digital division; people who had extensive knowledge of the companies cyber security, file systems, and a motive to harm the company. We’re not talking about minimum wage call center staff. The MO of the hack itself was consistent with insider attack, as was the initial release of sensitive files designed to embarrass Sony executives. There have been far more than a ”few” security experts pointing the finger at former employees. Now, you could investigate that for yourself, or you could keep believing that a nation that still periodically threatens South Korea by fax committed international cyber crime over a poorly publicised and badly written satirical movie : |

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Ah, “do your own research,” the classic fallback of any good conspiracy theory.

            Like I said, it’s a great story — especially for those who want to run with the narrative that North Korea isn’t all that bad and that the U.S. is just using them as a scapegoat so it can further its foreign policy goals, etc. etc. etc.

            But common sense, Occam’s razor, and the FBI all point to North Korea. And let’s stop pretending they don’t have the ability to do something like this. They are an extremely poor nation overall, but The Worker’s Party still has plenty of resources to pull something like this off.

            Frankly, neither of us (or the non-government commentators) has access to all the information, so it’s going to come down to what kind of story you’re willing to swallow. One involves multiple conspiracies (that Sony employees did it and the U.S. government is lying about it to further some kind of foreign policy goal) and the other involves only one: That the North Korean government did it.

            It certainly wouldn’t be the least rational thing they ever did by a long shot.

          • Horg says:

            ”One involves multiple conspiracies (that Sony employees did it and the U.S. government is lying about it to further some kind of foreign policy goal)”

            Couldn’t be anything to do with that awfully inconvenient CIA torture report that disappeared from the news overnight once the ‘old enemy’ were up to their dirty tricks stealing your movies…… Governments get caught lying far too frequently for any rational person to take their public opinion as fact. The FBI blamed NK before they could have possibly had time to investigate the hack, and you can be sure it was for political reasons. Now really, do your own research, and stop trying to insinuate that the informed opinion is synonymous with ‘conspiracy’. The word has lost all meaning if that’s how low you set the bar.

          • emotionengine says:

            Horg, you suggest that NK would lack the competence to execute a cyber attack by describing it as “a nation that still periodically threatens South Korea by fax”.

            Those must have been some very nasty fax messages that somehow managed to cause this then: link to bbc.com

            Now, I believe you were saying something about doing one’s research before stating an “informed opinion”?

          • Horg says:

            I did no such thing. The fact that NK has been irrefutably linked to cyber attacks in the past does not mean they are behind the Sony attack. That’s sort of like finding criminal and blaming him for all crime, ever. The fact that they are still using fax is relevant though, as although NK has access to the global internet, it is extremely limited and fairly primitive. One of the most compelling arguments for the hack having nothing to do with NK is the volume of data stolen being beyond their bandwidth capacity. All the evidence surrounding the Sony hack, which you made no attempt to address, points to a former employee or group of employees. We only have the word of one government agency to refute that.

    • eggy toast says:

      The easiest answer is probably the best: there was no attack on this game at all, and the only connection to Sony is hoping that mentioning that gets this extra attention.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      I think the smell may just be you. Wash your lazy ass, mother fucker.

  5. Shardz says:

    Between the radical Muslims and North Korea, we’ll all be sporting zippers on our mouths soon. Yeah, the world truly is coming to a screeching halt.

  6. Dances to Podcasts says:

    I’m actually more amazed that they didn’t get in trademark trouble considering Disney’s Kim Possible franchise, which includes games: link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Bradamantium says:

      That’s just the headline here. The actual game is simply called Glorious Leader.

  7. Baines says:

    Why are sites reporting that the Kickstarter was cancelled due to the hack.

    The update, quoted in this article no less, says that they cancelled the Kickstarter because they could tell that the campaign wasn’t going to be successful.

    As well, they said that they had made mistakes on their tiers and rewards. That could mean one (or both) of two things. It could mean that they hadn’t set things up in a way to amass enough pledges for the campaign to succeed (which seems to be true). It could also mean that they were promising too much, so that even a successful campaign might not result in them pocketing enough money after Kickstarter-related expenses to actually fund the campaign. Either on its own is reason enough to cancel a Kickstarter campaign.

  8. vorador says:

    Such a great timing for a hack to take place. I say viral marketing.